It was amazing for a few moments today.


Paul had, long ago, built this lovely little alcove with a Nantucket swing. He had grown honeysuckle over this all, to wit his ex-mother-in-law referred to as a “goddamn weed” since she lived in the South. Well, the honeysuckle is very old now and there are layers on layers of its growth over the alcove and it is absolutely gorgeous. Certainly, the thick overgrowth now around this area has contributed to what we know in our yard as part of the “rat highway” but it is worth it, if you ask me. I don’t even dislike rats, really. The rats use this honeysuckle highway to reach our garden relatively protected.


Meanwhile, the honeysuckle alcove was a place where you could beat the heat in a reasonably hot summer afternoon and, because of the honeysuckle, often have hummingbirds nearly fly in to poke your eye out. It is truly quite lovely to sit there smelling the intoxicating odor of honeysuckle while nearly having your eye poked out by a hummingbird. I wouldn’t want to go blind in one eye any other way.


Times and laziness went by in which we did not bring that Nantucket swing inside to avoid the winter rains and mold. This year, that poor lovely swing (that I never really liked, to tell truth) was finally replaced by a really nice new Nantucket swing with Sunbrella fabric.


It was nice, that is, until I watered the garden that is just behind it. This year, since the raised garden beds have fallen apart and I moved all of Paul’s watering system lines to the side so that I could rototill and basically create larger growing spaces (oh! And Paul would certainly point out the fact that I killed off all the blackberries because I don’t like blackberries). I turned the garden into a different thing altogether when he said to go ahead and tear out certain blackberry plants. There is still one (or two?)) Truthfully, I never MEANT to kill Paul’s blackberries, but I certainly did not go out of my way to save them. Sorry, to me a cane is a cane is a cane…and I cut them all! (insert evil laugh here). Turns out that is NOT the proper way to prune a blackberry.


So, as Paul was spending the majority of early Spring trying to fix various irrigation lines that Izzy had dug up a number of years ago. I planted the garden and came up with my own watering system: a sprinkler.


It took a number of attempts but I finally came up with this simple watering “system” of putting the oscillating sprinkler on an old plant stand and letting it spray water everywhere. I got it to where most of the water goes where it is supposed to. And I do know how precious water….will be.


Paul spent many months on that watering system. This year he bought a brand new AMAZING wifi system that was going to save water by being able to tell when the soil was dry or wet so that it knew whether and how much to water.


Wow! I thought. That really did sound great.


Then came his initial setting up. It took three days until he finally figured out that the wifi router that we had was not actually powerful enough to reach the outside behind the washer and dryer.


NO PROBLEM!! He found out that he could purchase a booster router from ComCast. So he did. And it worked! Suddenly, he got the watering system to work as well as it had before. Almost.

It took me a while to see where things weren’t getting watered.


At some point I asked him how the system “knows when it is wet or dry” works. He got angry. “That’s an add-on!”


“Oh,” I said sheepishly, trying to avoid the ire I don’t want to hear.


In the end, the oscillating sprinkler remains on the top of the very ugly plant stand that came somewhere from Paul’s mom.


I turned on the water to my garden.


Anyway, for a few moments, I had the water on in the garden and I sat in that swing. It was wonderful because it really looked like rain. The ocean wind was coming up. The sky was hazy from the bit of smoke from fires south of us. It reminded me of the tropics for about five minutes. I loved the tropics because I love rain and there, you could sit outside every single afternoon under only a roof. The rains came like clockwork every afternoon and I would sit under the roof next to a courtyard with a pond that no one took care of. I could see the trees up behind the other half of the building and watch tree shrews and birds. I thought that place was incredible even though it was “the old” guest house in Bogor gardens in Indonesia. The fact that it was falling apart and didn’t have hot water was all part of its charm.


The problem in Oregon is if it is raining, it is usually not warm enough to sit outside in shorts and a tank top and watch it. Of course, Climate Change may change that.


But for a few brief moments now, we can pretend that it is raining by sitting in that swing. That is, until it builds up on the melanine sheet above our heads and starts dripping down.



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