Well, I had all these big plans for the summer. I was going to start my novel, post on "Dig for Texas," build an amazing contraption called a clothesline, pick the fruits of my labor on the farm...Sadly, not a one of my grand ideas turned out as I expected. The details of why this is so are not very exciting (in fact, just thinking about it all makes me want to poke a stick in my eye from boredom); suffice it to say that since school ended I've been to Chicago, then to Canada, then to Alaska, then to Seattle (where I met up with fellow garden blogger "Greenwalks"--more on that in a future report), then back to LBB for a mere 20 hours before I left on an unplanned trip to Midland, where I helped my sisters clean out my parents' home of 35 years in order to sell it tout suite. During all of this, my internet access was either spotty or too expensive, or I was just too tired to respond to emails or post on the blog.
That last experience, the cleaning out of my parents' house--which entailed nearly a month of hotel living (Oy. You have no idea.)--was traumatic enough that when I finally returned to LBB, I went into a frenzy of cleaning out all my own closets. Let me tell you something, people: Do it. Do it now. Don't leave this for your loved ones...
Once my own house was more or less in order again, I turned inward. I read some fiction (quelle change!), I bought my dream bike and began going on blissful morning rides, and did generally Important Stuff like learn to nap. Still I avoided the 'net. Call it "ether-lassitude."
And I did not garden. My little veggie farm, in fact, had died. Why? Well, although I'd set up a brilliant watering system that was water-wise and could be operated nearly mindlessly, the veggie plot received no watering whilst I was gone. This was not because my faithful husband was not doing his part and turning the little wheel-thingy on the automatic timer just as he'd been taught by yours truly. Rather, it was owing to the evil ministrations of squirrels, who, in a spectacular streak of what I can only imagine was some ill-deserved ill-humor, chewed several little holes into the hose that fed into the soaker hose, creating little spigots through which fountains of water would stream whenever Walu, with all the due diligence one can expect from a loving spouse, turned it on. Thus sadly, even with all of this careful attention, not a single drop of water actually made it to the heirloom tomatoes and peppers.
I hasten to say, that this was not Walu's fault, but that of the villainous squirrels. Plus, Walu's a scholar, not a gardener. I love him still.
I was so demoralized by the loss of my garden, that I simply haven't been able to get back out there and pick up the pieces. Besides, it's hot. So, as I said, I've been doing other things.
And so now here we are, my first post back in blogland. I was casting about for something about which to write when the dryer caught fire. While that in itself was exciting, it is still only indirectly the subject of this post. No, the real subject is that old friend of ours, Necessity, and how she helps us rise above our normally pedestrian selves to save the day. Suddenly we were without a dryer and with loads of laundry still to do. As previously mentioned, on my summer to-do list was the building of a clothesline, something I've been wanting for a long time. In fact, wanting a clothesline was one of the very first things I ever posted about on the Bike Garden (as you can see here) and I fully expected that by this time this summer I'd have this awesome post about this marvelously simple mechanism for drying clothes using solar and wind power, and how it harkened back to the good old days of gramma and grampa, with statistics showing how the dryer is one of the biggest energy wasters in the house, etc., etc.
Instead, here's what I've got: I needed to dry my clothes. I strung a wire from a post on the balcony to the cross tie on an arbor. I started hanging things.
It's not pretty. It's not even clever. It was just what I had to do. And I guess that's really what this post is all about. It seems that for these past couple of years, as I've struggled to navigate the tricky shoals of elder-care, I've learned that sometimes we just do whatever it is we have to do. In the past year my siblings and I have buried a father, wrestled with some dubious home-health care, pleaded unsuccessfully with the Midland police department to prosecute the scam artists who bilked my mother out of thousands of dollars for "trimming the trees," moved my mother into an independent living facility in another city, cleaned and sold a house, and settled an estate--all while trying to live our "real lives." We do what's necessary, and in the meantime, plans don't work out, or we get tired and discouraged, or we just don't think we have what it takes, or we can't seem summon enough courage to make one more decision about anything, ever...
But then we square our shoulders and somehow manage pull it off. Maybe it's not great, but it is sufficient.
Back in the 1860's woman named Marie Lords said, "A cowgirl gets up in the morning, decides what she wants to do, and does it."
That's some moxie can-do attitude, my friends--just the sort of thing that old Mother Necessity expects us to have when she comes a-callin'. That'll string you a clothesline, or put out a dryer fire, or put to bed a failed veggie garden, or convince a plumber that he needs to come over to your parents' house at 5 PM the day before the fourth of July weekend because "there is water flooding the master bedroom right this minute as I speak to you on the phone" (oh, did I forget to mention that part?), or clean out a jam-packed house full of memories and a LOT of junk in record time. Think on it.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have a nap.