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Thursday, May 8, 2003

How must my poor gardener have felt when he suddenly found himself confronted by a gushing stream of water coming out of the plastic pipe he'd just hit with his mower? He took it better than I did, to be honest. He came to the door and asked if I knew how to shut off the water, which I didn't. I followed him out and saw the mini-geyser and my heart sank into my stomach. I don't especially like surprises.

He'd sliced the water pipe in two, spewing water from a free-standing faucet. He had to shut off the water supply to my house - and my landlord's house - for two hours. That put a big dent in both his day and mine, because it's hard to concentrate when you're wondering when the water will be coming back on. He had the yard less than half done, and he had to run off to the plumbing supply shop.

It's a good thing I have neighbors within walking distance, because I needed their help to find the main shut-off valve to keep the water from flowing while the gardener fixed the pipe. The landlord lives next door, but he's out of town and his wife, while charming and delightful, isn't as handy with tools. I haven't had to use any networking skills for a long time, but I'm glad I still know some of the people I talked to when I was living at the duplex on the landlord's other property.

It wasn't a major disaster, but it had me on edge all day. I never got out to the post office or the bank, but I'll handle all that tomorrow. This leaves me one less day to get a haircut, so that'll have to be put off until next week. It seems that's the one thing that always gets put off.

The job is done, although my gardener would like to come back with a tractor in about three weeks, because he's not satisfied with the way his mower handled the high grass and weeds. He won't charge me for the second visit, but he said he'd like some help with the cost of renting the equipment.

The yard looks good enough to me, but if he has a better plan I don't mind signing on. I don't want this project to become a money pit, though. To me, most of the time, good enough is good enough. He's already been much more thorough than I expected, cutting out the weeds growing in hard to reach places and removing a couple of dead shrubs. I'm not sure how much better I want the place to get.

8 May 03

Freshly mown grass under the oak tree in the late afternoon.

I think I had this problem last year when the gardener was here. I think I felt guilty sitting inside while he was working outside, even though I was working, too. It's just hard for me to equate the kind of draining physical work that he does with the slightly less draining, slightly less physical work that I do.

This time, the man came alone and did the job without his son's help. This time, the weeds were even more overgrown than last August, and greener and moister. At least this time the temperature wasn't 100F, but in the fifties instead. In fact, it started sprinkling on him just after he'd fixed the pipe. I shrugged in his direction, but he just shrugged back and said, "No problem." That's what I like to hear.

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The crows love my gardener. They worship the ground he mows on. I never have crows in my yard, but I did today. As soon as an area was cut down, there they were picking through the clippings. They didn't even hold off until he was gone; they'd land behind him as he mowed, as if they'd been waiting for so long they couldn't stand to wait any longer. Now that he is gone, there are dozens of them out there, strutting around in spread formation. Yes, literally.

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Well the mountain was so beautiful
That this guy built a mall and a pizza shack.
Yeah he built an ugly city because
He wanted the mountain to love him back.