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the power of plumbers, and Roseanne winning today’s Vileness Award

My dear handyman and friend John, his plumber friend Paul, and the plumber’s silent assistant Stanley, arrived at my front door this morning at 7.55 a.m. I’d been up since 7 to save them a parking spot out front and gear myself up for 3 men arriving before breakfast. We had to wake my poor downstairs tenant Gabriel, so Paul could check out the leak in his apartment. Is it the hot water tank? Paul thinks not. He thinks it may be a cracked pipe in the storage room next to the tank, which needs to be cleared out to check, and is, of course, jam-packed with stuff – the big Christmas box, the bag of my and my kids’ souvenir baby and child clothes, a box of my grandparents’ fancy dishes that nobody wants, 46 paint cans, and much, much more. It all needs to be cleared out so we can ascertain if the leak comes from there. And if it doesn’t, well, I’ve probably rid myself of 46 dried up paint cans, if nothing else.

And again, I ask myself, Why am I hanging onto this albatross of a house? Many many hours not writing but dealing with leaks, tenants, garden, maintenance, upkeep. Why not throw in the towel and free myself?

And then I look at the garden. Here’s the dilemma, as anyone who has had to make a difficult decision knows: there is no right answer. I love the garden and think of it as sanity, not only for me, but for my family and friends. Right now, I’m sitting on the deck smelling gardenia, jasmine, mint, the fresh green smell of life. The birds chatter, the trees whisper, and it’s so lush, it makes me weep with joy and gratitude, the sweet, tender beauty of it all – lilac, bleeding heart, pansies, climbing hydrangea, honeysuckle, gardenia, oleander, geranium, clematis and roses getting ready to reveal themselves, and behind their safety cage, the veggies, growing.

So shut up with the bitching. You are choosing the garden and the kitchen, the big bright kitchen where your guests are happy to congregate. And in doing so, you acknowledge that it will take a lot of time, energy, and effort to sustain life here. Luckily, you have John to help you. So shut the @#$#@ up.

Thanks, I needed that.

(Don’t forget the squirrels digging up the grass and the lettuce on the deck, the raccoons who shit everywhere, the grey cat who lurks trying to devour the sparrows at the feeder, the scale that wrecks your deck plants. Nature sweet but also red in tooth etc. You’re opting for that too.)


Next week, I’m going to have a cosmetic operation on my eyelids. On the left side, there’s a white cyst or lesion, and on the right, an ingrown eyelash. The surgeon said he had never seen one, and there is is, an eyelash poking out and growing up into my lid. if it’s not a leak in the basement, it’s an ingrown eyelash – isn’t life exciting?

And thank you, Roseanne, for today’s Vileness Prize. Today, you even beat out Donald Trump, and that takes some doing. Do you think the explosion of vileness liberated by Trump will spew out hatred until there’s nothing left and it’s spent, like a volcano? Or is there an endless supply of human vileness in the world? These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.



2 Responses to “the power of plumbers, and Roseanne winning today’s Vileness Award”

  1. theresa says:

    His vileness is infectious, like the worst ugly spreading diseases. His infection wakes the dormant versions in so many others.
    On the other hand, gardens! And kitchens! And writing, that happens in its own sweet time.

  2. beth says:

    Yes, exactly, he is a lethal human virus. And yes, its own sweet time. Like right now.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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