You may or may not know, and may not care, but I was involved in a traffic accident last November. I’m not telling you this to get sympathy, however if some of you are having trouble stemming the flow of tears, I’ll accept monetary gifts. Please don’t hurt yourself in solidarity, I am all right. Gosh, I never realized how hard it was to be great celebrity. In point of fact I only mentioned this because of my garden.
I love my garden, and the thing I love most is the size. It is tiny. Just a strip about three feet wide and sixteen feet long. You see I live in a condo and that’s the only land I have to take care of. It’s a lazy man’s dream. I work on it for one day in the spring mulching and planting, and one day in the fall mulching and cutting it all down. Sounds sort of silly doesn’t it. If it would just die and become mulch, I would only have to work one day to become the envy of the home owners association. I’ll have to check up on that. Either way this garden was made for me. All the glory and none of the work.
Then came last November. I had already begun the procrastination stage of my fall gardening day when I was injured and couldn’t go out. The mulch remained at the garden center and the Iris’s never went in. In that brief spell weeds grew. I wasn’t worried winter would kill them I would mulch in the spring. The fact that I didn’t have to do work seemed to be a blessing. All was right with the world.
But No! We had a mild winter. The weeds didn’t die. Then Corona hit and my local garden center closed. There was no mulch to be had. My little garden looked horrible. What could I do? Was I actually going to have to work to make it beautiful again? Just the thought of it was giving me hives. I called my children together and offered them money to eliminate those weeds, but found no relief. Their new on-line classes and online meetings with friends were too time consuming for them to do my work. And as my oldest son put it as he was leaving for his job, “Dad, you only spent one day in the garden last year. It won’t hurt you to do a third this year.”
NOOOOO! I am being beaten down by the truth. I am the father I am the one who creates the truth in this house, provided my wife agrees with it. Just because my son is eighteen, does not mean he is allowed to have any of the truth. I forbid it! Well that was certainly a nice rant but it really doesn’t mean anything. The real problem that I can’t stand is the fact that he’s right. I tried to slam my physical therapy back in his face, but really, he was the one who drove me to it. He knew what I did. Darn kids, they were so much more pliable when they were younger.
So, there I was with my trash bucket and little shovel out on the garden pulling weeds. I had on a pair of jeans a T-shirt and a sweat shirt. About five minutes into the project I was too hot and removed the sweat shirt. Well, without it I was too cold, I tried to work but was freezing so I took a minute to put the shirt back on. After one weed, I was sweating so I took it off, bending down I was too cold and so on. That shirt went on and off thirty-six times in the first twenty minutes, and my muscles were so sore I couldn’t pull weeds. Something had to change.
I went into the house to get rid of the sweat shirt and find a light jacket. My wife noticed how much I was sweating, probably by the smell, and remembering my therapist’s words, told me I should take a break. A famous doctor once said, “Americans work too hard, they should take more breaks.” Well never let it be said I don’t listen to famous doctors. While I’m sure she thought I was tired from pulling weeds and not dressing and undressing, she offered the break and I took it. Half hour later I was well rested and ready to go back to it.
I sat at the edge of the garden and pulled exactly three weeds. Then came the toad. Toads are cool. When I was a kid, I caught toads, made toad houses, and even officiated as my sister married a toad. We were a weird family. I was distracted by that thing for a good fifteen minutes. The thing was I wasn’t pulling weeds. Wy wife came out to bring me a drink, and noticed what that no weeds were pulled and yelled at me. I tried to explain to her that there was a cool toad, but while she was yelling my proof ran away and got lost in the weeds I was supposed to be pulling. She gave me a look that started to burn my skin. I just wish she would have looked at some of the weeds. That look would have killed them and saved me a ton of hard work. Oh, Well.
At this point there was no escaping I had to pull weeds. I had supposedly been working for two hours and had nothing to show for it. The wife was angry and I was in danger of losing my happy home. So, I pulled weeds. I worked a solid ten minutes before I came to my old nemesis, The Dandelion. The Dandelion laughed at me with its bright yellow flower and oddly-cut leaves daring me to try to pull it out. I looked it in the flower and swore it would not win this round. The ground was wet so I easily dug a moat around the plant about three inches deep. I removed my gloves to get a better grip. I looked to the sky and said a silent prayer for a swift victory.
However, unbeknownst to me, the sky is very pro-dandelion. It answered my prayer with a sudden cloudburst. I should have accepted my losses and went inside but I was determined to show that yellow nuisance who was boss. I reached into the moat I created, which was now filling with water, and grabbed the green menace as tightly as I could and pulled. It didn’t budge and my wet hand just slid off of it.
I tried again. This time I found a nub at the top of the root to use for a grip. As I pulled the flowered enemy actually started to come loose and rose a few millimeters. Encouraged by this minor victory I rubbed my hands together and tried a third time. The rain fell so hard I could barely see which probably contributed to what happened next. I pulled. The root broke with a snap. The change in forces caused my feet to slip on the wet ground and I fell backwards. I landed on my back out cold with the weed in my hand.
The next thing I remember, I woke, on the couch with the weed still in my hand. The family was around me frowning. Then I noticed I only got half the root. The Dandelion beat me again.
Curse you Yellow Flower!