BY JOAN NOBLE
Copyright is held by the author.
LAST WEEK, I told my sister that I was going to create a new flowerbed in an area of my backyard that is now grass. She said it was “easy” to do. That made me “uneasy”!
She explained that all I needed to do was put a few newspapers over the grass, wet the papers and cover it with dirt. The only other thing she specified was that wetting the dirt meant using the hose, not asking Archie, my St Bernard, to pee on it. That certainly made some sense.
Yesterday I began my adventure by unloading nine bags of earth from the trunk of my car onto the driveway. Then, it suddenly occurred to me that with my dolly I could move three bags of earth at a time to where the new bed would be. This dolly is not the huggable kind, rather, the kind with two wheels. I loaded the first three bags and started to push my dolly. Instead of hearing whirrrrr as I rolled along the driveway, I heard whr, thunk, whr, thunk. Dolly, had a flat tire.
Sighing heavily, I looked at the sky and said, “Are you kidding me?”
I mean who gets a flat tire on their dolly? There appeared to be no reason to listen for an answer so I lugged the bags one by one to the site of my new garden.
As my sister instructed, I started to lay newspaper over the grass. A little wind came up and the papers went sailing across the backyard. Damn!
I gathered up the papers and started again. This time, I spread the paper over the grass and found a small rock.
I laid the second paper and used another small rock. There were just the two rocks so I laid more paper and put a foot on it. Then I used a knee, and then an elbow. Even the garden gnomes were laughing at me by this time.
I was sprawled across the papers and needed to hose them down before they blew away. Try as I might, I couldn’t reach the hose. Where were the rain gods when you need them?
I inched across the lawn to where the end of the hose was, while trying to keep a tight lid on the newspapers. I lost one paper but got the hose. I turned it on.
I had forgotten to turn the water on. Damn, damn and double damn!
While I was pondering my dilemma and truly hoping no one could see me, Archie raced toward me, drool flying. Oh no, he thinks it`s a game! He stopped about a quarter inch from me and licked my face. He nudged me.
“No, Archie, no,” I begged.
He nudged me harder and I toppled over. I felt his drool on my face. Ewwwww. He kept nudging me to play while I was trying to keep the newspapers in place. I was not successful. One paper went flying through the air. My other dog Humphrey, who appeared out of nowhere, went racing after it. He leapt… he had the paper…. he wrestled with it…. paper bits were everywhere.
I contemplated tossing all of the dirt over the fence and just keeping the grass. Instead, I gathered up all the newspapers, put a rock on top and made sure the water for the hose was turned on. I found an array of Archie’s dinosaur bones around the yard and used them for anchors. I was on a roll.
Once the papers were finally in place I turned on the hose. However, I found there was yet another thing that I didn’t anticipate. Apparently, water and wind can be an interesting mix. The papers were getting wet and so was I — in fact, very wet!
Finally, I managed to get the first two bags of dirt onto the flowerbed without incident. I opened the third bag and as I twisted it to empty the contents, I tripped and fell to one knee and then toppled over. Archie was on me again and he was a happy, happy dog.
The earlier incident with the wind had left me wet. Now, lying in the flowerbed, both Archie and I were covered with mud. I giggled and then broke into a real belly laugh. I laughed so hard I had to pee.
I don’t have the right equipment to pee in the yard so I duck walked to the front door and turned the knob. It was locked. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
A sob escaped me. I quickly waddled back through the gate, across the patio, onto the deck and into the kitchen. Whew, I was spared further humiliation.
As I retraced my steps, I saw that there was now mud across the kitchen floor, paper bits in the backyard, half covered wet paper where my new flower garden might someday be, six bags of soil, a dripping hose, a broken dolly and I was wearing Eau de Archie perfume.
Needless to say, this was all my sister’s fault.