And now for something completely different

“If you want anything done in this yard you’ve got to meow
until you’re blue in the mouth,” says Miss Mia Sopaipilla.

We’ve been cocooning a bit, I suppose.

It’s not easy to watch America doggedly screwing its head even further up its own arse, especially while striving to make some novel observation about the practice. The bon mot proves elusive. So we’ve turned our gaze elsewhere.

The back yard has needed work for a while now, and it’s been getting some. Weeds pulled, vines excised, lilacs pruned, pond rock and red mulch laid down, balky gate repaired, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

In the process we discovered a few new aches and pains along with an old faucet and four sprinkler-system heads we didn’t know we had. They could be part of some prehistoric irrigation network; for sure there are a couple real anachronisms on the other side of the yard, metal jobbers buried in the pine duff like the plungers on land mines.

We’re not great with roses, but occasionally we get lucky.

The apple tree by the kitchen window has had the schnitz. All the neighbors say it’s never been worth a damn, and we’re starting to agree, though Spike the Terrorist Deer, that notorious outside agitator, seems fond of its bitter, undersized fruit.

So that will probably come down directly, along with a Siberian elm that is more than a match for my skills with a shovel and bad language. Probably have to take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

The neighbors with the little girls have partnered with another couple up the street to form a collective of sorts. Between them they have five munchkins to educate and entertain, and they share other interests as well, so it seems a great leap forward.

The gang performs a daily bicycle/scooter rodeo that relies heavily upon our steep driveway for a launching ramp, so we’re making our own small contribution. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

Elsewhere in the cul-de-sac, a four-legged neighbor went west. Daisy was a sweet old Lab who, with her cousin Gunner, served our little community as a combination of early warning system and welcome wagon.

Gunner is deaf, and a bit shy, but Daisy had been known to stride into homes like a Monty Python bobby, as if to enquire, “Wot’s all this then?” Their human has already arranged a new companion for Gunner, a black Lab pup tentatively named Henry.

Beyond our immediate ’hood, Herself the Elder’s assisted-living home has undergone a round of Bug® testing, and the all-clear has been sounded, though the lockdown remains in force.

Last Friday we delivered a load of Asian food for the joint. Pre-Bug®, Herself had been taking her mom out on Fridays for a bit of shrimp fried rice, and we decided to revive the practice as a take-out deal after Daisy and Gunnar’s person said he’d been doing something similar for his mom.

Then we thought, “Why not spread the wealth a bit?” From each according to his ability, etc. So everybody got some, including us, because I am a sucker for a six-pack of gyoza and pretty much anything else I don’t have to cook.

Speaking of wealth, when the light is right we can enjoy what the previous owner of El Rancho Pendejo called “the golden hour.” Once the day’s chores are finished we park ourselves on the back patio with frosty beverages in hand, admire our handiwork (such as it is), and hope to pan a little color from the dung as it all runs downhill.

The golden hour. “Well done, Yahweh,” as Doc Sarvis once said.

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5 Responses to “And now for something completely different”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I think I met Daisy, the golden lab that lived 2 doors over on the left of your little slice of paradise. She greeted me when I was unloading a bike off the Rav4.

    It truly is a golden hour.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ah, Daisy was a sweet ol’ gal. She had a long, slow decline in our six years here, and when her time drew near, Dave gave all of us in the cul-de-sac a chance to say adios, give her a final scratch behind the ears and a tummy rub. It was a sad day when she left us.

  2. Maurice Dale Godfrey Says:

    Maybe you should partner with the little girl’s family as well – they could use a political officer to grow up right (or left, I mean)/

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We’re sort of deputy assistant vice grandparents pro tem. Whenever their folks permit it, the kids use our back yard to goof around, creating nature centers, art exhibits, and what have you. We have a little more lawn than they do, and it’s swell for running around.

      We never discuss politics with the kids. Like most children, they are a blend of libertarian, authoritarian, and anarchist, with a little Yippie for flavor.

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I used to tip a few back now and then with a well known Brit kayaker. He’d always refer to the golden light of late day as “the shank of the evening “. It’s always stuck in my mind and comforts me to both see it and then say it whilst raising a glass to Nigel.

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