When Fear Wins The Day

Erik Cooper —  May 22, 2013 — 2 Comments

Spring brought some unwelcome houseguests to the new Cooper estate. Now I know what you’re impulsively thinking, but my in-law’s break the stereotype. I actually enjoy their visits. These unwanted intruders had six legs and big stingers (if I just described your mother-in-law, I do apologize).

Carpenter bees.

They built their hidden nests by drilling perfectly round little holes into the untreated underside of our deck railing. Then they posted two aggressive sentries who, let’s just say, took their guard assignments pretty seriously. For the last two weeks, we avoided cooking on the grill and I mowed the backyard with a tennis racket in one hand.

We tried all the sprays, even the kind you shoot up into their holes at night, but these bees just laughed it off (I swear I could see them smiling) and continued their daily reign of terror. Each-hands on counterattack we conceived was swallowed by irrational visions of Hitchcock horror. Fear kept me talking, but never really acting. The insects were winning.

That is, until my wife decided she’d had enough.

Sunday afternoon at precisely 4:44PM, I received the following text as I was assisting my daughter with a school project in the safe confines of our air-conditioned kitchen:


Before I could put down my phone, my beautiful bride appeared through the sliding glass door with a giant pool net and the look of an angry linebacker about to sack the franchise QB. Mama wanted her yard back. Fear or no fear, it was time to kick some thorax.

In one fell swoop, she trapped the striped invaders under the net and beat them to death with a shoe. 20 seconds. The hill was retaken.


I sheepishly recalled how many times I snuck up close, ready for a smack down, only to let fear win the day. And I wondered how many other areas of my life suffer the same demise.

How many important things have gone unsaid?

How many great ideas are still just thoughts dancing around in my head?

How many potential victories are nothing but lofty goals.

People who act haven’t overcome fear, they just swing the net in spite of it. After all, it’s not courage if you’re not scared.

How many of you are like me? How many of you are waiting for the fear to go away before you take some action? How many of you will one day write a humbling story of how your wife found more guts than you?

Maybe a few less now?

2 responses to When Fear Wins The Day

  1. ERIK! Love this post! Great job!! 🙂 Will post it when people are actually awake to read.

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