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This is it. This is my moment of truth. I’m seconds away from discovering the silver bullet against gophers I’ve been searching for my whole career at Home Defenders. Fame and fortune, here I come!  

My parents are here visiting from Illinois; Mom, unlike me, never left home seeking fame and fortune, grew up on a farm back there and has gardened her whole life. Won’t she have the answer for gopher control? I decided to ask her.

Mom and I are on my back deck looking at my yard when I dare pose the life-changing question: “Mom, look at all those gopher mounds littering my yard. How did Grandma get rid of gophers?” 

Mom’s learned eyes are gazing over the kidney-shaped piles of dirt. She’s as silent as a Buddha statue … her eyes gaze skyward in reflection … the tension is building. Finally, she’s ready to speak: “Gophers? What the heck are gophers?” 

“Uh, well, Mom, gophers are … gophers. They’re furry rodents that live underground, dig tunnels, and eat plant roots. They’re the scourge of every gardener west of the Rockies.” 

“Well, I’ll be dogged,” she says in her country accent. “They sure made a mess of your yard.”

Well, Mom’s no gopher expert, but that doesn’t matter. Back home, she’s always kept a big garden, growing sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, asparagus, blackberries, you name it. She even has a strawberry patch—yum, fresh candy on the vine—so I was brought up on garden vegetables and homemade jam. Yep. I’ve been to the mountaintop, folks, before I moved to our San Bernardino Mountains.

Mom breaks my reverie, “Mike, I have to get back to the kitchen. The peach cobbler is almost done cooking and oh, I got some vanilla ice cream to go with that.” 

“Oh, boy, Mom … one slice of fame and fortune coming up, ha, ha!”

“What the heck does that mean, Mike?”

“Oh, nothing, Mom. It was just a dream I once had.”

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