I had a total revelation a few weekends ago. I was on call. Bookworm was at a 4-H event, and Popcorn was at a birthday party, and Studmuffin was running all over Egypt while I stayed home and did yard work under the pretense that I was on call, so I obviously needed to stay home and get ridiculously filthy doing yard work..
At about 3pm, I made a firm decision. I needed some new flowers. Only, of course after the plethora of FREE flowers my neighbors have been giving me, I was NOT going to buy them. So, I grabbed my shovel, a few plastic grocery sacks and I hit the road.
I drove down a dirt road and dug up a bunch of bachelor buttons* growing wild in the ditch. Then I continued to circle until I came up behind one of my church members houses where I had spied a lovely batch of Indian paint brush at the stop sign east of her house. I had to circle around as I once made the mistake of bicycling down her road and thought I was never going to get away from her viciously snarling dogs. You know that feeling? You are peddling, peddling, peddling, but they just continue to snap and snarl right at your heel and you are certain that at any moment you are going to get your achilles tendon ripped to shreds.
It is quite traumatizing.
So, I quietly drove up from the opposite direction. I parked the car, left it running with my door open and frantically dug up those Indian paint brush as fast as I could. I tossed them into the back hatch (which I also had open) jumped into my car and tore off as if the very hounds of hell were nipping at my heels.
And when I drove by, Donna's dogs never even left their front yard, and barely lifted their heads from their paws to give me a "WOOF!" as I passed by.
Strangely, the Indian paint brush did not survive. And most of the bachelor buttons didn't fair too well, but I also noticed that none of them are blooming in the ditches anymore, so perhaps they are finished for the season.
And it occurred to me that my children will probably have a deep loathing for all things free/bargain basement out of rebellion towards their mother who made them wear hand me downs and thrift store clothes, and who's most triumphant moments involved getting stuff for free.
But then, a small light began to flicker at the end of the tunnel. My friend who had carted Bookworm to her 4-H event told me she didn't want to buy anything, and she wasn't sure if she had fun. I asked her about it later, and she said, "Well, the only clothes they had that fit me were cut offs. They wanted twenty bucks for them, and I can make my own cut offs, so I wasn't about to buy them!"
And my heart did a little leap of joy.
*Gentle Reader: I do not know if these are truly bachelor buttons. They look like the domestic ones, so my neighbor (the expert gardener) told me they were the "wild cousin" to the bachelor buttons you get at the store. And I bow to her expertise. Because I'm flying by the seat of my thread bare pants when it comes to gardening.
Oh, and speaking of thread bare pants. The very day I was digging flowers from the roadside, I realized that the pants I was wearing were worn out to the point that you could see my hot pink panties plain as day where the crotch near the zipper gave completely out. Sadness. Such utter and complete sadness.
But at least my panties weren't holey!