Thursday, May 22, 2014

What Was I Saying?

It's like a drug. I can't get anything done.

Back up. Let me set the scene.

My mom gave me a wind chime for a housewarming gift when we moved into our house two summers ago. It hangs on the corner of my house near the kitchen and catches all the breezes that try to sneak past. It's called "The Chimes of Pluto" and my mom thought that was just the sort of spectacularly hokey nonsense that I would appreciate and she was right. Whenever I hear it, I think of my mom and I think of the sound of Pluto. Poor, maligned Pluto. You'll always be a planet to me.

My dearest friend from college moved to Seattle last summer and we pulled up lawn chairs in the garage of her new house and acted like landed gentry while the movers unloaded the truck and we directed them which way to go. I got a big, lime green patio umbrella out of the deal. I've never owned a patio umbrella before. It seems such a decadent, unnecessary thing, like a fish knife or paper towels. But it thrills me and lives stuck in the hole of my picnic table on the back deck. I painted my picnic table the same bright blue as my front door last summer and I feel like a grownup lady with my matchy-matchy and my patio umbrella.

We have limited direct sunlight in our yard and a flair for the dramatic, so we planted little vignette gardens all over our property to take advantage of the sun. I have my Bad Breath Garden by the garage: chives, leeks, onions, & garlic. Next to that is my Scratch and Sniff Garden: oregano, sage, lemon thyme, basil, rosemary, lavender, mint and nasturtium. I also have a Peter Rabbit Garden (kale, lettuces, spinach, carrots), a Cheeseburger Garden (lettuce, tomato, peppers, cucumbers) and my Ina Garden (planted much more for its aesthetic quality than its actual usefulness - succulents, lavender and strawberries on a rock wall.) I cannot emphasize enough how much all of this delights me and occupies my happy thoughts.

Royal Blue Batik Bearded Iris:
smells a lot like grape soda and does not look
at all like lady parts as some have suggested.
So it's beautiful today. High 60s, sunny, light breeze. The stuff that postcards are made of, you know? And it's the first day in several weeks that I've had all to myself with no appointments, no expectations, no nothing. I will write, says I, for I have so many things about which to rant and ruminate. Someone bit my son at school. Bit him! Like an animal! My daughter turned 10! Exercise pants! Feminist things! Something else I forgot... and I just watched a chickadee eat a spider... what was I saying?

Because I'm sitting on my back deck, under my decadent, lime green patio umbrella and the breeze comes through. It rings my Chimes of Pluto and carries the smell of dirt and green and there on the very periphery, the last of the lilacs and the delicious grape soda smell from my ridiculous bearded irises. With fingers I can't even see, this breeze ties up everything like a sweet-scented sachet for me: bits of family and friends and happy memories and hard work and brilliant anticipation and grr... frustration and utter exhaustion and ambition and all this happens in one instant of inhaling. And I've forgotten everything except this. This right here. This sitting here and letting the breeze carry all this nonsense away.

It's like a drug. I can't get anything done.

Maybe I'll just take another sniff of the breeze and then I'll get back to work...


  1. I just finished cleaning out my closet. My back is aching. I plopped myself down in my comfy chair and read your piece. Thank you for that breath of fresh grape soda air. I said ahhh and enjoyed it a lot!

  2. It's like you're here. Distracting me. Thanks a lot for that.

    I have two itsy bitsy teeny weeny green eye-tal-e-yun zucchinis in the backyard and I'm THRILLED about it. Also, chives, parsley, sweet and lemon basil out front. My chives and lemon basil are flowering. Won't you come snip some?

    So then I said "well, I'm not actively looking, but I'm happy to help if I can."

    Wait. What was I saying?

  3. I have garden envy. Our lilacs are gone, but I filled the house with them while they were still here, and I agree. The smell is intoxicating. Now the irises and lovely flowers I know not the name of are in full bloom and gracing us with their presence.


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