Monday, June 06, 2005

The dogs that ruined the grass that revealed the dirt that Sharon wanted to turn that led to the surprise they'll get when they get home

A couple friends, C&J, went to New Orleans for the weekend in celebration of C’s 40th birthday. While I'm sure they've had a great time, I want to say right here and now before the entire internet world that I don't care how great a time they had, it will be NOTHING AT ALL compared to the surprise we have in store for them when they get home.

Sharon would tell you that it all started with a hoe. But really, it started with two particular dogs running a path in C&J’s back yard so regularly that the grass had long ago vacated the idea of living there, and in its place was a long dirt patch of nothingness. As Sharon was house sitting for them, on Friday she had the idea to turn the dirt a bit and, while looking for a hoe, she connected it with the idea to get some sod to fill in the dirt patches. Before she could say what the heck have I gotten myself into, she found herself on the phone with a guy in Rosenburg, giving him directions to the house so that he could deliver the pallet of sod he rightfully convinced her she'd need. So she spent her Saturday single-handedly putting down the sod. The back yard looks fantastic, and very green.

Let me say right here that, in and of itself, that would be a tremedous surprise birthday gift. But then, a few of us could not leave well enough alone and had to join in the yardwork fun. So, Sunday found Jacqui, Carrie, Teri and me (and of course Sharon) at C&J’s house in about 90 degree heat with not a breeze to be felt, weeding, pulling, digging, uprooting, and trimming. And let me tell you, were we ever sweating and did we ever get DIRTY. And by dirty, I mean to say that we were covered in dirt, head to toe. Well, except for Carrie's toenails which apparently repel dirt. But that's another story.

Phase IA PhaseIB PhaseIC PhaseID

Then it was off to Houston Lawn & Garden where all the plants were half price, so all of us went wholly nuts with the blank-slate potential for the three beds we'd cleaned out. We opted for Hibiscus and Mexican Heather in the back yard bed, and for the front beds it's Esperanza, Cannas, Caladiums, Vincas, Zinnias and Mexican Heather. And 12 bags of soil and mulch.

PhaseIIA PhaseIIB PhaseIIC PhaseIIC

Back at their house, we embarked on planting, potting, raking, bagging, edging, sweeping, mowing, fertilizing, and watering. At this point, we were the kind of dirty that when you were little your Mom would stop you at the back door and make you take your clothes off right there so that you wouldn't track dirt in the house. That dirty.

PhaseIIIA PhaseIIIB PhaseIIIC Phase IIID

But we were also smiling. Because doing this felt amazingly good. It felt good to be working beside each other, and to be doing this for our friends. And for me it felt cleansing - even though I was covered in dirt (by now you should be clear on just how dirty we were). It felt good to have my hands in the earth and not much thought in my mind. It was a relief for me to be working on something constructive, to weed and plant, to nurture life. And if felt real good to every so often get absolutley fizzy with excitement knowing that they had no idea that five of their friends were together at that moment landscaping their yard while they were sipping drinks at Pat O'Briens. No idea at all!

Their flight lands at 5:00 tonight. We're going to be waiting for them at their house. Not one of us wants to miss their faces when they drive up and see this:


Oh, and Teri, Jacqui and Carrie installed their outdoor stereo speakers as well, which really is another story, except for the fact that it involved climbing through attic space, which as you can see in this photo secured that Teri win the dirtiest bird of the day award. And please give a round of applause to Sharon for that lovely grass in the background, the grass that started it all.


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