I’ve hardly left my street. That’s my summer vacation.  Well not literally I mean I have left this particular street. I’ve gotten in my car to go to my landscaping “job” and the grocery store and church and I’ve been around on foot, but my “vacation time” has been here on this street. I know lots go away someplace else and they’re living “the good life” as they post it on Facebook, and living it quite ambitiously too, though I mostly see the same sand and water with more skin than I care to, and people jumping up and down for joy, you know.

Many do a helluva virtual job.

I’m satisfied with the whole scene here on this street being we’re in the dog days of August. It feels like the most humid days I’ve lived through. The sauna effect is ratcheted up being most of my time is spent outside working in my yard and other yards and being dirty and a porch monkey and refusing to go inside except to sleep.  Well or like now at 4:20am being I woke up ten minutes ago to my first cup of coffee and will be unplugging and going out front shortly.

Bye for now.

I have an extra-large clear yellow toy plastic pitcher here. It’s the kind of thing a preschooler would use. I’m about to walk up the street to water the four sunflowers we transplanted there yesterday.  That’s at the day care. They do have a hose there but it’s out back and can’t reach the front of the property. The other day I was there and found the pitcher on the ground, and have used it to water since. The last few weeks, neighbors on this street have volunteered to help spruce up their grounds, being this daycare has been here since 1934 and was recently in danger of closing. Due to a rally from the community (and the requisite resignation of the former director and board), they’re staying open.

In this day and age of big corporate money coming into this town and displacing local businesses and people and history, and with this town having no problem with this except the regular display of white guilt to make some kind of amends and still forging ahead to repeat history, this is great news. And heartwarming. This day care traditionally serves low-income families and has a relationship with the “state”, with funds set aside for such. It is also known to have a program with integrity and be one of the most affordable around. I’ve recently heard stories from people who send their children there or attended as children themselves, and from people upward of eighty who went. It seems many know SOMEONE who’s gone.  This is the chatter, although we do have a very strong two-degrees of separation generally in this town. Being the place is only two doors up the street, we’ve done lots of walking back and forth from my house with various tools and supplies to rehabilitate their neglected garden plots. The neighbors and pedestrians and traffic have something to watch! This explains this pitcher which I’ll be walking back up there shortly. It’s extra-large clear yellow toy plastic as I said.

I don’t mind using it.

Oh yeh I did get myself down the stairs and outside. Remember up there where I typed “Bye for now”?  Well I was attempting cutesy as I do and it was for effect but it must be the power of the written word, cause I could do nothing but dopingly gaze at those words on the screen, unplug, refill my coffee, and walk down the dark steps to the porch. So yeh I’m out here now and it’s still early am and not HOT per se, but in no damn way is there anything cool about the air out here.

“Hot enough for ya?”

So yeh those few sunflowers were transplanted to the daycare yesterday, then watered, but the afternoon and early evening was so hot I could see them wilt from here on my porch. They’re at about three foot tall, so when I dug them out I carried them up the street in a tarp. Goofy! Last evening at sunset I could see they’re sad, hung heads, but I couldn’t bring myself to walk through the thick air anymore.

When you take a shower don’t go outside!

You’ll sweat. Anyway Jerry The Gardener may have watered them. It could’ve been last night, the middle of the night, hell he could be doing it right now I don’t know. He doesn’t live here on this street but he’s around a lot. The local homeless “center” has a large garden plot behind my house and a few of us met him back in late April when he was back there digging and turning the large plots. By hand. Day after day on some days from dawn until after dusk in true chain gang fashion. He’s been a great help at the daycare and being he’s homeless he doesn’t really “live” on this street, but it’s where he’s spent so much time digging his plots and tending his garden and walking from here to wherever he goes which is basically the hospital and various downtown locales, and the neighborhood has gotten used to him. He was told recently by someone though to keep to himself and not “bother” people.

As he tells it he mostly sleeps outside the police station.

And all that goes with that! Yeh I hear about it. He has a big problem right now with his foot and his back and stands around bent over, saying he’s gotta do it being the pain is too much, and although he’s in pretty shitty physical condition right now he does a superior job.  Unfortunately as he tells it the homeless “center” has put him out.

I don’t know.

