summer oplenty

Fellow harvesters of souls,

Okay, that’s a bit of a dark salutation and probably not how most gardeners address each other — and I’m iffy on the whole notion of people having “souls” nevermind plants, although I am certainly in the treehugging camp of “if we do then they do too” because as a rule of thumb I try not to put myself above any other living creature unless that living creature happens to be driving a car in my general vicinity, of course. In that case they clearly fall into the “scum of the earth” category, doubly so if the car is worth more than my annual salary. Now what if it was a bunch of freshly picked radishes driving the Mercedes besides me — well then I wouldn’t know how to feel. 

So summer’s in full gear here at 1 Lee Road. Lot of pressure being #1 on the street, first house you see from the main road… luckily our white duct tape repaired fence is holding up and the giant dirt patches on the lawn from last year’s grub infestation were briefly re-seeded by the missus before crabgrass took over. At first we said, “It’s green, we’re happy,” but now I’m realizing why people don’t want crabgrass on their lawn: impossible to mow. Thicker grass blades retain more water and the lawnmower gets choked up much more easily. I find myself inventing new curse words each time the mower sputters to a stop — words like “kerflukken” and “bitchlets” often rain down upon the startled neighbors. Really no way to set the tone for the street now, is it? Ah, what do I care, the nice family across the street with kids the same age as ours just moved to Northboro (where?) to be replaced by a couple DINKs who just got a puppy. Great! Sydney loses her best friend Jackie and she’s terrified of dogs… great development for my kid! Isaac loves dogs, including the giant great danes down the street that tower over him, so he’ll be fine.

No, seems like a nice couple that just moved in, coming from Brighton, so making the big leap from urban to suburban life. We’ve learned from the neighbors to our right, also a young couple, not to hold our breath for little playmates for the kids. It apparently doesn’t help to stand outside their living room window peering in as they watch late night TV. That’s actually against the law. We cleaned up as the old neighbors were moving out, getting a free bathroom vanity still in the box that they thought they needed but never got around to installing (likely to meet a similar fate in our garage), but then we really hit the jackpot when Todd passed along his old matchbox cars to Isaac. They were still in this original vinyl Matchbox carrying case which actually only had room for like a dozen cars because back in the early ’70s, twelve was a big number. This case had started to deteriorate back into the petroleum from whence it sprang, so we had to toss the case, but the cars themselves were the late ’60s, early ’70s vint

Sometimes the papers pile up and I need to load them into the back of the dumptruck and drive them over to my workspace.

age “redline” series, which look really out of date now but are actually really well made, like they roll really well. Isaac and I studied this at length. I was so impressed I brought one to work where it sits in my inbox discouraging my colleagues from actually putting something work-related there. 


Isaac has moved up to preschool where he will overlap there with Sydney for the summer. This is a huge improvement as we no longer have to go over to the Foxboro Y in a different direction from Syd’s school twice per day. And the kids love being together, so it looks like smooth sailing until Syd starts kindergarten in the fall, although hopefully that transition will be greatly aided by Karen staying home and not working for a while. She finishes working at the end of this month and we’ll be trying to get by on one income (mine? have you crunched these numbers??) for as long as possible, i.e. until October. Yes, the prospect of being the sole breadwinner is a bit daunting, although I am relishing the idea of steaming in the door after the commute, barking some orders to the wife and kids and then retiring to “my chair” in front of the TV where I can watch Cronkite. You can stream the old broadcasts on Netflix. I mean I’d need to watch something with some heft to it… clamoring for silence so that I can watch Brian Williams just doesn’t hold the mustard, as Brian Williams would say in a pathetic attempt to seem authentic.

Who am I kidding? It’s practically Lord of the Flies between the hours of 5pm and 7pm in our household, with the all-confident Isaac turning us all to Piggies and demanding that we “stop talking to me like that!” (that’s what we get for trying to enforce a rule), which basically takes our next words out of our mouths, and he’s got the sternest look as he stares us down and we end up just meekly trying to scarf down the rest of our meals before he demands more grapes. When Isaac’s not ruling the moment, Sydney is coming up with inventive ways to beg for treats or to “innocently” provoke Isaac. The past two evenings I’ve found that getting one of them outdoors after dinner for a walk around the neighborhood is a great calming device… Isaac is forced to keep up his appearance as a cute and charming little boy during these public appearances, plus he’s easily amused by tossing pebbles into the storm sewers or by pointing out birds. Sydney actually held my hand for the entire walk around the block today. And then getting the kids to sleep for the past two evenings after these separations and walks has been relatively easy. Divide and conquer? The great outdoors? Looks like a parenting book is in the works, which is just what the world needs.

Anyway, work’s going well. Too busy recently for office chair basketball but I did get in on a distribution of temporary tattoos, which was very amusing to apply and then scare my family and friends with via pictures sent to cellphones. I felt a little bit like that Wiener guy though doing that. Who knows where those photos are now? And the garden is doing well… whole bunch of radishes harvested already, which by the way, are a great addition along with apples to tuna salad. Cookbook in the works? Sorry, groping for supplementary income here.

Okay, gotta run… got nine hours of sleep last night and that could be my new secret to life — amazing how you feel when you’re well-rested!! Oh right, I’ve been on a bit of a recording kick, moving on from my old band and focusing on getting some new song ideas down. You can hear the new ones — “Something Gives” and “Too Big to Fail” — at I have a few more songs in the works and then I might try to put a bunch together on an album of sorts, maybe in time for your Xmas shopping? Not a gold mine? Okay… I’ll keep brainstorming…

until next time, happy harvesting,



About ericf73

A modern-day combination of Noah, Godot and Clark W. Griswold.
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