Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RE: Humor Column...How I Spent My Summer Vacation...

How I Spent My Summer Vacation
[Please note this picture does not depict how my yard looks, nor how it will ever look. In fact, I don't think I can even look at this picture.]

Do you remember spending those first few days of the new school year, sweating in scratchy school clothes, utilizing a brand, spanking new Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil, making an anxious effort at writing an essay to the tired prompt, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation?”
In celebration of the many happy hours we spent attempting to make three months of our lives seem much more interesting than the nine that preceded them, I’d like to offer up my rendition of the very same.

I began the summer’s festivities with a celebratory outdoor beautification project that was guaranteed to enhance our lives. The first order of business was buying a fine lawn fertilizing and seeding product. I wasn’t going to cut corners here, buying that tired, already sprouted lawn seed that I normally purchased at the discount store. Nope, this year I shopped at a nursery where I acquired the recognizably-logoed good stuff.

The first week of June found me positively humming with excitement as I poured beautiful blue granules of fertile hope over my sparse, though recently seeded, front lawn. Come to think of it those granules did look a lot like Clorox II bleach and my lawn now has more brown spots than an overripe banana. In fact, the only areas that DO look nice on my grassy knoll are the areas that did not receive my loving attention or, dare I say, the loving attention of the neighborhood dogs. Next stop: Flowers.

In the past, I’ve at least been marginally successful with posies because there are so many kinds from which to choose, requiring varying levels of care. If I just take a sec to peek ever so briefly at those picket-fence-shaped markers that come with the flowers I have a prayer of not killing them. Well, they’ll survive through the summer, at which time they generally commit hari-kari, anyway, due to lack of attention.

I earnestly began my task, paying attention to tags telling me to plant in “partial sun or impartial shade,” to make sure and “water on the Tuesday following the first spring equinox.” I respected boundary issues, spacing the flowers evenly in order that they be afforded an opportunity to reach their maximum growth potential.

As it turns out my petunias, impatiens, marigolds and plumerias were breathtaking. And apparently the deer agreed because they had breakfast, lunch, dinner and multiple snacks in amongst this colorful array, after which they slaked their thirst in my cute little stone birdbath with a good-for-nothing cement squirrel sitting right there.

In fact, one day when I caught a member of the Cervidae family drinking thirstily from the birdbath, I’m not sure who was more frightened, me or Mrs. Deer who, I kid you not, was so startled by the sight of me that she began coughing, forgetting entirely to finish off the last few impatiens that were located underneath the Benedict squirrel’s hardened little nose. So, flowers may be considered successful in a limited run sort of way.

It wasn’t long after this that my husband whisked me away for a family-bonding vacation at the beach where we spent many happy hours watching our children texting, getting sunburned and asking when we were going to return home because they missed their friends.
However, the time away had given me time to think, so I was returning with a new plan of action. I decided I would move on to the interior of the house, feeling that those eggshell-white interior walls were begging for attention.

During our holiday, in an emotionally weak, semi-conscious, relaxed state of being my husband had offered to paint the entry way any color I wanted. I like the sun and I find it invigorating, so how about something in a golden hue? Unfortunately, the wonderful marigold color we had envisioned turned out a shade somewhere between mustard yellow and poo-poo Poupon brown.

You know you’re in trouble when you keep saying to each other, “This isn’t so bad. I think we can get used to this,” as you skulk away quickly with a Shar Pei-wrinkled brow and deflated demeanor.

Speaking of dogs, she used to flop in the entryway spending many happy hours snoring and blowing like a contented porpoise, but she’s even taken to resting her furry head elsewhere. It’s a rather disheartening color the tint that is wanna-be-sunshine, though it certainly possesses possibilities as a conversation piece when folks enter the home.
“Oh! You chose this color? Voluntarily? Without the presence of a commission-only paint salesperson brandishing a fully-loaded firearm?”

You know how you drive by those houses with ghastly Easter egg-colored exteriors and you wonder what they were thinking? I’ll tell you what they were thinking. “Wouldn’t it be stunning if the lawn matched the house?” It always looks better in the can.

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