Friday, April 10, 2009

Dandelions




Some consider dandelions a weed. Almost all of the unoccupied lots around here now have a profusion of dandelions blooming in their full butter yellow glory. I have a few of them on the very edge of my highly manicured and treated green carpet lawn. During my walk this afternoon in the development behind where I live, I looked at amazement at the unoccupied lots that are covered in a yellow blanket. The poor dandelion, no one wants it on their lawn. Then I noticed that the unwanted dandelions were wanted by one living form, the humble honey bee. Yes, honey bees were swarming around the thousands of dandelions that are spreading in profusion in the many untreated lots. This is one positive aspect of the current housing market, plenty of dandelions for the local honey bees.

In addition to the sunny mild weather, this was a good day for me. I took my car to The Garage to have another motor installed for the rear window shield wiper. I called the first thing this morning to ask if the part was in. I was asked “Would it be inconvenient for you to bring your car in Monday?” Uh……YES! I’ve been messing with this window shield wiper business all week. I told them that it would be inconvenient for me to wait until Monday. They told me to bring my car in and leave it with them. They would work with it today.

I dropped my car off and Bill and I visited our friend Bob. If you remember Bob, he is my long time friend who is showing signs of early dementia. Or at least it seems that way to me. Bob lives a short distance outside of Georgetown, in the woods on 22 acres of land. We arrive and knock on his door. He greets us and invites us in. This is one of his good days because he is animated. We seat ourselves in his living room. I ask Bob if his partner Jim is sleeping because I didn’t want to wake him up by talking loud (Jim is a nurse who works nights and I do talk loud.) Bob said not to worry because “Jim can sleep through anything.” After about a half an hour into our visit, Jim is heading for the front door. We ask where he is going. Jim says “I’m going to the f—cking Post Office then I’m going to the g..dam f—cking library.” Well……okay. Must be one of Jim’s “multiples” (the way Jim refers to his multiple personalities.) This is nothing different for Jim. He is very possessive of his relationship with his partner Bob and jealous of any attention Bob receives from his other friends. Jim has succeeded in discouraging most of Bob’s friends from visiting him but I refuse to end my friendship with Bob. I’ve known Bob a lot longer than Jim (since 1960 – Jim has been with Bob “only” 23 years.) Jim may be 68 years old but he sometimes acts like a spoiled petulant child. I don’t let his attitude bother me. The way I look at it is the old police attitude towards an accident or crime scene: “Nothing to see here, let’s move on.”

As I was getting ready to leave Bob’s, we hear a knock at Bob's door. It was Scott, a Census Bureau address canvasser. What a small world! Last week I attended class with Scott in Laurel. I had to ask him how he was doing. As expected he told me that address canvassing is indeed very hard work. He said at the end of the day he finds his neck aching. He’s had some problems with insufficient training but he is overcoming it. I told him I respect his work but that I just couldn’t juggle both of my jobs. He said he had worked in the previous census but this one was much harder because of the use of the HHC (hand held computer.) I have to admit I experienced a temporary sense of melancholy when I saw him holding his personal HHC and swiping his fingerprint to sign on. He was having problems signing on (you get three tries then you have to wait fifteen minutes.) I gave him advice on how to swipe his fingerprint and he was successful. I’m glad I could be of help to him.

It was such a beautiful day today that I felt a slight sense of regret that I didn’t stay with the census job but that quickly went away as I gave a deep cough. I’m overcoming a bad cold. I could just imagine if I had stayed with the job with my cold out in the wind and the rain and the cold. I would probably have pneumonia by now. No, it was a good thing (for me) that I left when I did. I wished Scott well and Bill and I were on our way while Scott was off to Map Spot more Housing Units.

This evening I had dinner with a long time friend of mine from Pennsylvania who came down to his Rehoboth Beach house for the Easter holiday. We dined on Eggplant Parmesan at the Rehoboth Dinner. As is usual for folks of our age (we went to school together), we discussed our various medical ailments and treatments. A sure sign we’re officially OLD. The evening ended as I drove up Rt. 1 to my home on the impossibly green acre of manicured, Lawns Unlimited, dandelion free (except for a few dandelions on the edges) lawn. Yes, today was a good day. Even for the dandelions and the honey bees that feasted on their nectar.

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