Saturday, August 13, 2005

Outside of my house (Residence. Hooch. Dwelling.) right now, it smells like cow manure. This is quite odd, really.

A few days ago, I went outside to stop my dog from barking at my neighbor, who was watering her extensive garden, and we got into a little conversation. We've only exchanged a few passing hellos since our last conversation, a few days after we first moved in (which would make it almost exaclty a year ago), and I had begun to foster the idea that she had grown to hate or at least deeply resent me, due partly to my barking dog, partly because of my comparitively unkempt yard and unadorned porch (taking away, with the uncomfortable proximity, from all the extravagant effort she put into her yard), and because I sometimes walk around the house topless (bottomless. in underwear. naked) without realizing the shades are not drawn, which I have imagined (in my paranoid mind) bothers her and her husband equally, but in two distinct ways.

While there's little that can be done about the first and third offenses at this juncture (Dogs will be dogs. Breasts will be breasts.), I have made the point to accessorize the porch a bit, for her sake. I've added a flower pot, a bonzai tree, a quaint little bench and two muddy paddles. The paddles were originally placed there simply for lack of anywhere else to put them subsequent to a very blunderous boating trip a few days after my birthday-- the boat, a little blow-up dinghy, was a birthday gift-- that started while the tide was coming in and ended walking across 500 feet of deep, soft, clam-bearing sea mud that sucked us in with every step. This, and more specifically the shower afterwards, may have been, it turns out, the source of my plumbing woes, now resolved (knock furiously on wood.) without much help from gallons and gallons of different kinds of drain cleaner and two hand-held augers (one which attached to a drill...that wasn't fun.) We owe our success largely to Home Depot, and a rental department employee named Mike, who's friendly demeanor, patient understanding, and complete help made everyone else in the world seem like an asshole, comparatively (especially the three professional plumbers who refused to serve us, due to the fact that we lived in a trailer park). Mike rented us a larger auger (he said no one calls it that, it's called a "sewer snake", but I refuse to change my ways) and explained exactly how to use it. Now, for the time being, at least, I can go to the bathroom at my leisure and my laundry water no longer shows up in my bathtub. Mike is a great guy.

The last paragraph was supposed to highlight the conversation I had with my neighbor-- largely about our dogs, and I was sure to mention that we're saving up for a citronella bark collar, which is only a half-truth, but they cost about 150 dollars, which, I suppose, amounts to a two-thirds truth. Anyway, somewhere along the line, she mentioned that I should take a walk down to Bay Bridge landing, a conservation site adjacent to the park in an area that I had presumed, for some reason, was off-limits. I took the dog down there and found it was lovely, right on the merrymeeting bay (apparently, our little park is named for a bridge that existed there, many years ago). Yesterday, Zack and I went back and had our second boating experience of the season, which was considerable more successful than the first. We paddled out to the middle of the bay and spent about an hour just laying back, him in my arms, with the sun on us. On our way back, still quite a distance from the shore, Zack noticed a drowning grasshopper, and we picked it out of the water. It rode back to land on my hand-- I have pictures, but they need to be developed. I'll put them up soon. Later on our voyage home, we noticed a cricket in-- or rather on- the water: while the grasshopper had nearly drown, the cricket was able to hop across the water unhindered, either because of it's small size and the surface tension of the water, or because it was the messiah-cricket; I prefer to believe that the cricket was the grasshopper's lover, and the grasshopper jumped into the water trying to stop the cricket from storming off after a fight. But that's just me.

I fear this may be too sentimental a post to meet the taste of most of my cynical readership, but perhaps a few homesick mainers abroad will appreciate it for what it is. I do believe I had more to say, but alas, I have no energy with which to say it, so it will have to wait for another time, perhaps a better time.

My name is Linda, and I save grasshoppers. On wihth it.


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