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What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

On splendor in the dead grass

Irrational habits are incredibly powerful! We have not had any significant rainfall here in about two months. The daytime temperatures have stayed in the upper eighties to upper nineties. My neighbor, with clocklike precision, mows his lawn every Wednesday evening after work. His grass has been dead or dormant for several weeks now. It hasn’t grown a single millimeter since the last weekly cutting yet, this evening; there he was grooming the dusty brown rug that carpets his front lawn.

I have a few habits like that are almost impossible to ignore. I cannot fall asleep at night until I check to make sure that all the doors are locked. Even when we are guests in someone else’s home, I have to sneak a surreptitious look at the locks on their front door before going to bed. I don’t think of myself as being superstitious, yet if I don’t check the doors I will stay awake all night with an eerie sense of foreboding.

It is not unlike my flashlight habit. I cannot travel without packing a flashlight in my suitcase. I have a strong, but irrational belief that the one time that I do not pack a flashlight will be the one time when a flashlight will be desperately needed. Having a flashlight along on the trip is my talisman against ever needing to have a flashlight along on the trip.

From my dad, I acquired the strange habit of having to have a bag of tools in the trunk of my car at all times. Even though most problems with modern cars are almost impossible to fix with a screwdriver along the side of the road, I can’t help it. I know in my heart that if I go anywhere without those tools, the car will surely break down.

As I sit here on the porch, typing on the laptop, watching him mow and drinking my tea, I figure that my neighbor must have a similarly quirky notion about mowing his lawn. As long as he ritualistically cuts it each and every Wednesday evening, no meteors will strike his house. No sinkholes will swallow his trees. His deck won’t sink into the sea. Invading hordes of locusts won’t consume his petunias. His pointy-headed lawn gnomes won’t spring to life and go on a murderous rampage with their little hoes. I find lawn gnomes to be a bit creepy. Perhaps, I should mow more often.

3 Comments:

Blogger Adinah said...

well, seen as a public confession (admission)...I too carry a flashlight when I travel. The tools are a given, but tell me, does your tool collection include bungee cords? Mine does! (inherited that quirk from my Dad)

22/6/05 9:52 PM  
Blogger HCaldwell said...

Of course. I wouldn't be caught dead without a bungee cord or two. I even have a few of my own that I cut from truck tire inner tubes. Also duct tape, stove pipe wire, and gasket sealant. Works better than a St. Christopher medal, I never break down.

22/6/05 10:07 PM  
Blogger Adinah said...

and an extra drive belt....courtesy of my Dad. since all these new cars run on belts...tarp? have you got a tarp? You need that too.

23/6/05 2:15 PM  

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