Saturday, March 30, 2013

Something for Your Rusty Bucket List

The idea of today's post comes to me as I look out the kitchen window to our back yard and see this ugly rusted bucket resting upside down between our garage and one of the big maple trees.  From the picture you can see that it would not be a chosen yard ornament for most....well really all...people.  But there it is...and there it will stay.

A little background is needed here...and I will try to be brief because there are a few stories to how my husband and I met and eventually got married 40 years later.

I lived in Columbus...Ray lived in Toledo.  He would come visit me on the weekends.  Since my mother, Maxine, lived with me it made it easier to have him visit since I did not want Maxine staying alone.  Anyway...there came a time that I needed to visit Ray...and so arranged for some friends, to come stay with Maxine.

 Before my trip to Toledo Ray seemed hesitant to tell me something....something I should know....that if I really did not like it he would remove it....  What could it be?  When I arrived at his house I saw it...the ugly rusted bucket.  I knew that is what he meant.

"So...this is it?  That bucket?"  I asked.

"When I moved here ten years ago, the bucket got tossed there.  I left it temporarily...well it sat there all winter.  When spring came I decided to move it...and when I lifted it here is what I found."

He lifted the bucket.  Hundreds of ants went into emergency mode...rushing in chaotic patterns, workers carrying their eggs to tunnels of safety.  He quickly replaced the bucket.
This was taken before the colony got really big.  The eggs have already been taken to safety.

"It's been here for ten years and I don't have the heart to move it and destroy their colony," he said, hoping I would understand.

"Ray,  this is one more reason of the millions of reasons that I love you." 

And so...the bucket remains....I have looked into getting some kind of dome for it...but have not found one large enough.  I don't know if he knew that I find ants fascinating.  I am reminded of a biography of Albert Schweitzer I read when I was in the third of those blue (Ray said his were reddish orange) covered books...a whole series of biographies that kept me busy...but my favorite one was of Albert Schweitzer...where he said that even the ants have a right to walk upon this earth.  There was more to it...but that stuck with me.
Bucket with ants crawling on it...spring time...winged ants.

I have a lot more I could write about Albert Schweitzer's influence on me....but that will have to wait another time.  (Oh...and one more thing....Ray has spider jars where he will catch spiders that are inside the house...and he returns them outside...unless it is winter...and then they are safely placed in the basement....another reason of the many reasons I love him.)
Ray with ugly rusted ant bucket.


  1. This is sweet. I just really like that you respect the ants so much and don't want to ruin their home. I also enjoyed the your posts about your mother.

  2. Here is a story of a man with a heart for nature. I love to watch ants outside in the dirt. However, if they come in the house Raid goes into action. Spider jars, interesting. . .

  3. The story is lovely, as is the man at the heart of me crazy, but it would make a fine home for a clay pot full of glorious, red geraniums!

  4. I think you found a keeper…Ray and the bucket. Loved how you built up your paragraph about Ray being hesitant about telling you something. What a great story!

  5. I think you found a keeper…Ray and the bucket. Loved how you built up your paragraph about Ray being hesitant about telling you something. What a great story!

  6. You tell great family stories and this is another one.

  7. The "ugly bucket" is now the center of a beautiful story. A great title, maybe a book? Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a wonderful man! And I love ants, too :)