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Facing my fears

Editor's Note: This column first ran on April 26, 2017.

This weekend I did something I normally avoid: gardening. I like the outdoors, flowers and most things green, but lurking is probably one of my biggest fears, worms.

I’m not sure when my fear began as I did a lot of gardening with my mom when I was younger. I don’t remember being totally repulsed by the little slimey things but I know I didn’t play with them like a lot of kids do.

We also used worms a lot when fishing, which I did with my dad quite a bit growing up. I know I never volunteered to put worms on the hook and honestly preferred their plastic counter part.

But Sunday afternoon, I found myself staring at what was left of the landscaping in front of my house. Late last year, my husband ripped out several giant bushes that had lived in front of our house for decades. That left gapping holes in the landscape that hadn’t been touched for more than a few years.

Since my experience with landscaping is few and far between, I grabbed the rake I borrowed from my mom and went at it. Not long into my raking I realized I wasn’t doing a lot of good and took another route.

I knew as I got on my knees to start pulling weeds I might come in contact with a worm. In fact, it was almost a certain.

To help protect myself, I did put on a pair of gardening gloves to avoid any actual contact should I get too close to a worm. It wasn’t more than three weeds in and I made my first sighting. Knowing that I had a lot of work ahead of me and there wasn’t anyone else there to do it, I powered through and continued with my work.

I know, it sounds crazy that I am scared of worms. They do pretty much nothing, don’t have teeth and I only have to see them if it rains or I go looking.

Be as that may, I am terrified. During visitors day for my oldest daughter, they were studying worms and I had to sit through a book all about what worms are and what they do. It took every part of me not to just walk out of the door. Thankfully, I missed the actual worms in the classroom.

Even with all of my fear, I powered through and completed all of my landscaping work for the day. I dug up weeds, tore out landscaping paper and shoveled two wheelbarrows full of rock all while seeing my fair share of worms.

Although I may never touch a worm on purpose, I think I may have jumped a hurdle in having to be near them. That is good because I have a whole day of landscaping planned for this weekend.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or

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