Saturday, May 15, 2010


The fellow who owned the house before we moved in knew what he was doing in the backyard. Not because of any green genes I possess, the yard is filled with trees, and, in addition, the property borders on public park land. I am perched right now on a chair in the living room where I often sit in the morning drinking coffee. From this vantage point I can look out through glass sliding doors and see my predecessor's beautiful work.

Here is the problem. Adjacent to the gorgeous Japanese maple (that I did not know was a Japanese maple until a gardener oohed and ahed at it one day) my predecessor built a shed. A very practical thing a shed. In it we store the lawnmower, assorted baseball bats in the event I lose forty years and am summoned by the Red Sox to be a designated hitter, a symbolically deflated basketball, lumber--as if I would have a clue about what to do with lumber--, various garden tools that might as well be in a museum for all they are used by either of us, and boxes of items that if I unpacked them would provide hours of wondering regarding why I had kept this and that.

The shed is visible when the wind blows a certain way and when the sun shines a certain way. Otherwise the maple sort of obscures it. The shed is an eyesore, but right smack in my line of vision, so often when I gaze out into this otherwise inspiring back yard, I see the shed.

I wonder, now and then, if it's important to see the shed. Is it important to see the blemishes to remind yourself that all is not as it could be?I mean I could shift my position or where I place the chair so that I look the other way and pretend that the shed is not there. The thing is the shed is there and I would be kidding myself not to acknowledge it.

I did buy a new chair. There was a sale at Macys and I went downtown a week ago last Thursday to buy the new chair which, if as advertised, swivels so I can look elsewhere. When I got to Macys they said that they no longer have furniture at the downtown location, but I should go to a suburban mall Macys. So, last Saturday I drove to the mall--a place I like frequenting as much as I enjoy doing my taxes. When I got to that Macy's I was told that that particular suburban mall Macy's also discontinued selling furniture. There was another suburban mall that had it. But I had had it with malls and Macys at that point. So I stood in the middle of the mall and called the Macys' 800 number, amidst the little kids eating ice cream and their parents shouting for them to stop beating up on their siblings, and I ordered the chair that I had been seeking.

It is supposed to come on Wednesday. I'm pretty sure I will still see the shed, though, no matter how much I swivel. My idionsyncrasy perhaps, but I think it is a quirk that in the long run does me some good. You kid yourself to think there is no shed, and your heart and head and growth is misdirected and you start on the road not to be travelled.

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