I hate yardwork. Mowing, watering, mulching, dead-heading the geraniums -- I don't care what it is, it all sucks. And much like my (lack of) religious beliefs, this subject is not open for debate with me. I do not care that you find it "therapeutic" and "relaxing." Nothing you say will convince me it is anything but dirty and sweaty and time-consuming, and I will never learn to enjoy it. Time spent working in the yard is just wasted time that could have been spent in the air conditioning.
Up until now, this hatred of yardwork has been okay, because I didn't have a yard. I've lived in apartments and rented townhouses all my adult life. Until now. Now I have this house, which has this yard. And the neighbors expect SOMEBODY to mow the damn thing.
So on Sunday, I did. And I really thought I might die. I haven't mowed grass since I was a teenager, and as I recall, I hated it then, too. Now I am no longer a teenager. I am an out-of-shape, slightly overweight, nearly middle-aged woman, and pushing a non-self-propelled mower all over my little acre of earth was NOT fun. It was, in fact, one of the more miserable things I've done in quite some time. Besides chatting with Dr. Wonderful on Friday. But that's a story for another day.
When I finished mowing, I came inside the blessedly air-conditioned house and promptly collapsed on the living room floor. Ellie came over, peered into my face, patted me on the head, and said "Mama night-night." Yes, mama night-night. Mama dead-dead. Then the child, bless her heart, started doctoring me. She brought over some utensils from her little kitchen and started giving me medicine, pouring me a drink, and generally pampering my sorry ass.
Or so I thought.
Just as I was telling her how nice it was that she was taking care of Mama, I noticed she had a red plastic bottle in her hand, with which she was pretending to douse me. Hmmm, I thought. Never saw a doctor do THAT before. I sat up to see what she was doing. The red plastic bottle was pretend barbecue sauce. She wasn't doctoring me. She was preparing me for grilling. I guess she figured I was already half-roasted, so finishing me off would be an easy job.
The good news is that I have the PERFECT excuse not to do yardwork for the rest of the summer: there have been several sightings of a black bear in my neck of the woods lately. Only I don't live in the woods. I live in Snooty Suburb. You see why this is a problem?
This bear has been patrolling the neighborhood for several weeks now. He was spotted last week in the parking lot of the local dialysis center, making eye contact with the patients inside through the building's glass doors. He also turned up in the park behind my subdivision, which is WAY too close for comfort for me. Local authorities are telling people not to leave their trash outside, and they've even recommended taking down birdfeeders, so as not to entice said bear. But if you see him, they say, don't worry -- he won't hurt you.
Okay, lemme get this straight. You think my birdfeeder might interest this bear, but my two-year-old wouldn't?! I am SO not buying that. So, in the interests of safety, I think the best thing is for me to remain in the air conditioning for the rest of the summer. And if you visit me, just ignore the chest-high prairie grass out front.