Summertime and the living is allegedly easy...
Every summer I forget how I am supposed to "do" this season. It is as if the sudden rise in temperature results in a lowering of my IQ. Considering it is the least strenuous season I encounter I am not sure why it is so difficult for me to learn the pacing and timing required to actually enjoy the next three months of good weather. This first weekend is a challenge not only to me but to every plant I have buried deeply into the cool spring soil. The untimely death of my plants only highlights the mystery of life God has apparently decided not to reveal.
Last week I constructed a contraption made of various sticks and string I assumed would be the ideal structure to grow tomatoes. The garden attendant at ACE (helpful...sorta) advised I cover the tomatoes. Since I subscribe to Mother Earth News I thought I found the perfect garment for my tender little plants. For two hours I neatly cut paper bags from various grocery stores and placed them ever so gently over my plants. My garden looked like a masterful re-creation of an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies...minus the Beverly Hills mansions and money. Ok it looked like the trailer to the Beverly Hillbillies before they find the "Black Gold Texas Tea". Anyhow, the next day after temperatures dipped I again gently removed the bags and behold my plants were looking pretty good. That lasted one day, after watering the tomato plants they wilted, withered and I wept. Not one is alive today and tomorrow they will be appropriately buried in the local landfill.
Since their demise I have resisted any attempt to replant a heartier tomato. I am not sure what is the appropriate mourning period for a plant but I am pretty sure once I replant God will again send a swarm of locusts, or flood or something to remind me my thumb is only the color of flesh.
This weekend my dogs have become quite bi-polar in their desire to be outside. They alternate between begging to go outside and lying on the air conditioning vent. I helped a friend Saturday with their poodle who is very French and apparently does not like dogs from Labrador; like I said very French. Between the three dogs I took six walks in the park yesterday. I am fairly sure there is not a tree between me and the public Gazebo that has not been peed on by one of my charges. The only thing barking after these numerous trips are my feet.
I thought this evening I would recover from the gardening debacle with a peaceful late afternoon in my backyard. The poodle was safely in his bed at home and I pulled out the furniture I use on my patio. You know, the bag chairs. After setting up a chair I made myself a cup of coffee, grabbed my Sunday paper, settled my dogs in the grass with a couple of bones and eased into the chair. Those chairs remind me of an umbrella. If you do not sit in just the right spot they fold in and suddenly you are sitting in a torturous pretzel. My coffee mug did not quite fit in the cup holder net but was balanced on the arm of the chair and...well you can fill in the rest. As I write this I still smell like Arabica roasted coffee. The chairs have been hosed down and after lapping up spilled coffee my dogs are now laying on their favorite AC vent.
I think it is time for me to channel my inner Jed Clampett. He seemed to be the only hillbilly able to adjust to his changing lifestyle with a certain peaceful acceptance. Perhaps that is what lesson God is trying to teach me this week...I need more practice at easy living. I have missed the point of most of his lessons and plan to start a list of questions I can ask when I meet him...starting with why don't bag chairs have a coffee mug holder?...