This is the
first summer in four years that we haven't had our own vegetable
garden. We've been all but ostracized from our two crunchy granola
friends who would prefer to starve if faced with the option of not
eating something grown organically from their garden.
We chose not to put in a garden this year because it's virtually impossible to do so while policing Ewan, who thinks it's a SUPER COOL FUN game to freak me out by picking up bugs and bringing them to his mouth. I'm too neurotic about it at this point to call his bluff. He loves when I screech and lunge towards him. We also didn't put a garden in because I've fine-tuned a schedule that combines my work and raising children and tending to a full garden wouldn't fit this year. Plus, we'd be behind and I'm competitive and this wouldn't work. Our neighbor's garden is situated in close proximity to our own and I spent most of last summer playing an unspoken game with her. I tried lasagna gardening; afterwards, she did, too. Everything I put in the garden (tomato cages, rabbit fence, etc. MY GAWD I SOUND LIKE A FARMER) she did too, literally days after me. One early morning I watched from my bathroom window as she lumbered over to the edge of my garden, a cigarette hanging from her bottom lip, to eye its progress.
"I grew mine from seed," she smugly said to me one afternoon as I returned from the market with a tray of plants.
"Cool," I said and in my head I added "Do you want a cookie?"
I was concerned about the amount of shade the garden was receiving; her garden enjoyed full sun most of the day while two trees blocked most of my garden's light in the late afternoon.
"I'll just cut those trees down," Chris offered.
"Okay, call your dad," I replied.
"My dad? Heh, I'm a grown man I THINK I KNOW HOW TO CUT DOWN A TREE."
Apparently, tree-cutting is another Man Skill that men acquire in their youth, along with fixing cars, killing bugs, taking out the trash, and leaving their dirty socks all over the bedroom floor.
When Chris told me that he would take care of it I felt immediate fear. He called his dad and asked to borrow the chainsaw. His dad told him that he would help but NO. CHRIS THOUGHT HE KNEW HOW TO CUT DOWN A TREE.
Liam (who was two at the time), myself and our video camera crowded
in front of our bedroom window to watch daddy kill himself. Chris stood
at the base of one tree, chainsaw in hand, and looked up to the top.
That's when I knew he was in over his head. So he began cutting the
base of the tree - leaving stump to pull out - and then realized that
his plan to cut and push the tree away from the house was not going to
work. The tree began to lean ominously towards him. There was a loud
CRACK! and Chris sprinted to the hills WITH THE STILL-RUNNING CHAINSAW
IN HAND while the tree fell - AND HIT RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BEDROOM
WINDOW. Liam was in the process of potty-training and wearing his first
pair of Underroos; he promptly wet himself all over the carpet when the
tree landed. I saw Chris, standing at the other end of the yard with
his bottom jaw brushing the grass. He looked at me and I began laughing
BUT HE DIDN'T STOP CHAINSAWING TREES DOWN.
No! Despite the first failure, Chris still had one more tree to go.
"WELL? I CUT IT DOWN, DIDN'T I? I KNOW I CAN GET THIS ONE" he screamed from the yard.
He cut it and it fell right on top of the neighbor's garden.
We were just felling trees ALL OVER THE PLACE at the Loesch homestead.
Luckily, the neighbor was out of town for the weekend. We examined the chaos; our house wasn't damaged and the tree only crushed three of her tomato plants and some cabbage; everything else was fine. We discussed all of the ways to address this problem: We could've blamed it on the big storm last night, the one which sent tree limbs flying through the air. In the end we owned up. Chris cleaned up the mess and hauled away the trees while I wrote her a card apologizing for the damage and offering to either replace her plants or she could take three of our plants. When she returned home she walked over and thanked us.
"I just can't believe how honest you guys are," she said, genuinely shocked. "I would've assumed it was caused by the storm."
"No, no. Just insane-o Chris and his chainsaw."