Live-In Gardener

A day passed through here that made all of the neighborhood cats take a long and luxurious nap in these extended hours of sunshine. Another one follows along right behind, and I understand that it is then all over. This October run of sun is most memorable. The month almost always does this. I feel more warmth on my face this time of year than I do in the middle of the summer. I could look back to my journal for several years now and see the pattern. There was no movement in the air yesterday, not even leaves twirling downward from their limbs. All the sky was still. The day before I had watched a couple of red-tailed hawks circling deep in the blue in the afternoon before the sun fell behind the hills. Yesterday the hawks took roost on the treetops. I watched one of them parked above on the tallest tree across the road in the glen.

A large buck walked past the window yesterday morning where I was sitting and writing. He must also have sensed that it was going to be a pretty warm day. A walk down along the edge of my property and in to a garden area where I have planted some avocado trees. The rascal had already eaten all the leaves off the trees a month ago. Now he was coming back to see if the leaves had come back. They have not. Well, maybe little buds are now beginning to appear, but he has already done his main trimming work on the trees. The nerve of him to think that it’s okay to come back and eat more. I tapped on the window to scare him away, but he turned around, not budging, and gave me the expression that he wanted to challenge me over ownership of the garden space. We have some very well fed deer in these low lying hills where nearly everything grows, where all you do is put something in the ground and give a little bit of water, and it will prosper quite well. Last year one of my banana palms produced bananas, although not big enough to eat. These deer live on a steady diet of rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, morning glories, princess flowers, wisteria, bougainvilleas, nasturtiums, and wild poppies. I don’t know what all else the neighbors have planted, but I do know that it is some mighty good eating, because our four-legged friends, our live-in gardeners, never wander very far.

Tonight an acquaintance of mine, a building contractor, is coming over to discuss the possibility of building a small kitchen onto the front of this little cottage on the side of our house where I have been doing my writing and thinking for several months. I already anticipate the disruption in my thinking. It seems that the only place I have ever found around my house that I can sit pretty much undisturbed for hours at a time also happens to be the best place to build this little kitchen that we have in mind. I am trying to figure out where I can put my computer, some books, and myself, when and if all of the hammering should soon begin. I know from the last round of remodeling that there is no easy place to run and hide. The people who have come and helped us remodel our house have gone out of their way to make it possible for us to remain living in the house while parts of it have been literally ripped to pieces and put back together renewed.

I have another computer set up that I can switch over to while this one is down, so I suppose that is where I shall wind up for a couple of months. It is in the house, where my flow of ideas often becomes retarded by the daily household noises that might come from television, or pots and pans clanging in the kitchen at dinner hour, or the thumping of bare feet traipsing back and forth from room to room. All these little noises that mean nothing to me when I am not writing, suddenly seem to be magnified tenfold the moment that I lay my fingers on the keyboard, or rather, most recently, strap on my dictation microphone headset and begin talking to the computer screen.

If the warmth of October days should hold and perhaps wander on in to November, I may be able to do some writing just sitting outside in the wonderful sunshine. I know a couple of places, picnic tables in public parks that are not too far from here, where I could bring my tiny notebook PC, and talk to it in quiet.

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