Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fantasy vs. Reality, again

Here's how it works in my head.

Sometime in late April, after mowing the front yard and sweeping all the trimmings up and making everything all neat and tidy out front, I take all the plants I have nurtured through the winter - the geraniums, the begonias, the pretty bright raspberry-red-leaved things, the Swedish ivy, the Pothos that vines so nicely indoors - and arrange them all, biggest to smallest, in the garage after having made a temporary workbench out of the two barstools and a half-size plywood sheet - and gather all the outdoor pots. Gather the potting soil, the compost, the sand, gravel, and stones, the watering can and water...the hand tools...the 1970s-era macramé plant hangers for the two hooks on the front porch pillars. Then I serenely and cooly take the biggest plants (the geraniums) out of their pots and put them in their new ones.  I place them out front on the steps, one, two, three. I go back to the garage and take the Begonias, ivies, and raspberry-red things and put them in the hanging pots, and then hang the pots. The rest of the plants are indoor plants and each will go into the next-size-up pot. All go back into the house to their appointed places. I go out and clean up the garage, the few crumbs of soil and a dead leaf or two. Then I come indoors and have a tranquil cup of tea and read a mice mystery novel.

Here's the reality: It's May 21st. I did mow the front yard, once, a couple of weeks ago. Since then it's either been pouring down rain, or I've been sick, so the dandelions are now on their third generation. Today the mower won't start at all. (Makes me so glad I paid the people $180 for its annual spring makeover! He's supposedly coming this afternoon to figure out what's wrong. Any bets it'll turn out to be my fault?) It's now 4 p.m., and only the hanging pots have been planted and hung and it took me two hours and the garage looks like an entire kindergarten class was let loose in there with the open bags of dirt and the hose. I'm hot and sweaty, covered in dirt, and I'm not at all sure the plants in the one pot are going to survive, after I unceremoniously dumped it upside down when trying to insert it into the macramé hanger.  All of the macramé hangers are now in the trash can. Fortunately I had plenty of 16-gauge galvanized wire, and I cobbled together hangers for those pots. (One of which, it turned out, is broken. I'm hoping the double round of wire under the rim will keep it together.)

Also, so far this spring the back yard has never been mowed. Happily, the grass is on its second generation - free seed! But it's knee-high out there so the first mowing is going to be quite exhilarating.  I mean exhausting.

Also, the mowing front and back really really REALLY needs to be done by tomorrow night because my neighbor - the best neighbor in the world - is having his entire family over for BBQ this weekend. He has 9 siblings. I'm assuming they all have spouses, kids, maybe grandkids, and various others tagging along. I don't want my yard to look like the Neighborhood Crazy Lady's yard.

Hope I can get this done.

UPDATE: 5/21/15 5:25 pm: The lawn mower guy came. He pushed the red primer button 7 times (the manuals says 3, and no one ever told me any differently) and guess what happened.

Go on, guess.

Oh rats, you're right: the sucker started right up.

I'd like to know why he didn't suggest that red button thing over the phone.

At least he didn't charge me for the house call.

So, the front yard's mowed! Tomorrow, the back!

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