My Back Fence
Chatter at the Back Fence (Photo Morguefile )
Gardening Life: Mr. Not-Now Justifies Life at the Back Fence
Mr. Not-Now gave me the rundown at the back fence this morning. He’s a living encyclopedia and lives right here in the back of my head, that’s close to my back fence, believe it or not.
He's a wise guy too. Old. The been-there-done-that kind of guy. Economical. A real elbow-grease -saving Jack of all trades and DIYer. Got collections of old nuts and bolts in the garage too, for fixing lawnmowers and stuff. Some are bent, but y’know, but it’s the kind of stuff ‘ya need when ‘ya want to get the mower fired up, in case of an emergency, like if ‘ya ever gotta cut grass, 'fer instance.
—Wait. He’s going to say something. Not now? Maybe. I’ll lean on the back fence a bit. Wait, here it comes.
He says "Cut grass? I don't cut the grass. Not now. It's healthy and growing just fine all by itself in the rain. Too wet. Rained all night, and it's only a bit shaggy. It was shaggy like that last year too. Looked nice. Besides, long grass conserves moisture. Why rust ‘yer lawnmower cutting wet grass and waste gas? I won’t cut it, not now, too wet, what's the matter, don'tcha like nice green grass? Uh-huh. Thought so.”
He’s a gardener too. Says he knows Mac over at the Shed too.
I wonder if there’s any connection? He says “I don't weed the garden, either, not now. The weeds are happily filling up the spaces between the fence and those other plants, whuddya’ call’em, y’know, the ones you gotta plant every year? Annulars? Annoolas? Annyals? Oh, annuals....that's it. No matter, they help feed the bunnies. Sounds familiar. Wise words. Besides, you can get healthy with all them garden things and save money too, they’re a veritable pharmacy— you can even eat some weeds, they’re organic, did’ya know that?
See those nice yellow dandelions in that nice wet green grass over there? Get ‘yerself healthier, live longer, eat a few dandelions, save energy. Why don't you young whippersnappers modify and improve your diets? Eat some weeds, ‘ya can’t beat’em, go eat’em, who doesn't want to get healthier? " He looks at me suspiciously, he’s a mind-reader. “Taste good too. Don't believe me, Mr. Not-Now says, next time 'ya see'im, just ask Uncle Mac, yeah, that Mac, the one at the shed, that famous writer-gardener guy, he'll tell'ya, he's got a shed and a garden and a helper and a back fence too. He’s even got a cat.”
He squints at me and we examine the back fence. The whole thing. It just makes me squint harder into the sun. I sneeze.
"I won't paint my back fence, not now. Wrong time of the year anyway. Too wet. The better half and I decided we're going for the back-alley Renaissance look. Peeling paints of various colors makes it look like the place is part of old Europe. Don’tcha think so? I seen it on the big screen. Ain’t it great? Kinda’ artsy-fartsy ain’t it? Helps us enjoy trans-continental culture n’ stuff, saves us visiting Europe. Besides, I got no time to go on trips just to figure out colour schemes, and the grass is too long and wet, been rainin’, didn’cha see the mud on the car? He points at the car.
I can tell Mr. Not-Now is daydreaming when he squints. Like all the time. "I don't wash the car. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever." he adds, sneezing and pointing into the sun again for good measure. Reminds me of when I was a kid. We sneezed a lot looking into the sun. No matter. The car is still muddy.
" The old bus is muddy, ‘yer right, but the road is wet, didn'tcha notice, why waste good water washing off road mud? When it dries it’ll fall back on the road right into the first pothole. No wonder taxes are so high. Young whippersnappers are so wasteful. How 'bout let's put it right back where it came from and save taxes?" He shakes his head in wonderment. "The younger generation, tsk..tsk...’ya ever notice that, how ‘ya gotta explain everything?"
I stifle myself. I do. I try not to talk to myself, there’s no profit in arguing with perfection.
I really don't want to take the responsibility of divulging any more brilliant observations from Mr. Not-Now at my back fence. Not now. Mr. Not-Now's itching for a coffee and a fresh blueberry muffin but I'm thinking of tryin’ some more green stuff first, ‘ya know, them weed things. They don’t even taste bad, I ate a few already, y’ever try’em? Mustard? Knotweed? Quack grass? I always try a few just before dinner. Eat less. I want to get better eyesight too, tried carrots once.” He squints. It takes logic to keep up to Mr. Not-now, I have to admit, shaggy grass doesn’t look so bad up against my back fence . Especially when I squint and it’s wet.
I’m saving my lawnmower and gas and taxes because the mud on the old bus’s going to fall off on the road and fill the potholes. I’ll get 20mpg 'cause the road’s smoother and I don’t have to wash the car. Not now.
I sure do admire cultures which appreciate old renaissance fences and multi-coloured back-alley peeling paint and gardens, the benefits they offer, and there’s no wasting of weeds, gas, elbow grease, valuable mud, water, or taxes.
The wife hails and interrupts. She says I should stop daydreaming over there by the back fence and astutely observes the paint is peeling faster than I'm applying it. She tells me to stop squinting, dear, and get right to it with the scraper and paint brush.
“Grass is too wet, it’s near a foot high, can’t paint, got any coffee?” I ask her in explanation, as she approaches, stepping daintily in the wet grass in her yellow rubber boots, suspiciously eying the lack of progress.
“Not now” Mrs. Not-Now says, grinning, leaning against the fence right beside me . “I’m admiring the flowers.” She gives Mr. Not-now a peck on the cheek. I see she’s learned all about the importance of admiring flowers and squinting into the morning sun from Mr. Not-Now too…she sneezes and holds my hand. It's been a productive morning after all.
Is that Incoming I hear?
Tags: #myBackFence, #gardening #reflections #UncleMac, #MrNotNow, peelingPaint, #taxes #DIYer #JackofAllTrades