Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Mulch

I'm driving up the street, it's a beautiful Spring day, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. It's one of those days you thank God you're alive. I've got the window down and my favorite tunes are playing on the radio. The weekend is here, work is done. Man, oh man! Life is good!

Hhhmm, what is that up ahead? Looks like it's near my house. Like it's in my driveway! What the Hell is that pile?

Ah, no! ABORT! Turn around, find an excuse to go back to work:

Ah gee honey, everyone has been asked to stay late. And we have to work the weekend too. I know it's tough but...
Nah, it's too late. She's probably seen me coming up the street. There's no chance of avoiding this. I've just got to suck it up and head on in.

Yes, it's Spring. And the Missus Herself has ordered a pile of mulch. For to spread upon the many beds of flowers with which she has bedecked the landscape at Chez Sarge. Lots and lots of mulch. Mulch up the ying-yang. Mulch coming out the wazoo. More mulch than you can shake a stick at. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum.

That photo up there? Yes, that IS Mount Everest behind this year's mulch pile. It can barely be seen behind the enormous pile of shredded wood. There would be snow atop that gigantic pile of mulch were it not organic in nature and steaming like some vile beast from the nether regions of Hades.


Stop whining?

Okay, here's what the pile of mulch actually looks like. In its proper context, as it were.

Thing is, and this should be obvious gentle reader, that mulch is not destined to remain lodged upon the driveway. No, it is bound for parts inland, as it were. It must be moved, one wheelbarrow at a time, from the driveway to the flower beds. (Quick aside - I have a rather untoward fondness for the phrase "as it were" don't you think?)

So yes, that pile of mulch in the driveway must needs be dispatched to other areas of the estate. All under the direction of the Missus Herself. I am just a lowly field hand in this particular evolution. Mine is not to reason why, mine is just to put mulch where the love of my life wants it! And, as I discovered, the mulch is not going to move itself!

Back when the daughters were still at home, they too were press-ganged into helping in the yard. Then one day, the Nuke (having been out and about the town) returned to the estate. She came into the backyard to see what we were doing. Error!

She was quickly detailed to start digging and weeding. That lasted all of five minutes. Then she walked into the middle of the (ahem) work site and promptly announced, "I am wearing the wrong shoes." Then she promptly vanished into the house. Where we assumed she would change shoes and come back out to join the chain gang working party.

Nope. Minutes passed, then it was an hour. The Missus Herself was somewhat miffed that her oldest daughter had vanished under the pretext of being equipped with the wrong footwear in order to skip out on a work detail. Um, yeah. Perhaps more than "somewhat miffed", try absolutely furious.

Just as the Missus Herself dropped her gloves and shovel (like a hockey player about to do battle) we smell food cooking. It smells like eggs, and bacon, oh My Sweet Lord, someone is cooking bacon.

Did I perchance forget to mention that the Missus Herself had mustered us in the backyard shortly after sun-up? Sans sustenance of any kind because, "We don't have time to eat, we need to get this mulch spread TODAY! It's going to rain tomorrow." So we were all pretty hungry. And the smell of that food was driving us nuts. Then we realized, the smell was coming from our very own kitchen!

Seems the Nuke was hungry too. She was not by any means going to change into some sort of "working attire" and go rooting in the dirt like a commoner with the rest of us. No, she decided that making food for everyone to eat would make us forget all about her absence in the "fields" with the rest of us. Would make us forgive her for not sharing our collective agony of digging holes and spreading mulch in the hot sun.

Did her cunning plan work?

Oh it did, it did indeed. We ate toast and eggs and bacon and drank coffee and ate more bacon and eggs and toast and...

Well, you get the picture. The Nuke had outwitted us all.

Her Mom gave her a pat on the back and said, "Well done, oldest daughter of mine. You fed us when we were hungry. We won't forget this, not ever. You are relieved of duties in the fields and are hereby assigned to feed us when we hunger." Then she turned to The WSO and I and said,

"What are you two looking at? Get back out there! That mulch needs to be spread TODAY! Git, go on! Nobody told you to stop working!"




  1. Better a big pile, delivered, than humping home about 25 30 pound sacks o' mulch (which required multiple trips to the garden store). Go ahead, ask me how I know.

    1. Amen to that! I would ask how you know that, but I'm betting you've "been there, done that". It all sounds so painful.

      We almost did that until my wife had someone tell her that there was a company that would deliver the mulch. I was envisioning having to do what you did.

      No, thank you, but no.

  2. I think the Nuke and my Jesse have lots in common. Jes is pretty good about helping - most of the time. But she sure knows how to disappear when certain work projects come up.

    1. That describes the Nuke very well. Spiritual sisters no doubt!


  3. Edward Robert, Earl of Lytton (Owen Meredith) Bulwer-Lytton. 1831 ...

    We may live without conscience and live without heart; We may live without friends; we may live without books; But civilized man can not live without cooks. Your daughter really understood that!

    1. I'm sure the Nuke had the Earl of Lytton's quote in mind when she headed indoors on that day.

      I wonder what the Earl would've had to say about mulch?

  4. One good thing about living in the desert-no mulch!

    1. Well, there is that. Personally, I find deserts somewhat off-putting. I gotta have trees, lots of trees!


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