All winter I could not wait to get outside and begin supervising my parent's landscaping. Winter is cold and dark. We remember the warm, sun-filled days fondly. While I sat, hogging mom’s lap, as the snow snapped against the windows and cold air seeped through crevices all I recalled our Monday garden days and the beautiful flowers.
When the perennials burst from the soil summoning the warmer air, I was thrilled. The first time our pink stroller was unfolded, Pocket and I were lifted, then placed inside, and safely zippered in, I settled down awaiting the scent of lovely flowers to waft past my nose and the beautiful butterflies to flutter down on our soft enclosure.
I had forgotten what preceded all of that. Before Romeo and Juliet was first performed men long forgotten built the sets with no fanfare. Before the many flowers that will fill out six gardens can be planted my parents have to do the hard work of preparation.
The lawn is as important as the garden. It needs to be thick, green, and evenly cut. The last time Daddy cut the grass in the fall the pull cord on the mower did not recoil. Like all men, Daddy thought the best recourse was to put the mower in the shed and hope it got better over the winter.
It didn’t. At some point during the fall Daddy removed the coiler from the mower. It had been held in place by three screws. In the spring the screws were missing.
According to Daddy a homeless vagrant must have broken in the shed and stolen the three screws, and nothing else. According to mom’s divorce attorney, any action she took would not be worth the payoff.
The grass needed to be cut. It is where Pocket and I do our business. When it is wet with early morning dew half our small bodies became soaked. Every time Daddy pulled the rope the coiler came off. He put his left foot on the coiler to hold it down, grabbed hold of the bar on the handle to engage the starter, bent over, grabbed the pull rope with his left hand and pulled it with all his might. The mower started just as his left hand crushed his groin causing him to let go of the starter bar and the engine to sputter and stop.
Non-Lutheran verbiage ensued. Once recovered he switched hands, so he was pulling the cord away from him like he was awkwardly bowling.
After three attempts the mower roared to life, and the lawn was cut quickly. If the motor stopped chances of getting the motor restarted were slim.
There were also weeds to be whacked. Daddy had bought a new electric whacker. Some of our flowers beds, bushes, and trees, are ringed by bricks, and next to the bricks are white stones. It is very pretty. When Daddy put his powerful whacker near the stones they were fired across the lawn like Kim Jong Il launching a military strike after a gall stone attack. Luckily our stroller her up under the onslaught.
Another day without any pretty flowers but the good news is that we survived. Please arrive beautiful flowers: You seem to bring peace to the yard.