nice garden, guvna

New dilettante column.

Yesterday I spent about six hours clearing wisteria from Granddad’s backyard. Previous to yesterday, I used to think of pretty lavender flowers when hearing the word “wisteria.” Now all I can think of is devil vine that I would eradicate from the earth if I were able. I hadn’t really been in Granddad’s backyard for some time. He doesn’t hang out back there anymore, nor does he have a dog, so there just hasn’t been a reason. It’s a jungle. Well, as much of a jungle as you can have in the middle of Bellaire. Wisteria had taken over one side of the yard, creating a natural fence in addition to the chainlink. It had gotten so big, it completely covered his cable line and partially covered his power line. It had gotten so thick that the power line was getting pulled down from the pole, and the light company had to come out yesterday to fix it. So some trees (vines, supposedly, but they were as thick as hell) had to be cleared. Enter me, in flip-flops (I wasn’t expecting that situation and was only going over there for a visit) and a rusty old hand saw. There’s now a seven-foot-tall pile of nature on his curb. Hope the trash people pick it up this week. Can’t really fit it in the Miata.

Funny thing about the manual labor – I talked to myself out loud a lot. That wisteria shit all wound together, and it was often hard to see where the end was. I was trying hard not to electrocute myself (first) or knock down Gdad’s cable line (second), so a lot of the time I was visually following the vine to see where I should cut. Found myself saying, aloud, “Okay, it looks like if I cut it here and here and make sure I’m pulling in this direction with my other hand, it should fall there.” I also cussed a lot because of vines slapping me in the face, poking me in the ear (almost touching brains), sticking me in my unprotected feet. And of course the two kids who live next door were in their backyard listening to it. I tried not to do it, but SHIT sometimes it FUCKING pops out.

I’m walking a bit crooked today, but I feel like I really accomplished something. Makes me long for doing more manual hard work and less sitting on my ass with uptight people work.

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