Monday, my old friend
Monday, my old friend. I am so glad to see you, at least this time of year. Weekends are filled with torment, and the grief of yard work. Buried under flowers that need planted, lawn treatments that need spread. Grass seed, grass clippings, grass everywhere.
Yesterday my wife and I went to the local warehouse style hardware store. A huge building, filled with impossible to find home improvement products. They are impossible to find because the building is huge, and the employees would rather not help you. They would rather not talk to you. If cornered, though, they will give up a quick “try aisle 27,” pointing off toward the vanishing point at the end of the center walkway, and marching away quickly, their back firmly turned toward your expression of loss and confusion.
In front of this huge building is an enormous parking lot. So big it should have it’s own zip code. This time of year almost half of it is consumed by pallets of mulch. Shredded, dyed wood, bagged, put on pallets, shrink wrapped and carted off to cover the parking lot of the store in my neighborhood.
Inside the store was madness. People lusting after lawn mowers, gluttonous for gas grills, greedy for the intoxicating power of electric trimmers, it was the seven deadly sins played out in front of me. It was Sodom and Gomorrah with pruning shears. I was almost ashamed.
Walking slowly by the shelf next to the garden center I was amazed at the variety of things that occupied a lawn and needed to be killed. Pests ranging from army worms to white slugs. Weeds from crabgrass, to yarrow. All ready to do battle. My lawn did not stand a chance, but here on this sturdy shelf were enough boxes of powder, sufficient jars of liquid, and delivery systems sprayers, battery powered spreaders, to destroy them all. “I am become death.” Certainly no mortal should have at his disposal so much destructive force. The air grew cold, and the lights dimmed.
But, only a few, insignificant steps away were the magic, life giving elixirs. Covered with shiny
pictures of healthy flowers, tomatoes too beautiful to eat, a smiling, happy gardener digging and glowing and beaming with pride.
A store employee, whose worn, stained and tattered apron clearly indicated he had been dispensing sage lawn care advice for several years, was explaining the benefits of a small bottle of liquid that killed weeds, and did not harm flowers to a middle aged woman. Her t-shirt read “I am a bad influence.” Oddly enough, the white shirt was almost spotless, and I had to wonder how anybody who keep a white cotton shirt so clean could ever steer anybody down the wrong path.
“First time they have ever combined the two in one bottle. Been selling them separately for seven years, and now they are both in one bottle. It is a real bargain, weeds and feeds, all at the same time.” He said, clearly impressed by this.
She began to cross examine him about the effects on the vegetables she planned to plant in close proximity. He faltered, buckling under this unexpected turn. He stuttered, looked at the shelf, and then his watch. Clearly trying to by time, eventually he had to turn the bottle over, and before he could answer my wife summoned me with her “come on, would you?” expression.
I tried to signal, using hand motions, that things were heating up, in fact the woman who was proud to be a bad influence may have moved onto her end game. Her opponent was squirming uncomfortably under her assault. But that is a hard message to convey when your angel is waving her hand. Even when I explained it to her she didn’t seem all that interested. Maybe I didn’t tell it right.
We got home with bags of dirt, bags of seed, buckets of powder, and other things I am not sure about. It was too late to start the season long battle for the reclamation of our lawn. But, this morning I looked at it all piled up, ready to be used, and I said, Thank you, Monday.