Monday, March 15th 2010
I’m SOOO Helpful

It’s the first real day of Spring Break here in Texas, and the rain that was coming down hard has turned to snow coming down hard. I know. I just came in and am now trying to thaw by the fire while popping Cadbury mini eggs (ooohmygosh so good in a once a year kinda way).

Mike is home, supervising the fixing of the heater. Very important, what with all the SNOW and all and the really cold house and the coldnaturedness of ME and the oh-I-really-hope-it-gets-fixed-today and all.  So about an hour ago Mike looked out the back window and said, “So. You put a bunch of dirt in a hole, huh?”

I was delighted. Mike had clearly noticed a new detail in the overwhelming manner in which the boys and I cleaned the backyard last week. Always good to have hard work recognized. “Why, yes! All that dirt from when I made that flower bed in the way back over there….? That was extra and sitting by the door for, forever, because I was sure I’d figure out what to do with it because I DO love my dirt and all… and then I noticed that hole by the back fence and the boys and I carried it all out there and filled it right on in. Took us forever. Very heavy.”

“Yeah. That was how the water drained out of the backyard. And now it can’t.”

I went to the window to see for myself. Since our fence sits on a little concrete base, all of the day’s torrential rains were held in quite effectively. A large part of the backyard was quite flooded.

“Oh. I didn’t want to lose the dog.”  I used to love the Pokey Little Puppy. Didn’t you?

Mike looked at the 80 pound labrador and then back at me.

I should probably mention that the hole I filled might be enough for the 13 pound cat to escape through, but probably not. Not that I’m worried about him anyway. When he wants to get lost, he just runs right out the door when we’re not looking and doesn’t bother with holes under fences.

“Well,” I said. “I’m real sure no one ever mentioned how important that hole was. But fine. I’ll go fix it.”

“Maybe not. What with the knee and all. You’ll slip and fall and it’s not a good idea.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Like when you wore heels recently and hurt your knee?”

“I won’t wear heels. That would be dumb. I’ll wear tall pink rain boots and get a shovel and just go take care of it. I kinda feel responsible.”

“Do ya, now?!”

So I put on the tall pink rain boots, and I THOUGHT about a coat, and decided not to wear one. Sure, it was 35 degrees and snowing heavily, but all my coats are REALLY cute and don’t tell Mike, but there was a REAL good chance I was going to slip and fall into the small lake in the backyard. I am kinda clumsy.

I first went outside the fence and dug a hole. It instantly filled with water, and although I was bracing myself to be swept down the street by a tidal wave, that didn’t happen.  But a nice member of GATMIPTA stopped anyway to offer assistance. I suppose I looked ridiculous standing in the snow in my tall pink boots,  no coat, and holding a shovel bigger than I am. I waved him off and went inside the fence to dig from the other side.

This is the Other Side. Note the floating things that might be important and have something to do with a well.

So I sort of balanced on the concrete base under the fence and dug around with the shovel. That did not work. But here is my right foot, and the shovel.  I almost dropped my phone in the water when i took these pictures because my hands were red and practically frozen solid and all, so I figured I better use them. Huge snow apparently does NOT photograph with my phone. It was there. Really.

So THEN I decided I’d use the shovel as a big paddle and just WHOOSH all that water up and over the concrete base and under the wood fence. And that was fun. I did that for a very long time. And sort of lowered the level of the lake, but not substantially.

And then I slipped and fell right in. I am kinda clumsy.

And I was SO glad I was not wearing a cute coat and wasn’t that SO the right decision after all?

And then I went in and sat by the fire.

Mike asked how it went. I told him. And he said something very much like, “Told ya so.”

I sputtered. I hate it when he says that. Even if he CAN rightly say it. He shouldn’t. So he puts on his own boots (not tall or pink) and goes out and fixes it in about 14 seconds flat.

Perhaps I should have swooned. Or said thank you. But you know what? That made me MAD.

I was still half frozen in front of the fireplace. “You know, you did NOT have to go out there and make that look so easy.”

“YOU didn’t have to go out there at all.”

We were smiling. Sort of. But we were both pretty annoyed.

“I know! But I wanted to fix what I messed up!”

“I thought the snow ALONE would have kept you from going out there,” he said, as if I had not said anything at all. (Mike kinda does that well sometimes.)

“Mike. It. was. mud.”

And then he seemed to understand.

I have a close relationship with mud. Sure, I felt bad about the sabotaging the ridiculous Top Secret Stupid Drainage System in the backyard that no one ever told ME about. And I wanted to fix it. But really. It was probably all about the mud.

I am spattered and covered in mud right this very second. I got most of it off.

These little spots and clods are just harmless souvenirs.


3 Comments on “I’m SOOO Helpful”

March 15th, 2010
3:29 pm

Cute boots!

Print Brochures
March 17th, 2010
3:25 pm

That sounds like something I’d do. Live and learn :)

March 22nd, 2010
1:42 pm

I love that you love mud. When I have extra, I’ll make sure it goes to you. In the meantime, please follow this simple rule: When it is 40 degrees F or cooler, borrow someone’s ugly coat and WEAR IT! Your anti-frostbite sister would REALLY appreciate it.

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