I occasionally have to travel across the country for meetings, or run into the office from time to time, but mostly I am able to work right from the comfort of my own home, thanks to the laptop. I call my corner lot in the outer suburbs My Ranch. Admittedly, it’s not a catchy name, but it describes my dream. I’m hoping to retire in a few years and actually buy a ranch property, but until then, I’m enjoying my beautiful wrap-around porch that overlooks my large lot. I spend a lot of hours and money maintaining my yard, keeping the grass pristine, investing in ornamental landscaping in the hopes that the place will sell quickly when I’m ready to retire.
It had been a rough month of travelling, client meetings and family emergencies, and I’d been away from home more than I liked. Finally, though, life was going back to normal for a little bit, and I looked forward to spending the morning working outside.
I kissed my wife as she went off to work, made sure the kids had done their homework as they headed out to their high school classes, and I went out to work on the porch, laptop and coffee mug in hand. Breathing in deeply, I looked out over my yard. And, right in the middle of the lawn was this fan-shaped mound of dirt, ugly as sin. I walked over to investigate. Dirt was thrown around, mostly to one side of the hole, but the hole was plugged up with a matt of dirt and dead vegetation. I kicked the dirt in disgust and looked around the yard. Sure enough, there were more fan-shaped mounds of dirt scattered throughout the lawn, the fresh mounds smothering the healthy grass. The thought of some creature munching on tender grass roots below made me sick. I walked over to my landscaping area in front of the house and knelt down, a knot in my stomach as I surveyed further damage to my more expensive plants. Some of the small, young trees were girdled, and some of the shrubs had been clipped just above ground. What a mess. Obviously a gopher had taken advantage of my lack of yardwork over the last few weeks, and had moved in.
I decided to put off work for just a while until I got things under control. Opening up my laptop, I typed in “how to get rid of gophers.” I got all kinds of advice, ranging from the ridiculous to the dangerous. Gotta love the web. The more advice I got, the more I realized I didn’t want to try this myself. Too much hassle and I was inexperienced. I didn’t want to waste time with trial and error and hope that I’d be successful. I decided to get a wildlife removal specialist out to my home. They could worry about getting that damaging critter off of my property. My time would be better spent getting my yard back in shape and enjoying the beautiful day while earning a living at the same time.