Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Atomic Fire Ball Ant Killing Potion
We lived on Darby St. and since it was a fairly new neighborhood, our grass wasn't growing well. Plus, we were at the end of the block and had two large fields on two different sides of our house so we had all of the creatures of those fields. That meant we had several large ant mounds on one side of our house. And it became our solemn duty that summer to kill the ants. Mom obliged us with what we needed to kill the ants because: A. It kept us out of her hair and B. She wanted the ants gone.
We started with a pail of water. We poured it into the largest ant hole and the ants only walked faster. It didn't really seem to faze them. So we went and got the garden hose and stuck the nozzle down into the hole and turned the water on full blast! We were sure we had them...and it seemed to work. But the next day, ants were roaming determinedly all over that hill again. But we were even more determined than those tiny creatures. And we just knew we could create the perfect formula to kill the ants. I don't know if Sharon or Bob had done a science experiment at school, but someone knew all about the magic powers of vinegar and soda. We asked mom for those ingredients and I stood in amazement seeing that dynamic reaction for the first time. This was it! This was going to kill those ants. But by the time we got to the ant hill, the fizz was gone and we weren't too sure it was going to work. The ants only seemed to look at us quizzically. So then we knew we had to get the potion to the mound before the fizz was gone. Bob carried the formula and began mixing it right by the ants--while the rest of us were fighting the ants off our shoes and legs. It went down the hole while it was fizzing!! This had to work! But it didn't. We'd already spent hours and days trying to kill those stubborn ants.
The next day, as we were walking to the "little store," we were trying to figure out what we were missing in our ant killing potion. We knew we were close. As we stood trying to figure out what to buy with our nickels, someone spied the ATOMIC FIRE BALLS! This was going to be the missing piece of our potion--we just knew it! Someone (not me) spent their nickel on the fire balls and we went home to get my dad's hammer to smash them up into a powder. First, we put the atomic fire ball powder in the bottom of the bowl and then we added the vinegar and mixed it together. Then came the soda. It was MAGIC! We all stood and cheered over the reddish fizz which came forth. THIS WAS IT! We'd created the perfect ant killing potion. We poured it over the ant mound and stood back and watched. There was no movement....for about two minutes. But soon ants were crawling all over that hill again. We moved to a patch of grass and sat down in defeat.
I think mom must have told my dad (after he'd asked why his hammer had red powder all over it) about our trials of ant killing. So my dad took ten steps into the garage and grabbed a gas can and went to each ant mound and poured gas into the ant holes. That was the end of the ants.
Isn't that just like us? I think God delights in letting us bring solutions to our problems. He's instilled gifts and creativity in us to reason and discover. But when we come to the end of what we can do, He's ready for us. He tells us to, "Ask, and you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7. And just like my dad had the perfect solution, so does God. When our solutions aren't the answer, His are.
I'll never forget that summer. We had so much fun with Sharon & Steve! We didn't find the perfect ant killing potion--but then, we weren't allowed to play with gasoline either.