Kage Baker understood very well what it was like to spend the day in physical labour. She knew what it was like to retire at the end of the available daylight, hoping vaguely that someone else would cook and find her a bottle of rum.
We usually ended up in the supermarket at the end of days like that, with a half-completed Faire set somewhere behind us. We’d buy beer and pastries for our crew, and I’d end up weeping in the produce section. It was axiomatic; that was always where exhaustion finally caught up with us. Kage would develop cravings for exotic things like star fruit, and I’d cry quietly into the Bing cherries.
I got no writing done today, Dear Readers, because today was New Lawn Day. The landscaping crew did most of the work, of course – but it was still exhausting to be the supervisor, to make sure nothing was tossed that we wanted to stay; that the right sod was delivered; that it was laid down in the right place, the right pattern …
In the middle of it all, the telephone main line blew down, and we had to send for ATT to come and re-wire us into the grid.The Corgi was coping with the landscapers pretty well, but the addition of things on the roof sent him into prolonged hysterics. Corgis don’t care about restoring Internet access – they only care about the fact the strangers are swarming all over the house and they, the brave but nervous Corgi, hasn’t been out in the backyard for far too long.
The crazy neighbor passed me on the street during the day, with a nod and grimace so twisted he looked like Watford Squieirs. Apparently he’s pleased by the effort being made, and was trying to be friendly. I thought he was having a seizure.
The mulberry tree was discovered to be sending a wide web of evil, neon-orange roots all over the lawn. Several square miles of them, all looking like deranged mutant carrots, were excavated with the old lawn. They all looked like Mandrake roots with Jersey Shore tans. That mulberry tree has got to go.
As a cost-saving maneuver, we are disposing of the weeds and dead grass ourselves. What we have been dealing with is a dross stack about the size of my PT Cruiser. We’re salvaging the dirt and tossing the weeds – but just trying to work triage on the lawn waste has left Kimberly, Michael and I in a state resembling piles of slowly cooling spaghetti. Michael and I used our last strength to drive off in the gorgeous ashes-of-roses sunset, in a hilarious search for Arby’s. Kage’s spirit guided us to the sacred site of Horsey Sauce, and we rejoiced.
So here I am, in a fine delirium of potato cakes and salt beef, redolent of horseradish. I’ve done no writing today, but I have served Kage’s other great passion of gardening. There are more, but less strenuous, goodies to acquire tomorrow … lavender bushes. Picket fence panels. A purple rose, and a white rosemary, and some black petunias.
Off to bed, now. I shall dream of lawns like Turkish carpets, and the ceramic crocodile Kimberly wants to install in our serene grass pond to give an eternal evil eye to trespassers.
Good night, all.