Monday, June 18, 2012

I Am a Precision Piece of Power Equipment, Not a Plaything.

Well! After what seemed like a full year of hustle, worrisome developments and many-projects-jammed-into-short-timeframes, it's possible I'm dipping a toe into calmer waters. Maybe a shallow pool, possibly leeches or wee baby alligators, but just right now, the prospects are chill. Silky surface, dainty little ripple. Yesterday and Saturday were low-planning, events-flowing-together affairs. This morning I brought chocolate cupcakes in to work and tomorrow evening I'm going to test drive a promising used car. And wouldn't it be swell if I could tick that off my list? It would, truly. My one-and-only sounds louder and more grating every time I drive it. I approach it gingerly, as if a sudden move could spook it permanently from operation. So: collective fingers crossed, alright?

Saturday I hunched over the front sidewalk, clipping back the creepers from either "bed," which have been creating their own sidewalk carpet for the past six weeks or so. I can't really describe it as weeding -- since more plant inhabitants were weeds than not -- so it seemed a bit drastic and misguided to try to eradicate them. But at the least, I was revealing my sidewalk. Exposing it to the sun. Earlier on I walked around the yard, picking up sticks in preparation for using the new lawn mower. How often will you read this from me? NOT very often at all and thank goodness, I'm falling asleep as I type. ANYway, point being, I felt nicely dutiful, despite the fact that this was the tiniest tip of yard work I should be doing. But! Doing it. I clipped the vines climbing up the lamp post and yanked them from the glassed-in light enclosure (which has never worked). Look at me! Behold, I am domestic. A neighbor from down the way pulled into my drive. He looks like Santa, if Santa had radical politics, drove a Ram truck, donned overalls and had a lush garden. He has a great wicked sense of humor and a suitably droll expression.

"So how's that new lawn mower?" He smirks at me.

"Oh! You know, It's good. I'm sure it's great." Yes, my grass is long and yes, I have a new mower. But Saturday was the day! I was just working up to it.

"Uh hunh. Would you like me to set it up for you?"

"Oh!" The moment he says that, it seems lovely. There is no reason he should set up my mower. It is easy.

"Do you have gas?" He grins at me.

"Yes, I just bought some. You don't have to set up my mower! I was reading the manual just this morning." There is no reason whatsoever he should be setting up my mower. I am able bodied and of sound mind. "Apparently you shouldn't drink and then mow the lawn. Also, you can hold a piece of paper up to help determine how steep the incline is.**"

"...welll...I know you have mower avoidance."

"You shouldn't encourage me in my~~"

"~~indolence?" I hang my head and laugh. "I'll set it up on Monday, mow your lawn and then you're good. I can see if I want to buy the model you got." A lovely deal, to be sure.  

**Additional Considerations for your Mowing Endeavors
  • {Read sternly} This machine is a precision piece of power equipment, not a plaything. Therefore, exercise extreme caution at all times. This machine has been designed to perform one job: to mow grass. DO not use it for any other purpose. {you freaking self-mauling idiots, rules were created for a reason***}.
  •  Wear steel-toed shoes.
  • Mow only in day light or good artificial light. 
  • {As we all know, but still carries menace:} Tall grass can hide obstacles.
***Okay, my all-time favorite warning on this score was for a chainsaw: "Do not operate near genitals." Indeed.

My poor little princessy hand got tired from the clippers, so I shifted to pulling ivy from the brick walls in the backyard. I could lie and say I finished. Woohoo, task done! But No. I got bored and wilty and decided a nap was the choice route before meeting up with friends for dinner. I may have poured over this gorgeous coffee table book of Gianni Berengo Gardin photography before retiring. Hard life, eh? I knew nothing of this photographer's work before seeing the volume on display at the library. And I have been bogarting it ever since. Glorious slices of life, with all the grittiness and happenstance beauty and wonder; and wonder often unrealized by the photographic subjects, in the moment. I love how something as compact as a book can remind you of how plentiful richness is and how you never know when you may next encounter it~~

Outside, off an on for the past half hour, someone a few streets over is setting off their personal firework display. Initially a young child screamed/wailed after each burst and crack, before an adult found her and issued reassurances. Following that, there was an audible field of grievously wounded children beyond my study window, as they took turns belting out Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!???!!!!s, death throes, and moans that slowly unspooled as they surrendered to their firework wounds.

Once again, time for bed. This wasn't the post I set down to write, but it often isn't. Best wishes for a Good Week.

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