I’ve logged enough hours with Wills and Kate this last week that they should be able to do me a solid, and issue a royal decree that it is officially summer.
I followed the media coverage, and sat on my bed dutifully watching my recording and weeping a little bit, like you do at the weddings of all your friends. John happily excused himself to make dinner, leaving me to my celebration, while the boys drifted in and out the room asking questions. They could not believe how long everything was taking and I hadn’t even told them about the first 200 minutes of pomp I had already watched. They asked about the trees in Westminster Abby and I reported as if she had told me herself, that Kate is very outdoorsy and was really going for an English Garden feeling. Then they asked about the carriage and the footmen, and all of the fancy outfits on the clergy, and it was decided that John should probably get that cool tall hat if he’s gonna get anywhere in this ministry business.
When it finished, and with great sadness and blurry eyes, I deleted the wedding from the DVR in order to make room for May sweeps. I then ventured into my yard to reconnect with the people I know in real life and enjoy the glorious weather.
Zach and I even went outside in the morning before school the other day. It’s Teacher Appreciation week, and we were asked to cut flowers from our gardens to contribute to bouquets for the extraordinarily deserving and saintly pre-school teachers. An absolutely lovely idea. Now if we only had a garden. Thank God for the flowering bush outside, that I can take absolutely no credit for. Its vibrant pink flowers bloom generously just in time for teacher appreciation every year.
John took Zach to the store the first day of the week and they gallantly delivered beautiful and professionally tended red roses. I thought on the second day, I’m going to go to my garden, aka flowering bush-I-do-not-know-the-name-of, to select some lovely home grown blooms. Zach and I stood at the bush with my pruning shears. They are pruning shears one day a year when I stand at that plant during Teacher Appreciation Week. On every other day, they are the office scissors with the orange handles.
Only this week did I discover that we also have roses growing in the yard. In spite of me, we have roses. The bush must be just far enough away from the basketball hoop to have survived this long. Right now there are four blooms – full and dark red and wildly fragrant. If you put your nose to them, you would undoubtedly note the universal smell of great-grandmother. When I found the roses, I insisted the boys come over for a whiff. They looked nervous and asked if something was going to come out of the petals to get them. Perhaps they do share my wariness of the great outdoors after all.
Just a few feet from the valiant rose bush, is the spot where the Venus Flytrap of a horribly mean cactus is disappearing. We have a guy who’s making that happen. We don’t ask questions; I don’t want to know how he makes it go away, he just does it. He takes care of the problem. I feel like the mob boss wife of cactuses. While there was remorse for the tree that fell in the storms a few months ago, and even the blooms we cut from the bush in the morning, I have no feelings for the cactus. Its needles were like tiny daggers, and we lost many a baseball to it. It didn’t take long for the kids to realize that when it comes to boy vs. cactus, cactus wins. I was certain it was eyeing the children hungrily. Since the thing has started disappearing in sizeable chunks, two baseball carcasses have surfaced.
My brother, the person in this world with who I am most genetically linked, gardens and grills and does things that require regular trips to stores that specialize in fishing poles and tents. He can grow anything, and to counter his stressful schedule, he lovingly tends his suburban crops. It has to be absolutely perfect weather to get me excited about eating in the yard because there are about 40 extra steps to serve an outside meal. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. You have to clean bird poop off the table before you can sit down outside, and I have never had to do that in my dining room. However, when there are twinkle lights up, I find it much easier to lounge at the table, waving bees away from my grilled veggies and listening to the boys happily chatter without the distraction of the stuff that waits inside like homework and dishes.
So hang the twinkle lights, hose down the poop table, smell a rose, kill a cactus and call me Duchess of the Yard, it’s time to be outside again.