The Washer, Gardening and Health

by Bella Rum

That fool is way to close to the White House.

I hate my washing machine. It’s an Admiral. Are you familiar with that brand? I was not until we moved here. It isn’t the brand that bothers me, it’s the way it works. It has a safety (?) feature. As soon as you hit the start button, the lid locks. So you cannot add the detergent after the water flows in. What? You have to put the laundry and detergent into a dry machine or wait for five or six minutes for the water to rise to a certain level and go back to put the detergent in the water. I do not like to put the soap in with dry clothes. I have to put a timer on or I get distracted by some other task, and I forget to add the detergent, and the washer runs an entire cycle with no soap. I’m sure there’s a way to override the lock, but I haven’t asked H to look at it.

Over the past few days, H worked on two (mostly evergreen) beds for me, and they are really coming together. We’ll enjoy watching them mature. Last fall, he made a half-moon bed against the fence in the back. I can see it through the kitchen window when doing dishes. It will be pretty this summer, but when it matures, it will be splendid.

He’s made flower beds for me ever since we moved to MD. We were not into gardening at our first house. We were young and knew nothing about it. For that first perennial bed, he broke up the earth on the side of the house. I was immediately hooked. It was the best gift anyone ever gave me. We had phlox, irises, black-eyed Susans, coneflower, butterfly weed, peonies and on and on. Early every morning, I could be found scoping out the sleepy bumblebees or weeding or watering or deadheading or otherwise fussing over that bed. I couldn’t stay away from it. I loved how busy it was. Honey bees, bumblebees and butterflies were always buzzing around. It reminded me of Horton’s Whoville. It was my speck of dust. It was a living organism; it was a small planet, an entire world that existed in my world. Like Horton, I was responsible for keeping it safe. My mornings tending that garden were the closest thing to bliss I ever knew. There was a new revelation everyday: new buds unfolded, sprouts volunteered, weeds demanded pulling. Petals were still heavy with dew when I appeared at the side of the house, and sleepy bumblebees, heavy with pollen, still snoozed on the bottoms of black-eyed Susans. I was hooked.

In other news:

H decided to get one of those “check-ups” in one of those trailers found in parking lots. This one was affiliated with our hospital, and it was in the hospital parking lot five minutes from our house so he figured it might be okay. He took the tests results to his doctor, and she wants to repeat the test for his carotid arteries. She said those parking lot tests are not as reliable as she would like. Hm. She wants to follow-up because the result was “questionable.” He has an appointment for Monday. He is very active and feels younger than he is. He told me that it was a shocker the other day when we were in a restaurant, and a man said, “Excuse me, sir.” Funny how we have our own reality, and who’s to say it isn’t as real as Whoville?

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