There is an expression that goes like this: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Here is the origin of that saying:
Though I am mindful that severe weather has plagued so many parts of the U.S. lately, while we have merely endured constant gray days, rain and lack of sunshine, the ugly weather had me in a bit of a funk. So, when the weatherman crowed about two weekend days of gorgeous weather, I was pretty happy. In fact, I was like a kid in a candy shop – two days of exploring and getting out to enjoy what finally would be perfect Summer weather. So, do I go to a new park, or one of my old standbys? But then I remembered I could not be too joyous, as I still had to tackle the front and back yards which, thanks to all the rainy days, look overgrown and unloved. So, I made a compromise … I’d visit some of my favorite parks and just enjoy today and plan on doing yard work tomorrow. Today would be the reward for a long week at work, last weekend’s rain-soaked days … yes it all sounded wonderful.
The rain has been a pain in many ways … not just hampering my walking regimen with torrential or stormy weather, but there has been a mosquito and tick explosion and we’ve already had several instances of West Nile Virus from infected mosquitoes. So, I donned a long-sleeved shirt and long pants with socks, and, because we have had so much rain, some of my favorite parks are waterlogged, so it was a perfect chance to try out my new red vinyl boots.
I got myself ready and sauntered out the door. I admit I had tunnel vision as I sidestepped all those bushes that tried to reach out and grab me on the leg, their new growth shooting toward the sky, much the same way as those fancy fireworks that will wow the crowds at the annual Ford Fireworks on the Detroit River this coming Monday night. And, don’t think I didn’t notice the weeds too, their leggy stems threatening to overtake all the existing bushes or the dainty weeds with wispy tendrils which were wrapped around some of the new growth. But, just like Scarlett O’Hara, I dismissed those pesky weeds with a wave of my hand, declaring “I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.”
Taking some “me time” …
I’ve long believed there are not enough days in the year to just escape and get away from it all. I know that sometimes, by the end of the workweek, my mind is really cluttered and ready for a reboot, because, despite my daily forays to my favorite nature nook at Council Point Park, sometimes I still feel the need to clear out those tangled recesses of my mind, which coincidentally resemble those out-of-control perennials growing wild in the backyard.
I know if I don’t get out and stretch my legs and give my mind a rest, I’ll go buggy.
Or smother from everything … you have to rise above it all, like this rose, fighting its way through the weeds and dead wood, the only bloom on all my rosebushes … now that’s tenacity.
This last week in particular was a toughie. My eyes were fuzzy from working on way too many charts – yikes!
I was beginning to despair of the same-old, same-old …
You know how you get into a rut and don’t know where to turn – it’s like you’re up against a wall.
So I intended to turn my back on it all …
… and escape to some wide-open places to put a smile on my face again.
Because balance is important – you don’t want to become mired in muck and be off-kilter.
I longed for a nice leisurely stroll by the water and to relax with the sun on my back.
That is why we have weekends, precious hours of “me time” where each minute is ours to savor and enjoy, much like this little squirrel who is smiling after a new walker shook out some cocktail peanuts from a bottle onto the pathway for him. Easy-peasy eats!
Hmm, he never gave me or my jumbo, salt-free, roasted peanuts a second glance, because he decided to grab that treat instead – no, I didn’t take it personally. In fact, I saw cocktail peanuts strewn all along the perimeter path and pavilion area.
The squirrels will likely eat this newbie walker/kind-hearted soul out of house and home. 🙂
The back-story … because, as you know there is always a back-story.
As most of you know, I work from home from the kitchen table. Friday afternoon I heard a very loud noise – it had been fairly quiet for once, for which I was glad, since I was working on charts with lots of numbers. The fridge wasn’t running, and the A/C was off … blessed quiet. Until this banging noise. I sprang into action to find out what happened.
First I ran downstairs because many years ago a portion of the dropped ceiling fell down a day after a furnace installer hit it with some equipment. It collapsed, metal supports and all, and made a terrific clatter as it landed in a heap on the laundry room floor. Whew – nothing wrong downstairs.
