[gardeners] Searching for spring....

penny x stamm (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Tue, 8 May 2001 01:51:32 -0400

George, I am delighted that you are using both hands so
quickly!  Had me worried -- how could he be canning green
beans or whatever, with only one hand...? 

iIt was 40 degrees last night. It is 40 degrees tonight as well.
The only thing we are harvesting from the garden is all the
winter-killed leaves and branches. So far we've had eight
barrels full, plus 6 dead azaleas and 3 rhodies. I realize that
I can no longer put off spraying the entire property in the fall
with the protective coating .... 

There's always things to do.  The painters have been here and
it has indeed been a circus. The boss took off on their first day
for Romania and his parents' 50th anniversary, leaving a hispanic
whom I know, named Jose, in charge. Of course, Jose is fine but
definitely NOT a leader of men. Did I say men..? More like a strange
movie: one Brazilian who speaks absolutely no Spanish or English;
two Hungarians who speak no Spanish, French, English, German or
anything else. Poor Jose who speaks Spanish and some English.
And then there's Penny who can get along very well in Spanish, French, 
Chinese or English, mostly by using pantomime.  So I say to Jijio,
the Brazilian, as I press my hands together, "I thought you were 
praying to God!" since he had been communing with person or 
persons unknown in the sky, for five minutes. And his reply...?  
"Yes, your husband use makina [machine] for garden?" And
then again, I tell Shandor [Alexander] NOT to paint the garage
door today because it will not dry in time. He answers, "Talk
Pieter!" ....  I cannot find Pieter because he is painting the front
door -- omygod -- and it will not dry in time. "I go now tell Yanish
[John] not to paint garage door!" and I say, "Too late, Pieter,
Jijio has already painted it!  I told Shandor, he said speak to
Pieter, I walk upstairs, Jijio walk around back and paint the 
door!  Shandor no stop him -- no speak! "  Jose, meanwhile,
is on another job trying to reach Pieter by cell phone, only
the reception is terrible. I hear, "Hullo...? Hullo!!!!" Only a
Romanian (that's Pieter) can say 'hullo' with deep, religious 
fervor .....  It gets you, right here. 

Disney is wasting the opportunity of a lifetime, not being here.

I tell Jijio that the cellar door will never dry in time to lock up. 
He answers, "Maybe Jesus come back and fix door!"
Of course, Pieter, Yanish and Shandor are avid Seventh Day
Adventists, and their collective hairs stand up on end....

They repaint all twelve front shutters box car red.  I have a
heart attack. "Pieter, we call that color 'Box Car Red' -- you know,
railroad box cars...???"  "You like?"  "NoooooOH, not for my front
shutters! I want the same Chinese red I've had for 30 years! This
looks like brown!" "No problem. I bring Chinese red to-maw-rhow." 
And so it happens that all the shutters get their 2nd coat in Chinese 
red on Friday. .. .. "Pieter," I say softly, "uhh - I think it's time for
change. I think I'd prefer light blue." "No problem. I bring color
chart to-maw-rhow." And true to his promise, Pieter brings the
color cards. "OK, Pieter," I say, "how about this lovely 'Sky Blue'?"
"No problem. I bring paint to-maw-rhow." And Shandor paints all
twelve shutters once again. Then Pieter finds me to say that he
has hung one shutter up on the front of the house, and I must 
step out into the street to look at it. "Gosh, Pieter, such a 
magnificent blue, but it is too light, don't you think..?" "No problem. 
I get the color charts." And there we stand in the shade, trying to 
judge what a 2 inch square of blue will look like when applied to
a shutter on a big, white house....   "Okay, Pieter, how about this
one...?" "Ol' Blue Eyes" he reads with difficulty from the card.
"Oh, wow, that's perfect!" I say, "Ol' Blue Eyes it is!  Pieter, do
you know who Ol' Blue Eyes is - or was..?" "No-o--" "Old Frank
Sinatra!" and Pieter looks quizzical.. "That's okay, Pieter, no

And now the shutters have been repainted Ol' Blue Eyes blue.
Very beautiful, if shocking. Jimmie looks out the back window and
says, "Well!  It looks like the millenium has arrived!" "You got it!"
I answer. "I have turned over a new leaf. Gotta roll with the times."
And I stare at the pyramid of drying shutters smack in the middle
of the driveway...  Now I can't get the car out of the garage . . . . 

Penny, NY


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