You don’t typically think of “bandages” or “blood” or “bruises the size of a Dodge Grand Caravan.” So far, our spring gardening misadventures have included the following casualties:
- A sprained lower back from simply bending at the waist to set a flat of sunflowers on the ground.
- A bruised upper back from falling down the back stairs while trying to balance six potted plants. (Actually, it’s a temporary “stair,” as we still haven’t installed concrete steps like normal people. But this incident mirrored almost exactly the time I fell down the front stairs this winter. I openly wept in the yard after both falls because pain trumps embarrassment. This time, instead of asking my dog to take a dump between tears, my crybaby line was, “I don’t care about a TV stand…I just want some back stairs!”)
- A scraped forearm, thanks to the same back stair.
- A gruesome, bloody stubbed toe, from walking into the screen door. Thanks, flip-flops!
- Jason scraped four inches of flesh from his shin while digging a trench in the backyard.
- I also generally look and smell like a landfill, which is painful in a different way.
This is dangerous work. I should just spend summer on the couch watching HGTV and fantasizing about The Yard That Could Have Been. At the rate I’m going, I may sever a limb just going out to get the mail. One of my favorite aunts accidentally mowed her own big toe off with the lawnmower several years ago … and then she drove herself to the hospital. My god! Think about that. I stub my toe and I’m prostrate on the living room carpet, the mere thought of applying foot pressure to a gas pedal giving me hives. (Paying $3.50 for a gallon of gas also gives me hives.)
I guess I’ll have to live with the smell of Ben-Gay, Bactine, and self-pity for the next few days. I take comfort in the fact that my pathetic backyard efforts have already yielded three butterflies for the season: a mourning cloak, a monarch, and a red admiral.
Oh, who am I kidding. I can’t lie to you. The butterflies came for the decrepit lilac that was probably planted the year our house was built (at the dawn of time), along with the man-eating bridal wreath spirea--the sheer size of which suggests a certain level of radioactive material in the ground.