Thursday, June 28, 2012
Slow blog day. I think I’ll complain about something.
I’ve never been much of a gardener. I’ve had vegetable gardens in the past. Those are okay because you can eat the results. Flowers are nice, but they look so much prettier in other people’s yards, where I don’t have to weed or take care of them. Much of this attitude stems from laziness. Like housework, yard work cuts too sharply into my goofing-off time. Hence I tend to let it go as long as possible.
This runs against the grain of my current neighborhood. I’m in a mobile home park, where most of the residents are retired. Everybody knows retired people like to garden. This is a myth. I hate it. I’m not so fond of mowing the lawn, either. We’re on top of a little rise, and there’s this slope behind the houses that we the residents have to keep trimmed. It requires mowing on a slant. Mow downhill and you risk a fall; mow uphill and you’ll be panting like a winded wolf within minutes. Don’t tell me it’s good exercise. I don’t like exercise either.
Plus, the damn grass grows like mad in the summer, necessitating weekly trims. My last two yards were small, so I never replaced the old reel mower with a motored version. Now I have to mow a hill powered by my own skimpy energy. It gets harder and harder every year.
And then we have the weeds.
Plants are more insidious. They shove their roots all the way down to China so when you try to pull them out all you get is the tops. They wedge themselves under the trailer skirting so you can’t dig them out. They grow like—well, like weeds. They get real big real fast. You dig and pull and sweat and stuff those big trash bags full with this week’s crop and by next week they’re back, twice as big and waving their fronds insolently at you in the breeze. And there you sit, getting those frowns from the neighbors for having an untended property. I thought that was the point of living in a trailer park. Aren’t we supposed to be exempt from upkeep?
Adding to the fun, I’ve developed an allergy to something growing around the house, or maybe just the grass. I’ll sit out there in my shorts for an hour decimating the green invaders, then scratch like crazy for a week. And in that week, the weeds return. You can’t win.
I forgot to mention the trees. Mowing and weeding season ends just in time for raking season to begin. These are big ol’ trees with big ol' bumpy roots, and they shed like a collie. I don’t have a ladder that lets me reach the gutters, so they get clogged on an annual basis. The weeds move in there, too. I had a regular little garden growing up there earlier in the year. Add that to what’s coming up through the cracks in the sidewalk. Grass grows everywhere around my house except where I want it to. It’s like it knows.
What does this have to do with writing? Nothing, really. I suppose I could draw parallels between seeds and ideas and nurturing plots and trimming sentences and symbolic stuff like that, if I was so inclined. However, this is a rant. I’m venting. The only advantage to having weeds is you can go out and pull them when you get stuck on the writing. You get a little fresh air, sunshine and exercise while getting away from the keyboard for a while. Plus weeding doesn’t require much thought. You can pick apart plot knots while yanking the little green buggers out of the ground. Maybe my next story should be SF. Plant-based aliens try to take over Earth. Write what you know.
I should use this as incentive. If I write more and promo more, maybe I can up my sales enough to invest in a power mower. Better still, pay somebody to see to all this crap while I sit in the house and write, or avoid writing by reading or watching TV. Fortunately winter will come along eventually and put an end to all this. Then I'll have to shovel snow. Hoo boy. Home ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.