April Fools....Nope!


April Fool’s joke? Don’t we wish! Really, don’t we wish the president would sashay up to that microphone this afternoon for his daily update and announce to the country that this whole coronavirus thing has just been one huge April Fools joke. Don’t we wish. Unfortunately that is not the case.

While self quarantined I did some much needed yard work this weekend on two fronts. On Saturday, at the Reservoir house, I cleaned up a big messy spot where several large crepe myrtles finally succumbed, this past winter, to the injuries they received when our Jeep blew up in the middle of the night four years ago.

Then on Sunday afternoon when we returned home to Sebastopol we saw first hand just how quickly bamboo cane can sprout after having a whole swath of it mulched down recently.

First the crepe myrtles. When we bought that house 23 years ago those trees were beautiful along the back edge of the driveway. Being much younger and much more fit back then, I cleaned out from around them and built up a nice bordered flower bed.

Wife, Danny, and I planted some running roses and ground cover in there. Her mom had died that same year and we dug up a few things from her yard and transplanted them there along with a Calla Lily that someone had sent to the funeral.

That lily bloomed this year and I felt it my responsibility to clean out from around it and get rid of the overgrown dead portions of the trees and some of that massive running rose that had grown to the tips of the crepes and formed a really pretty canopy when in bloom, but with the death of the trees had become a hazard for vehicles and people trying to enter and exit them as well.

Once that was done the lily white lily was really pretty against the dark green foliage and I proclaimed that was a sign from my mother-in-law in heaven that all would soon be well with the world amidst this pandemic. Thanks, Bobbie Joe, I’m holding you to that promise, no April Fool’s joke, okay?

And now the bamboo cane.

Sunday afternoon when we pulled back up at the Sebastopol house a quick glance up toward the top of the hill, under the massive oak where a tree swing is about to be swinging, was a bit disheartening to say the least.

The area where the bulk of the bamboo had been mulched down three weeks ago looked much like the whiskers on a man’s face under a high power microscope. It had only been three days since Danny and I had walked around out there and stomped down a whole slew of tender new shoots of bamboo and Sunday it was covered again and some of the stuff was already knee high.

Having had my fill of yard work from the previous day in that crepe myrtle bed along with stick-picking-up and grass-cutting under the massive pines at the Rez, I think I kind of huffed, and laughed at the same time realizing there would be no rest for the weary on Sunday.

Plus the rain had already made the yard bushy and the spring sun has yet to get hot enough to blister the weeds of winter so there was indeed much to be done before dinner time, and before it all became too established to cause more pain. It really wasn’t as much physical labor as the day before since our lawnmower is fairly large and that bamboo was just getting started. Actually I kind of enjoyed watching those bamboo shoots suffer. Take that bamboo, take that!

I suppose it is safe to say that if we look around there is plenty for us all to be doing during these times of self quarantine and social distancing. It’s also safe to say that I’m finding it difficult to find the motivation. I think that is just the shock of how the whole world has changed so drastically so quickly.

We can’t dwell on that though. We’ve got to all deal with it and move forward as best as we can.

Plus, when this is all over and the world — even our little bitty piece of it — gets back to the new normal we can swing on that new tree swing and marvel at the wars we’ve won....the world vs the virus, and the battle of the bamboo!

And that, my friends, is no April Fool’s joke!


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