To Be This AND That
I have a pond in my backyard. I've always been the type to avoid home maintenance. It scares me. But it's never to late to learn, or so I hoped. In the last few years the pond had become more of a puddle. A home for wayward mosquito larvae. I was determined to get it back. To become a High WASP 52-year old former executive and a robust, hardy, no-nonsense woman capable of things like pond maintenance.
I bought plants. I put plants in the pond. Set them up on overturned plastic pot containers with gravel. This is what it looked like. Gracious living at its best. Make special note of that lovely purple-leafed plant in the background. You will want to remember what it looks like later.
The next morning I went outside. All the pots had fallen over. I set them up again. Overnight they fell down again. I set them up. Next morning, down.
I was determined. I called the nursery. They said try setting the plants on cinder blocks. Orchard Supply was out of the right size. I had to go to Egypt.
Not really. But that's how I felt. This is the garden materials supply store. The presence of heavy equipment made it clear I wasn't in Egypt. But didn't make me feel much safer. I was overwhelmed.
Still determined, I drove around in terror, startling at each very large bulldozer. I eventually convinced someone to help me load 7 cinderblocks into my car. To help me load 2 30 pounds bags of gravel into selfsame car.
I paid at the window. I drove home. I carried each cinderblock to the pond. I laid them this way and that way, lengthwise, sideways, stacked, alone. I spent an hour kneeling on pavers, up to my shoulder in stagnant pond water, dropping my glasses here and there, cursing, completely drunk with sun and the strength that remains in my upper body to this day.
I took a shower. I washed my hair. I basked in the glory of my competence and independence.