Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Backyard Sanctuary

OK, I've been told to slow down. A vast number of people have asked me where I find the time to write these blogs and one reader said I'm wearing them down by writing too much, too quickly. I remember an uncle of mine used to say you don't find the time, you make the time. In a large part that uncle was a huge inspiration to me. This guy would entertain 5 or 6 families at a time, all their kids and managed to still find the time, excuse me, make the time to say hi to each of the kids, not to mention all the adults, spread some humor around, show you his latest garden project and feed you all at the same time it seemed. This man was phenomenal. He had more talent and ability than most people I've met even to this day. Physically he is gone, but spiritually he's still there at least in my mind. He would grow corn six feet tall and in the same garden have towers of tomato bushes ripe with tomatoes. I can remember him barbecuing chicken many summer evenings for all these families. The man was a master at entertaining and making us laugh. He wasn't the kind of guy that told jokes but more of the play on words with clever humor or silly comments. I remember him calling himself a wordsmith once and of all the things he could do, inspiring me with his humor, whether he knew it or not, was an amazing gift. He had passions. His garden was an oasis of wonder. He had his pigeon coop and a mighty fish pond with huge Koi in it. Above his Japanese tea hut he could turn a valve and make it rain while you stood under the hut and watched the rain drops spray the pond. In his yard were sculptures of hand carved wood, glass balls and delicate plants. Next to the house was a waterfall and stream that emptied into another fishpond. It was always a fun trip to get in the car and go visit his house.
Maybe this is where I learned to love what I could do. Maybe watching him take a backyard and turn it into an environment. The man didn't let anything stop him. He once told me that if you do anything in your backyard Vince, do it with stones and water. In the 3 homes that Sheri and I have lived in I have always done just that. The first home in Oregon I built a pond and waterfall with streams and Koi. The next home I built a waterfall that emptied into our black bottom pool. The house we live in now is a little piece of what looks like Lake Tahoe here in Elk Grove. It has two waterfalls and my Danish mermaid looking down on the water to reflect my heritage.
My uncles' backyard was his sanctuary and mine is my sanctuary.
The one thing that is missing that would make it complete is that brick fired pizza oven. I need to build one out back somewhere out of bricks and mortar and let the primal man come out once more as I make fire and feel the heat on my face.
I bounced the idea off Sheri a few times and have been met with ambiguous confusing responses. I suppose I just don't understand what she is trying to say. I would say something like, "what if we were to..."No! "Ok, then if we moved the ..."No! "What if we took out this kitchen window and..."No! So what she is saying or at least this is what I am hearing is, I haven't phrased the question quite correctly yet. Or maybe I heard that today isn't a good day to discuss it. I didn't actually hear the word No come from her yet in my mind. I just haven't heard the words, Yes dear, I'm behind you 100%.
I don't expect to hear those words either, so I
will either wear her down emotionally or approach it serendipitously. The go ahead phrase that I expect to hear will go something like this. She'll ask me what's on my schedule today and I'll say, "I'm going to wash the car, mow the lawn, go to Home Depot, build a backyard pizza oven and put gas in your car." Her response, I'm hoping will be, "Alright, I'll be upstairs." Bump bump, bump bump. ( heart pounding wildly) I will say YESSSSS! . . . let the building begin!

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