One person I usually let get away with this is The Little Old Lady. She has been my customer and friend for about 10 years now, and now that she is pushing 90, there isn’t a lot she can still do around the yard. But MAN can that woman boss!
My hubby, Willis, jokes that the night before I come over, she gets together on her splendid little screened porch with her friends from the retirement community and they all have a few cocktails and dream up things for me to do that are a little out there. He thinks the conversation goes something like this:
Friend in wheelchair: “Make her move that big bird feeder that hangs from that high branch in the Willow tree. I’ll bet you my yarn collection she will have to climb the tree to get that done, because you only have that little stepladder.”
Friend with Alzheimer’s: “Good one! Hey. Call me in the morning to remind me so I can watch from the back window.”
Yesterday I was asked to move an old pile of wood from the back yard to the garage. This is the same pile of wood I have personally moved about a dozen times to different locations depending on “where it looks best.”
Grudgingly, and after accomplishing all of the other tasks on the very long list written in the world’s most perfect handwriting, I looked at my watch and realized I was going to have to tackle the woodpile, which was located at the farthest end of the garden behind some tall bushes.
After walking through the bushes a few times carrying several armloads of wood, accumulating scratches on my arms in the process, it occurred to me that a more efficient way to move the pile would be to throw the logs over the fence surrounding the garden and then go get them and bring them to the front. I had been doing this for a while, and was at the point during a mundane task where I let my mind wander to deciding what I might like to have for lunch, when I looked down after picking up a piece of wood off the pile and saw a chubby gray mouse looking back at me.
The moment seems frozen in time, looking back on it, as all traumatic moments are. I looked at the mouse and then I screamed and accidentally dropped the big log on his head. I was instantly horrified, due to the fact that I am opposed to killing of any kind and am the type of person that gets made fun of for capturing spiders I find in the house and releasing them outside unharmed.
Not wanting to pick up the weapon of death to check the status of the mouse. (The half of his body that was showing wasn’t moving.) I walked back to the garage to confront my abuser.
“What was all that ruckus back there.” She asked.
“I think I accidentally killed a mouse,” I said.
“Good,” she replied. She hates all kinds of varmints.
“I don’t think I can go back there.” I said sheepishly.
Then she made that little sound with her tongue on the roof of the mouth that my dad made when I was little that said: “You are really a disappointment to me.”
Then I went home and took a nap and dreamed that the family of the mouse was chasing me in hopes of revenge.