When my neighbor Elaine hailed me from her front porch, I thought we were just in for a neighborly chat: Little did I know that Destiny was at work.
Elaine is a neighbor, but only by country standards; her house is at least a quarter mile down the road from mine. So I was delighted to see her on her front porch as Court and I walked by; it had been awhile.
During our conversation, I mentioned that I hadn’t succeeded in finding straw bales to mulch my garden, so it was just me, some grass clippings, and a hoe against hordes of persistent vegetation.
Elaine brightened. As Destiny would have it, she had stacks of rotting straw bales that had once insulated a particularly wind-beaten side of her house but were now decomposing forlornly in her back yard. “You’re welcome to take them,” she said, a bit of hope glinting in her eyes.
I brightened in turn. Beyond rubies was this mass of rotting roughage to a gardener like me! Now the only problem was transport–there was no WAY the stinking mass could go into my trunk; the mess would have violated even my depressingly lax standards of vehicular cleanliness.
So I conscripted my menfolk, and they came through marvelously. After all, if one gets to drive a lawn tractor down the road, what’s not to like? At least, that’s the case if you’re a 10 year old boy. The thrill of the drive was enough to compensate for the prospect of hauling stinky straw.
So one fine Friday after work, off we went on our mission. Sage drove, while Paul, Court and I hitched a ride on the empty trailer en route.
We loaded up the trailer at Elaine’s. Then Sage drove the load home, looking every inch the bona fide farmer.
Of course, the unpleasant task of unloading awaited us at the journey’s end.
Still, as far as Sage was concerned, the straw toting was totally worth it. The kid was happy, the garden’s happy, Paul’s happy that I’m not making him deal with any more rotting bales.
And when Elaine came home to find the rotting straw out of her yard, she texted, “THANK YOU!!!!!!!”
Apparently, she’s happy too.