Saturday, April 21, 2012

What a Beautiful Day…

In the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…
We don’t have neighbors. We live on acreage in a large unincorporated rural area to the east of Puget Sound. We love it here.
On this warm sunshiny day I’m looking out the window of my second story study across an expanse of lawn towards my hubby’s kingdom, a separate multiple car shop. A slight breeze keeps the wind chimes on our deck singing softly.

Our oldest son is here, out by the shop with a buddy tinkering on dirt bikes. Hubby is happily puttering on cars, youngest son will be home soon and daughter will be here mañana.

Idyllic, right? Warm, open-windowed weather. Contented spouse, kids and friends. Everything a person could want.

Except for the mass of yellow dandelions smothering the lawn. There are thousands of them.

Its a very, very good thing that we don’t live in a neighborhood. Our neighbors would hate us. I have terrible allergies and am unable to garden as I used to. Steve hates yard work so he only mows when I beg him to. He asks, "How often do I have to mow the yard?" to which I answer "Once a week." He asks every week.
Once I asked him to help me weed our (now former) front garden. He asked “When” to which I responded, “In a little bit.”
When I was ready to go out to start the weeding, I heard a small, high pitched engine sound. I opened the front door in order to go look for my husband. There he stood on the front walkway, safety goggles on, ear plugs in, weed eater in hand. Then I stared in horror at what had been my perennial garden that I had been adding native plants to every year. It laid against the ground like newly mown hay.
I screamed. I cried. I was inconsolable. I couldn’t believe he had destroyed my years of carefully collected plantings. Many were from his late Grandma’s home and had special meaning to me. Over the years she and I had visited over some of those very plants as I helped her weed around her home. She always sent me home with cuttings and slips of plants. Next to the hours of playing cards with her, gardening with Grandma was my favorite activity.
Steve just looked at the hysterical mess that was his wife. He shook his head.
“You said you wanted this space weed-eated!” he exclaimed.
“NO! I said ‘weeded’!” I sobbed. “I wanted help pulling the grass and weeds by hand!”
“What’s the difference?” says he. “I’ve cut the grass and weeds!”
I went off to the laundry room to continue my crying. Since I was already miserable, I may as well work on the laundry.
To answer your question, no, none of those plants ever grew back. I doubt very much that Steve will ever understand what he did. Later I tried to explain how I felt to him by having him imagine that I had gone into his shop to ruined his car and engine projects. He said that the comparison was ridicules as all he did was cut down the grass and weeds as I asked him to.
I am sure glad we don’t have neighbors. Can you imagine what would happen if a neighbor asked Steve to help him with painting or doing some fence work?
I shudder to contemplate the scenarios. Mr. Rogers would be mortified.


  1. I so love your words. Some days I look for laughs and comfort, sometimes understanding. The tears sting, but I'm starting to understand. Thank you for sharing. NT

    1. oh how i know the feelings! thank you for your encouragement - you are very much appreciated...