LAKE MACBRIDE— Yesterday’s wind died down to reveal almost perfect weather conditions today. A little cold— frost is evident on the leaves of thyme— but not the hard frost about which gardeners often fret. My April 30 assessment proved accurate: it is still time for planting.
While the yard is too wet for mowing, there is laundry to do, and a day to organize. Today will include the first cut of lawn— an abundant and sustainable source of mulch for the garden. It will take four hours to make the two cuts, bag and spread the grass clippings on garden plots. The five-gallon gasoline container was filled yesterday, so if the mower starts and the sun shines, we’re ready to go. The neighbors will appreciate the results.
The other big task for today is digging and delivering spring garlic to the CSA for inclusion in tomorrow’s shares. I estimate two to three hours for the project. There is so much spring work to do, the balance of the day will be easily filled.
Before I finish my third cup of coffee and second breakfast, head down to remove the old sheet from the door to my study and put away the space heater for the season, I want to write about the sweatshirt in the photograph.
While making kits at the warehouse, it occurred to me the sweatshirt is as old as some of my cohorts who were born in the 1990s. It was a gift during a boondoggle of a trip to Aventura, Florida, where a group of corporate transportation equipment maintenance executives met to discuss braking systems. There were a number of these so-called “maintenance councils” sponsored by equipment manufacturers. While invited to join a many of them, one had to be selective. Brakes are important in trucks, so I went.
Last to arrive, my schedule prevented me from playing golf on the one of the resort’s courses that morning as other council members did. My plane landed at the Hollywood airport as dinner was being served and the taxi delivered me to the restaurant as speeches, mostly related to tenure on the council, began.
When describing the trip as a boondoggle, it means everything was included: air fare, luxury hotel accommodations, meals, greens fees for golfers and entertainment. There was even a budget for gifts like the sweatshirt, although corporate policy prevented me from accepting anything too extravagant. Corporate staff had our beds turned down, and reviewed our final hotel bills to ensure everything within reason was paid by the corporation.
During the event, golfing was available, but I’m no golfer. As an alternative, we toured the inland waterways, went deep sea fishing and experienced the constant fawning of sales staff, engineers and corporate interns present for the event. The company wanted the experience to be unforgettable as they held a council meeting to discuss brakes. In transportation, a brake failure through improper manufacturing or maintenance is a liability— and there are lawsuits.
While doing the laundry, I noticed the sweatshirt was frayed at the seams. It won’t last much longer. I donned it again to head downstairs, and then to the garage and garden. Not because of the memories, but because it was something to keep away the chill as the sun burns off the frost and new work begins.
We launder our memories as well as our clothing, in hope of something. Better experiences and memories, I suppose. Memories we make ourselves, away from the exigencies of corporate masters and lawsuits. Eventually old clothes will wear out. There will be something else to wear— something we produce ourselves, rather than the gift of a corporation looking out for their own interests. At least that is what one believes on laundry day.