Monday, July 16, 2007

Thumbs Up

It was a weekend of domestic bustle:
Saturday: I spent the day figuring out how to Sheetrock our tenant's ceiling (the consequence of a plethora of plumbing troubles I won't bore you with).

Sunday: I dodged raindrops and weeded the front yard, amassing a serious heap of dead greenery. (We're new to gardening and didn't quite understand this weeding thing. With the summer rains, our neglected yard was rapidly returning to its primal state, but I've discovered I actually like weeding, and it's much better now.)
As I crouched and tugged at a ferocious clump of crabgrass, a family strolled by, looking intently at our house and talking amongst themselves. The father said to me:
"It come out good, man.”
It was the most recent of many compliments I’ve received from all sorts of folks as I rooted around the yard in our all-sorts-of-folks neighborhood: grandmas shuffling by in their slippers (“gettin' it right”), mustachioed burn-outs from down the block (“you got a nice house, man”*), shirtless dudes in headphones (thumbs up), and a gamut of other nameless neighbors.

I like that sense of shared pride, that a step forward by any of us is a step forward for all of us, that we're all in the same boat** as we make the slow climb back from flooded ruination. (I'm the same way. I murmur some eager affirmative to myself—"alright"—every time I see a newly gutted house or a newly tended yard.)

* With “man” rendered burn-out-style à la Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, a drawn-out nasal “m-a-a-a-n”.

** Though “boat” may not be the best metaphor. “All in the same below-sea-level trough”? Hmm, doesn’t quite resonate...


  1. Oh yes, the "weeding thing."
    Here is a tip, after hearing year after year that "you should mulch" let me tell you, it really works.
    After your hard work pulling those weeds up if you get a truckload of mulch, maybe that's hard right now in NOLA, but get many bags, and dump that stuff on, at least two inches thick, it will really keep those weed s down, and keep water at the plants roots. Good luck.
    by the way, Lillet and lime and soda is Excellent!

  2. I'm glad you like it. And I think the Lillet-soda-lime is probably the perfect weeding cocktail.

    During summer here, there are really only two times of day when yard-work is remotely pleasant: an hour first thing in the morning (by eight-thirty it's a sauna), and a couple hours late in the day.

    A mug of coffee is the perfect companion for the former. A light, herbacious drink such as the Lillet is a perfect companion for the latter.

  3. Anonymous2:43 AM

    you say you figured out how to sheetrock the ceiling, but you don't tell us what you figured out...
    what's the slimbolala method?

  4. Fortunately it wasn't the whole ceiling, just awkwardly large patches. It involved lots of clumsy perching and tired arms.

  5. probably overkill, but you could always use a
    panel lifter!

  6. Yeah, I was really coveting one of those.