Monday, June 8, 2009


Windfalls are usually the last apples on the tree, or the possibly bruised, battered ones which fell prey to a violent windstorm. tumbling to the ground sometimes before their time, but welcomed by scavengers, both human and animal, and the great delight of wasps, whose drunken buzzes and swoops attest to their sips at the fermenting ones. Finding the fruit in the weeds and grass is indeed a stroke of luck, but probably not as great as the word WINDFALL has come to mean---that's used for everything from an inheritance to a Trifecta to being given a gift or a raise.

Our own windfalls in the yard are not wonderful-though-damaged fruit or even a lucky happenstance---they're great piles of sticks and limbs and debris and clumps of leaves which leave the lawn and garden looking TACKY, to say the least. So I called in help for picking up and carrying away the worst of it. Our dear neighbors are having a special anniversary party next week, and I'd JUST DIE if one of their guests looked over here and saw a messy yard. (I do hope that just because we're Southern, they don't think our name is Snopes, though our custody of seven grills at this moment is a fact not to be trifled with, overlooked, or ignored. But I'd prefer that they not infer that we might have our "plumbing" in one of the buildings out back).

So, in getting a head-start on our own garden party in July, I'm trying to create a graceful, peaceful scene-across-the-fence. Making ready in fits and starts and dibs and dabs---that's what I'm doing. I take a few minutes here, a little moment there, and whatever is to hand, I try to accomplish a small thing---baby steps, almost, as there's quite a bit of activity around here lately, and much coming and going and a sweet companion who not only follows my steps, but now charges ahead of them so that I have to sprint to keep up, or fly to catch her before the street, whichever applies.

Today, Caro's day off, we had coffee out in the arbor, then manned (is there such a work-word as Ladied?---it would connote the same thing, just not so sweaty or involve beer-breaks) the loppin'-shears and the pruning saw. I'm each time astonished when I look up into that green ceiling we're creating, to see so many leafless, lifeless limbs and sticks and twigs. We try to eye each one to its tip, making sure we're not cutting off anything with life left in it, unless it's just blocking one entrance or the other, or the little "windows" we've cut out of the front. And I find myself leaving tiny "stobs" on various limbs, for the convenience of hanging a lantern or perhaps more windchimes.

So, just two days after the lawn guys swept and picked up and carted away all last week's debris and fallen leaves, we've created another mess that DS will carry away to the "mulch-folks" down the highway.

We had indeed a nice morning. Little one and I strolled around the block, bought a big new straw broom and a pack of leaf-bags. and spent a couple of hours sweeping the patio and picking up all the little piles of drifty stuff. I came in for the dustpan, which she immediately co-opted and claimed for her own. She'd squat to a little pile, smack the dustpan down atop it, resulting in perhaps two leaves and a twig for her efforts, and turn to the tall leafbag. She'd tiptoe, upend the dustpan, and spill the contents back down her arm, with an occasional bullseye of perhaps half her leaf-load.

I was not welcome to help, except to sweep bits into her pan, and cheer her on---she'd scoop, turn for the bag, and I'd sorta rush to try to run it under where she was aiming, then we'd YAAAAAY! for a job well done.

A hundred times. At least. Doncha just love party prep?


Tonja said...

Awwwww...such a great little helper!

Southern Lady said...

I can just see your little one, Rachel ... I know she's an adorable little helper. How old is she?

racheld said...

Almost two. They stayed for supper with us, and I imagine she's in her jammies and in bed by now. She worked hard today.

Pear tree cottage! said...

what a nice post our orchard is looking sad with not a leve in sight now.........AND it is snowing for the very first time tonight. "Welcome to my winter" Lee-ann

racheld said...

I'd love to share your Winter!!! I've always loved the cold season, and even the snowed-in days---I figure my HATING snow isn't going to help anybody who has to get out and drive in it, so I admire the landscape and enjoy the beauty of it.

But I do prefer to have "Fall" and "Winter" in our holiday season. It was bad enough Down South to have to have the A/C on for Thanksgiving so you could cook the turkey without making the house unbearable. We all cling to what we were raised with, I guess.

It's SPRING here, with a vengeance---Southern plants just amble along, sucking up moisture and fertilizer, doing their thing and growing lush and heedless of weather or time. Things just jump out of the ground here, as if they know their time is limited, and the cold will come.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I can certainly try. She works during the day...but I can try and find out what it is. :) I will have to be sneaky though. Business you know! :)
But..for a Bloggy friend...anything goes!
If you don't hear from me ..don't forget. Sometimes I need a reminder..