October 01, 2007

Money Well-Spent

My work schedule and the weather conspired against me in the battle of the yard. I had to concede. Every good general knows when to retreat. The yard, front and back, was an embarrassment. It is bad enough that the front of the house needs paint and new railings but to have an overgrown, ragged mess is just too much.

I came home from lunch to find that Percy, who does the neighbor’s yard, was hard at work. He usually does it at the crack of dawn on alternate Saturdays. But here he was on a Friday. When SF and I met him during the summer, he had given a figure of $50. I have just enough. I was going to use that to buy some mums from my favorite employer since they are on sale. However. . . .

I’ve got just enough time to accost him and plead my case before returning to work. He’s in the back, tootling around on his ride-on mower, ignoring me. Bandana wrapped around his head and a straw hat over top of that. I know that he sees me. Finally, he pulls over.

I explain the situation. Nope, he can’t do it today and maybe he can do it after he gets off on Saturday. Fine with me; I’m not off until Wednesday. Just git ‘er done. I say that I remember he quoted $50. Nope; $55. Okay. I’ll have to leave you the $5. Where? Good grief, will I duck and dodge him on $5.00? It will be somewhere on the front. Deal. He agrees that it looks awfully bad.

Saturday morning, I tape an envelope with the $5 to the front door. Wrote a nice little note on the front of the envelope, undying thanks, yada yada. Proceed to get dressed. Oops. I got in too late to move the bricks and boards out of his way. Write another apologetic note telling him not to worry about moving things and move to the front. The money is gone. GONE? Where? It couldn’t have blown off the front door. Who would take it? Good grief. That was my last five in ready cash. Whose car is that parked in front? Maybe they are at the library. But the library has an empty lot. Oh, well. Have to go to my good job.

Passing through the kitchen, I hear movement on the side. The groundhogs don’t make noise. Peep out the window. It’s Percy. But I thought he had to work in the morning? No matter. Rush outside and find that he had come by to: 1) get his money and 2) to clear the debris so his mower would not be damaged. Geez. Good thing I put the money out early. If I had waited until lunch time, like I started to do, he might not have mowed the lawn. The folks down here are SERIOUS about their money.

It’s dark when I return but I can tell the difference immediately upon pulling into the driveway. No tufts of sparse grass ring the entrance. Everything is smooth and level. Walking from the barn/shed/garage, the back yard is beautiful. If the back looks this good, I can imagine how the front looks. Have to wait until daylight, however.

Daybreak and I’m up surveying the lay of the land. Damn, he did an excellent job. It looks as though I have an expanse of green, manicured lawn. I could only wish.

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