Where’s the time going?
15 October? Crapsky. I have some things I have to get done in October and here we are at the middle of the month and so far I’ve accomplished exactly one those things. ONE. I got the leaves up in the back yard. I’d say raked, but that’s really only part of the way I roll around here.
But I’m going to point out here that in my yard, leaf gathering is not exactly trivial. We have a lot of trees and and a lot of leaves to get raked up, or in my case mowed up. Hmm? Easy? STFU over there, I have to run the mower over them about 4 times to chop them up small enough so they don’t overwhelm my containment devices. Not to mention pass through a mower chute, which you know what, that old chute gets clogged up a lot more than it should, which makes the job even more challenging and difficult. Not to mention, super annoying. SUPER ANNOYING.
And when that thing gets clogged up, you have to reach down the cute and pull out the leaves and you know, that takes time. MINUTES every time I do it. Minutes I could have been spending with my daughter or spending with my wife, deepening our bond of love.
Except that neither one of them were home this weekend, but IF THEY HAD BEEN..
Fact is I missed the kickoff for the Vikings game because I was out there fighting with Mother Nature’s Fall bounty. The price I pay for living in the woods.
And when you reach down the cute to pull out the leaves and clear the jam, just before it’s clear there is this explosion of leaves, twigs and dirt that comes shooting out of the thing at hurricane force and which always hits me squarely in the face, leaving me picking debris out of my teeth and glasses every time. “So” you say, “turn the blades off and clear it safely and without getting leaf blasted, you might keep all your digits. ”That would add several additional minutes to a chore I detest to begin with, and, you kind have to have the thing running to know when you’ve actually cleared the mess, otherwise you could wind up having to try clearing it over and over again, and that.. would be aggravating.
Speaking of aggravating, thanks to the ongoing drought I basically have no living grass in the backyard, in its stead I have dirt. Dry powdery dirt, which despite Saturdays day long misting, makes every pass of the mower look like a re-creation of the Dust Bowl, huge clouds of the stuff engulf the mower and its hapless rider. Oh the boogies that dust can raise. Not to mention the breathing problems.
“Sank, why don’t you wear a dust mask?” A great idea from the gallery, and I would have, except I didn’t have one handy and since getting one would require a drive to the hardware store and you know, make this job take even more minutes, I just wasn’t in the mood. Wish I had been because I also could have gotten gas for the mower. Instead I did the old “I think I have enough to get this done”. Which I did not.
And this mower, this brand new picky finicky rider mower that I purchased in cahoots with two other neighbors, only drinks non-oxygenated gas which can only be purchased at a certain gas station in town that’s over 3 miles away. 3 MILES and like 10 lights ‘cuase you have to cross some busy thoroughfares to get there. Gawd the barriers life puts in front of us. Nothing is easy.
I did mention that it’s a rider mower I’m working with right? I have a big hill in the yard and if you don’t get a moving start, there’s the very real chance the mower will not make it up the hill, more inconvenience.
And finally the cherry on top of this wretched event, I received call a at 3:30 from the daughter, informing me it was my responsibility to go buy her dinner and bring it to her at the school where she was working on some play construction deal. “Honey, I’ll go through the McDonalds drive through and get you something ‘K? I don’t want to go in.” “Dad, I don’t eat McDonalds, I require Panda Express and specifically lemon chicken on chow mien noodles. Nothing else will do.” I called my wife, she was out helping a friend paint a kitchen, and you know what, to be honest, she wasn’t as sympathetic to the colossal pile of circumstances which were all coming together at that moment to put a serious harsh on my buzz. It’s like she didn’t, even care.
*sigh* so I responded with the most passive aggressive “fine” I could muster. Left the mower sitting the yard, got in my newly detailed car and drove to Panda Express. Since it was a pretty decent afternoon I opened the window, fresh air being a nice break from the last ½ hour inhaling topsoil and leaves. As I was driving I noticed things flying around the car, which on closer inspection I found to be pieces of finely diced leaf material. And there was lot of it. So much that my car is now un-detailed and might even need to be raked. Add that to the misery factor.
At the Panda Express I was in one foul mood, there was a dark cloud over my head I assure you. Actually there really was a cloud. A dust cloud that came off me and with every movement I looked like pigpen from Peanuts. And when you’re a little self conscious and being slightly less fresh than you’d like to be in public you are in no mood to take stupid stares from the Panda Express people as you are ordering food. No damned mood. And I have to admit I was a tad rude. Matter of fact, there were more than a couple people looking at me funny, must’a been the leaves on my shirt I figured.
Hell wit’um I’ll never see them again.
Got her food, drove to the school, met my daughter at the school and passed off the bag with a curmudgeonly “harumph”.
“Dad, what happened to you?” OK, the last thing I needed at that point in the day was a scolding from a teeny bopper for being a nanosecond late with her prized gawdamned Panda Express lemon chicken over chow mien noodles and I was just about to unload on her when she added “look at your face.”
Looking back at me from the rearview mirror was a reverse raccoon looking apparition. Dark face, white eyes where my glasses were. Actually I looked like I’d painted my face up for a war movie, the bits of leaf stuck to my forehead and hair, little black lines accentuating the latest crop of wrinkles I’ve developed added to the effect.
Won’t be going back to Panda Express in Apple Valley any time soon.
Back home I resumed the combining process, got all everything done, put the mower away and headed for the shower impressed with my perseverance in overcoming the plethora of obstacles thrown at me in my first world suburbanite existence. It’s amazing what a fella can overcome.