I ran outside and checked the gutters to ensure one had not broken off because they are filled with these guys …
… and will soon be cleaned out.
I was worried about the gutters, because when I came home from walking the other day, a dove peered at me over the top of the gutter. It likely was ready to take a bath. I felt the urge to mutter “well, excu-u-se me!” an old Steve Martin catchphrase. The dove gave me a look like I was intruding on its bath time ritual. Doves are not lightweights, so I was relieved the gutters were still intact.
The awning was okay too, so nothing seemed out of place and I went back into the house.
But that loud noise niggled at my already-taxed brain.
Our energy provider has been marking houses on the block with yellow flags and yellow spray paint. I heard the trucks out on the street during the day, but never closed enough for me to poke my head out the door and yell “hey, what’s up?” So I called DTE to see if there was a problem – nope, just routine maintenance.
I kept sleuthing, and even checked the Facebook Crime Forum for our City – no one complained of an explosion at the nearby BASF Chemical Plant.
So I resigned myself that nothing was wrong and returned to my charts.
Fast forward to this morning … I went out to the garage, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, eager to take on the day.
As I do every day, I turned the key in the garage door lock and proceeded to twist the handle to open the door, but the door wouldn’t open.
I tried a second time – nothing happened.
I walked away from it for a minute, took a deep breath, and then, yes indeed, I was dumb enough to try a third time, which I put down to wishful thinking.
I said bad words, not that it helped much. Believe me, my brain wasn’t all that fuzzy that I couldn’t connect the dots that something happened inside the garage that caused the door to be jammed shut … yes, my own personal big bang theory.
I marched into the house and grabbed the phone directory for the door company, whom we have used in the past. Thankfully there was a sign of life on the other end of the phone, a woman who was quite chipper on this early morn. She did not match my surly mood. I explained the dilemma and before I could elaborate about the loud noise, she said “no worries – a screw flew off and the suspension came down – I’ll send someone out this afternoon.” I said “did it collapse onto my car – I heard a loud banging noise!” She responded by saying that it happens sometimes and the tech can fix it after 2:00 p.m. today. I thanked her and realized my day was pretty well trashed at that point.
I walked down to Council Point Park where I completed just one loop because I was distracted and “what if he got there earlier and I could still salvage my day?”
Boing! It was not just a little screw that popped off.
The tech, named Joe, arrived and I explained what happened this morning and the noise yesterday and said “there must be a correlation, right?” He said “let’s get this door up first and I can tell you better.” Well he struggled mightily to lift the door, pushing it, prodding it and finally hefting it up without the benefit of the spring which he pointed out was laying in the corner. He looked around, up and down, then said “here was your noise.” He explained that the spring slipped off the cable, shot up to the ceiling, as evidenced by black marks the shape of the spring, and then like a slingshot, on the return trip it aimed straight for my car and bounced over and hit the door before coming to rest in the corner. I felt a little sick as I surveyed the damage to the car. The spring, which had some rust on it, clipped the car’s left rear area, just above the tail light. I say “clipped” but there are gouges that match the shape of the spring imprinted into the clear coat and some of the paint. It must’ve been my horror-stricken face that made Joe take the front of his tee-shirt and try to buff out the marks. Then he turned to me and said “it could have been you, you know, instead of the car.” He had brought a new spring and said he could replace it right away and the garage door would be okay to use. But, he cautioned me that they no longer sell garage doors with this spring mechanism since they are deemed unsafe and he urged me to consider getting a new door at some point down the road before the springs are no longer available. He also showed me where the metal cable was frayed. I ordered a new door … it will be installed the beginning of next week.
So, that was my day … not a day of joy tripping along the Lake Erie shoreline, or the boardwalk by the Detroit River chatting with the fisherman about their “catch of the day” but instead, I am licking my wounds about my damaged car and replacing the garage door. Neither the “fix” nor this purchase are going to give me any great joy, no more than spending tomorrow wrangling weeds and taming bushes.
I’ll sleep on it whether I indulge myself and go out anyway or stay home and tame the beast, er … the yard.