Yesterday was a glorious summer day; sunny and comfortably warm with no humidity plus the luxury of a refreshing breeze. Today is the Fourth of July and I’m hosting my first family barbecue. Handy thought I needed a gas grill and in that special way of his, he purveyed a fine specimen of outdoor cuisine for free.
Here in Moxie Town, the Fourth of July isn’t that big a deal because it’s just the prelude to the festival. The time of “moxification” is upon us. Even though her house is for sale this year, I hope Maureen will still hang her “Main Street has Moxie” sign, maybe for the last time.
I’m strategically planning my next mow so the lawn looks its best on Saturday and I’ve got a whole schedule of tasks to complete before Moxie lovers descend on the town. I even went up to my “Surprise Garden” and gave it the once over.
I’ve got a confession. I’ve ignored my surprise garden for much of the summer. Not because I wanted to, but because something happened there this spring that saddened me. I was despondent, or as Handy might say “morose.” It was part of the reason I resigned from the Moxie Festival Committee.
This spring, someone drove over the tulips in my “Surprise Garden.”
You see, I’m a sensitive person. Sometimes, it comes out as sarcasm or sharp words, but deep down, a little thing like tire tracks through spring-struggling tulips making their way in the world crushes my spirit. I’ve tended that little corner of town for a long time and there’s only been one other incident of vehicular boundary overreach But nothing like this.
So I let that garden spot tend to itself. I couldn’t even bring myself to drive by now and again. Just thinking about it was upsetting.
But as I said, Moxie is upon us now and I didn’t want my spot to look shabby. Goodness knows it’s going to look enough like the bombing of Dresden here, what with the mighty Worumbo’s last white walls teetering over the river threatening to topple into Frank’s “Moxie Store.”
Speaking of which, the store’s closed this year too; it’s for sale. I hear Mr. Moxie is retiring. Handy and I went to look at the property, to see if it might be a good investment. That’s a story for another day…after Moxie.
I packed up my tools and pointed the Jeep up Maple Street. A woman driving a station wagon was putt-putting down the opposite (incorrect) side of the road towards me. I can only surmise why. The eponymous song “Bad Company” was on the radio and I glared at her as I idled, not relinquishing the correct side of the road. Finally, she pulled over onto the sidewalk and allowed me to pass.
Maybe she was the one who drove over my tulips.
When I got to my little corner of the world, what I found surprised me. I guess it’s not called a “Surprise” garden for nothing.
The Calendula I planted a few years ago keep self-seeding and with a little help from the original “Master Gardener” my garden looked quite nice. It only took an hour to weed and prune. I even contemplated some additional “moxification.”
There’s no moral to today’s story. Just taking care of my stuff and not leaving any garbage (or crushed tulips) behind. And you know what they say on Independence Day.
It’s a free country. But for goodness sake, stay on your own side of the road.