austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

A garden suburb with mortgage attached

Our Tuesday started again with that luxurious lateness again. While there were specific plans for what we would do that evening, the day started out less structured yet.

What we did most of the afternoon, in fact, was gardening. This isn't something I've historically spent much time in because I haven't had a garden or any patches of ground that were actually my responsibility once I stopped mowing the neighbor's lawn for $10 per week in the hopes of earning enough money to buy a disk drive for my Commodore 64. (I ended up with an Enhancer 2000, one of the many Commodore 1541 clones that you never knew or cared anything about the existence of. But it didn't go out of alignment either.)

But bunny_hugger has a whole house, with both front and back yards, and planters, and all these remarkable things where forms of plant life grow, and she likes getting them into presentable shape. So this was my chance to peer into her garage for the existence of gardening tools, which I hadn't seriously doubted the existence of, and to see the differences between the mental model of the backyard pond which I'd had from her descriptions and what the reality of it is. I had imagined it smaller and more circular, I think, but deeper. The backyard is not large by modern standards as the house goes back quite a few decades, but that also means that it has the advantages of huge trees that make a proper canopy over it, and the grounds featuring not just plant growth but several kinds of plants growth, and walkway stones that have been in place long enough to have grass growing up and around them, and benches that mark things. It's got place.

It's also got decorations, including quite a few statues, which I hadn't realized. Some of them are little ceramic squirrels or rabbits, and some mark the locations of burial sites for rabbits or mice gone already. And some are for the pond, such as the fish sculpture with the pump to pull water out of the pond and spray it back in and which gets clogged up or misbehaves fairly frequently. This sort of thing's tricky to get right, so it needs some regular adjusting. I did get upright a squirrel statue which had gone wandering in the strange ways that they will when not looked after, so my visiting was clearly sort of useful in that regard. And we were able to figure where we'd set things up to eat outside.

There was also weeding and planting in the front yard, a slightly slower process since bunny_hugger really knew what she wanted to do, and a lot of it was putting into the ground those plants you buy in the little plastic six-pack cartons. There's not really a way to speed that up when the only other person just knows that when he's put them into ground in the past it hasn't necessarily made anything sprout. I did put myself to practical tasks such as picking up some flyers that had started migrating around the yard, and scratching her back as she bent over evidence of soil. Also I did some waving at neighbors who passed by, which I hope gets me a positive reputation in the community for those who ever remember seeing me before.

So by the end of the afternoon her home's surroundings were comfortably spruced up.

Trivia: The Apollo 11 crew were the first people in space to witness a lunar transient event, an illumination in the Aristarchus region noted at about 2:45 pm Eastern Time on the 19th of July. Source: The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology, Volume IV, Ivan D Ertel, Roland W Newkirk, with Courtney G Brooks. NASA SP-4009.

Currently Reading: The Decision To Go To The Moon: Project Apollo and the National Interest, John M Logsdon.


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