I’m gonna find out. My ferns are propagating nicely, weren’t you wondering? It’s an exciting time when you see the garden showing signs of going from summer to fall, doncha think?  Last summer I dug up a single fern from the woods along the trail to the river where I lived then. I brought it home and once in a pot, a tall stalk grew into white, somewhat non-descript and generic white flowers. Surprise! This time last year when the flowers ran their course, the pot propagated with way too many baby ferns! I use exclamation points as I had no idea prior. Exciting. This spring I transplanted those ferns in this new yard by hand.

Their new little babies are low to the ground and they are the greenest and laciest and dreamiest.

Come take a look! Oh, so we haven’t really counted this army of sunflowers, the ones growing here and now wilted at the daycare. And just mentioning it makes me want to shut off the computer and get counting!  I’ll have to do that shortly, you know, for kicks.

Before it gets too hot.

Hey I’m on vacation! There’s a lot going on I’m vested in. If I was another kind of person, meaning simply the person I’m not, I’d take bunches and BUNCHES of pictures and post them on some feed for the entire world to see, titillating my ego and dopamine, the befores and afters etc. But that’s just so not the point. Anyway, it’s the pictures I keep in my mind that’ll get me through winter.

The power of the written word.

There are thirty-two in the front yard. Wow. Well the front yard, side yard and above my head on the roof of this porch. They’re in pots up there, you know, for fun. It doesn’t take much to please me. There are ten or so in the back yard, by the door to the English basement. All these sunflowers weren’t planted at the same time and have been moved around for best effect and opportunity and only one is blooming now, topping out at about nine feet. Many are Mexican sunflowers, as we sowed seeds a fine friend brought back from there. They bloom with multiple flowers which are a rusty orange- different and pretty. The rest are Americans. The ones in the backyard are up to eight feet or so (all American). They’re ahead of the rest and growing big fat flower heads as we speak. Those face east- the only morning ones. The sunflowers facing south and west live in a hotter and brighter world.

They like it.

I could go on. Are you still there? I suddenly feel droll like Thoreau. Boring.  Recitations. That Henry David was childishly self-indulgent mostly and does inspire me occasionally to show my ass! I do realize this narrative is a “have to be there” kind of thing and a “who asked ya?” I know YOU didn’t. But if you’re reading this you must want SOMETHING from me, phrases that impress or touch your heart, maybe something to give you a laugh, or something telling and profound that’ll expose my grand scheme.  Sorry. I’m only talking about sunflowers getting taller as we speak as they follow the sun and other schlock. Bric-a-brac. That’s about it.

Should I just post pictures?

That may be my point.

A guy in speedos, must be eighty, just jogged past me on the street. Very very slowly.

No wait.

Someone stole a tomato. Well we only have two tomato plants (that’s a whole story) and had two tomatoes on the big plant and one tomato on the little one (lots of yellow flowers promise more). But a tomato is missing and Jerry the Gardener blames the guy down three doors down. Jerry was going on about it and has reason to be suspicious, but the chances are slim it’s the same guy. A couple of weeks ago that same guy was caught red-handed stealing the neighbors’ tomatoes. As I heard it he was caught by someone watching through a slit in the mini blinds.  D’oh!  After that these people put a sign outside fencing at the entrance to their garden entrance saying “Don’t Steal The Tomatoes”.

Laugh riot.

That story went on for like two weeks on this street and I heard conflicting versions. Anyway I told Jerry I don’t care if the dude took it. If I find out it was him I’ll only smile bigger.

That should be our worst problem.

bric a brac


14 thoughts on “SOMEONE STOLE A TOMATO

  1. Sounds like you have one helluva green thumb. Wish I did. I love flowers and plants but they don’t do particularly well under my care 😦

  2. I’d been wondering what’s been up with you lately, Pete. Good to see you’re getting out, even though right at home. You’re enjoying nature as it unfolds. I’m in the cabin fever doldrums here. There is no way to live without a/c for 6 to 8 months here in FL. By August I’m bugging out. Can’t wait to go see my family in Chicago in a few weeks. Stay cool, cat. 😉

    • What I’ve been up to it took me 3 or 4 days to write this! 🙂 Yeh I take advantage of summer as much as I can is the case hehh And YOU I’m sure are ready to be up north!

  3. I enjoyed reading this account of your vested world Pete and agree with your sentiments, bar one…any man who grows something with a smiley face that’s taller than himself in his own back yard is duty-bound to publish a picture of himself standing beside it. I’ll be back to check…

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