A weekend of gardening

I believe I have mentioned a number of times to all my friends that I hate to garden. I don’t like dirt under my fingernails and I don’t like it on my hands. One episode of ‘Monk’ has him in the woods, saying “I have nature on my hand.” My feelings exactly.

A friend of mine is on a working vacation at an archeological dig in the Middle East. She asked if I would look after things for her. I said no prob a) because that’s what friends do — they help each other out and b) I had a knee replacement and she was really there for me.

It has been terribly hot and nasty, even for this time of year. Town has been filled with people from all over, coming in for two art festivals. That makes parking, even in a residential area, a real bear. Luckily, my friend’s house has a driveway. I say luckily, but not because of the car.

The borough is very picky about maintenance of property within the borough limits. One day I go over to the house and there is a warning wedged in the door jam. “The shrubs and weeds in the back are hanging over into the public alleyway and must be clipped back. This will be your only warning.”

After work the next evening I took my gloves and clippers, and started clipping. The burrs and chicory didn’t pose a problem at all. Now she had told me about the “false bamboo” but I had no idea what that was. Plus I didn’t really know where the property ended. I know now.  On both counts. “False bamboo” leaves don’t look like bamboo leaves, but the stalks certainly do.

I figured where the neighbor ended trimming was the property line.

I had asked where to throw the clippings and was told to throw them in the dumpster across the alley. Burrs and chicory — again no problem. The false bamboo clippings filled most of two dumpsters. My intention was to toss in the rest of the clippings the next morning if the dumpsters were emptied. If not, there was room for the tenants to throw trash. Certainly the dumpsters would be emptied on Monday.

The remaining clippings I dragged into the driveway. The pile was taller than I am! All told it took about 45 minutes to complete the hack job I did on her shrubbery.

I wanted to get a drink when I was able to drag my exhausted, sorry butt up the drive and up the stairs into the house. There was another problem. (Since I didn’t tell her about this, she will yell at me if she reads this entry.)

My friend keeps kosher. That’s not really a problem except I don’t know which glasses are for dairy and which are for meat. Also not a problem, you say, since water is parve? Au contraire. Problem! After I drink the water, how do I clean the glass? Does she have a sponge for meat and one for dairy? I am willing to bet that’s a “yes.” Do I know which is which? That would be a “no.” I wasn’t about to leave the glass in the sink until she returns. Sticking my head under the faucet of her kitchen sink and possibly getting hair in her sink was also a “no go.”

My solution was to wash my hands, use my hand as a cup, then use her air conditioner in the guest room until I felt like I could move again.

After all was said and done I noticed the wound.

It looks like a fluke worm bite, but surely I would see a water creature in the shrubs. I figure the mark was left by a run-in with the end of a stick.

The next morning, the dumpsters were emptied and now the driveway is clear. However, in my mind, I still feel like I have nature all over me. UGH!

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