Monday, July 17, 2017

Riding Along In My Automobile

Riding Along In My Automobile
            Have you ever had a day when you feel unutterably sad for no earthly reason except that you are human?

            On my patio, on this day when my thermometer registers a mid-afternoon temperature in the low 70’s, rain still dripping from tree leaves, a lizard lays splayed out, soaking up every iota of warm comfort from the patch of sun-drenched concrete. I know how he feels.

            My habit, when I get this way, is to work through the mood. But in the last few years I’ve learned to slow down, examine myself inside and out. Do I feel well? Is something bothering me that I’d rather not see?  Am I avoiding something?

            Thank you, Chuck Berry, for accompanying me in my pondering, for popping into my head with the song that became my metaphor for the day. The lyrics describe my life: “Riding along in my automobile . . . with no particular place to go.”

How lovely is that? I can ride along, enjoy the tunes, and let life take me where it will.

I don’t have to adhere to a schedule. Don’t need to suit up, show up, to perform in any manner. If I feel lethargic, why not just be lethargic? That concept goes against my grain, let me tell you. But I’m learning.

Here comes the rain again. I rather miss the lake that used to rise in my back yard whenever the skies unzipped. Last week, in a morning of sunshine, I asked Leo to run a drain pipe from the upper yard through the rose garden so the accumulating pond waters would drain onto the lower patio and out beneath the brick wall. A simple solution (genius idea, thank you) that took an hour of work.

So instead of thinking about stocking trout, I have to wonder if another week of too much rain to mow the lawn will mean I’ll need to bring in a swather and baler. “Make hay while the sun shines” takes on a whole new meaning for me. For a few brief moments I worry about the weeds that need pulling, the oleander bushes that I should prune, the geraniums that I want to re-pot.

The ants stripped two of my flowering trees overnight. I sprinkled a powdered poison for ants. Rats have shown up. I’ve spread poison pellets for rats. The black and green beetles that have decimated my rose and hibiscus flowers seem impervious to each poison spray I’ve tried. Every garden of paradise has its “snakes”.

Physically, my body scan reveals runny nose, scratchy throat, and weepy eyes. A summer cold is stealing my energy but I won’t push against it or pretend it’s not with me. Today, I’ll settle in with a box of Kleenex, hot tea, a good book, and let the garden grow out of bounds, which it seems determined to do whether or not I participate.

As for worry, what? Money? I never did find any gold at the end of the rainbow though I’ve tried to follow a few. Whatever is in my pocket today is all that matters. Words easy to say, easy to forget, but true for me.

I worry about my children, long-time adults, my grandchildren, babies and newly adult. From oldest to youngest, each has his own different problems. Don’t your kids? But our children are sharp; they are capable. They have the tools to work out their own solutions without my help, read that “interference”. Sure, I still worry a bit. It’s my job.

The sun has burned through the clouds again. Maybe I can work in my garden—maybe tomorrow.

Thanks for riding along with me. Sorry about the seat belts sticking. This old car has its quirks.  You’re a good listener. I feel better, now that I’ve shared with you. Say, would you like to swing by the In-and-Out for a cheese burger and chocolate shake? I’ll drive.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

July 13, 2017

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