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earning your business everyday
New & used vehicles with a full line service & parts dept. Call 765-932-2447 or 866-576-7874 or visit us on the web for more info.

open 7 days! dine-in or carry-out
Open for breakfast at 6 a.m., Mon-Sat. Steak special Fri-Sat. Daily homemade meal specials. 711 N. Main Street in Carthage. 765-565-6078

the caring professionals
Two locations: 7355 S. State Road 109, Knightstown (765-345-7400) and 3406 S. Memorial Dr. in New Castle (765-529-7100)

Call 765-345-5171 for info/quote.

body repair experts
Call 765-345-5380 for info/quote or visit us at 221 W. Main Street

parts for mowers
Call 317-462-1323 or visit us on the web for more info

a family tradition since 1898
Funeral services, monument sales. 130 S. Main Street in Wilkinson. Call 765-781-2435.

Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
Mike can be contacted via e-mail at




 Out with the Old; In with the New ...

Well, the tree service came and did its work on those bushes near the front porch. They’re history. Now my house looks weird and I’m singing repeat choruses of "After Yew’ve Gone."

Yew. Get it? See, the bushes were yews and ... oh, never mind.

The point is they were old and scraggly and not at all attractive, and by rights, should have been sent to that Great Mulch Pile In The Sky a good three years ago. Which, I should add, is how non-emergency home improvements work in Mike World: From deciding on a project to actually getting it accomplished usually takes three years. Four if it involves plumbing or electricity.

So, finally, 36 months after the inception of the idea, they are gone and I am dealing with the aftermath, beginning with a house that needs some sort of greenery planted in front, and quick. In its present condition, it reminds me of my great-grandma when she took out her upper plate.

Then I have to dispose of all the things the tree service guys found in the bushes which were not tree-orbush-related and therefore not their responsibility, including:

            * Quite a few newspapers, were aged to the point of being half-recycled already. Note to the paper carriers who brought me replacement copies: Found ’em. You were right. You DID deliver to my address. I am still of the opinion, however, that you did NOT deliver them to my house.

            * A pair of pruning shears that evidently jumped off the porch in a desperate attempt to escape last time I used them. All I remember is I turned around and they had disappeared. And to think I’ve spent months blaming a highly organized gang of pruning-shear thieves.

            * A sock. It’s not one of mine and I have no idea how it got there.

            * Various unidentifiable plastic thingies.

            * What appears to be either the partial remains of a semi-mummified squirrel, or what’s left of some kids Davy Crockett hat from the 1950s. Whatever it was, my dog Cookie rolled in it and I had to open every window in the house while giving her a bath.

Once these things are all attended to, and in the last case buried, I can turn my attention to replacing the yews with something new.

A leading contender has been snowball bushes. I’ve always liked those. My grandmother had some around her front porch and when they were in bloom, they were magnificent. I’ve never seen their equal, which is why I probably won’t plant any. I’m really not that good with non-edible plants. Compared to Grandma’s, my bushes will likely look like snow flurries instead of snowballs.

I’ve also been thinking about peonies. My other grandma had peonies at her place. The problem is, peonies are always crawling with ants, and I’ve had enough of ants this year to last me a lifetime. It got wet and they moved right in. The other day I opened the pantry and they were in there trying to steal a gallon jug of molasses.

I’ll probably end up going with boxwood hedges. They’re sort of the default bush arouind here. They grow slow and look nice. And I can get a deal on them. And they’re not yews. Or, as I called them, eeuuws. Especially after I found that sock and that squirrel.




© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.