Monday, March 10, 2008

smells like spring, or something

I caught a crappy whiff last week. Which is to say, a whiff of crap. And I checked the bottom of my shoe, immediately, because I can't tell you how often I've walked across my yard and slid across wet dog crap. Not my dog's crap, mind you, but random, anonymous dog crap. (My apologies to my daughter -who does not read this blog, but whose expected future proficiency with a search engine is bound to reveal the secret online life of her mother one of these days- as she has respectfully requested that I strike the C word from my speech). We have a plan for a front fence, but until then, the unwelcome feces situation sneaks into my head all the time. If I'm not stepping in it, I think I'm stepping in it. If I don't think I'm stepping in it, I'm glaring through my big front window at the person letting their dog piss in my grass, waiting to confront them if the squat-to-crap position is assumed. It's becoming a problem. So when I smell that unmistakable smell, it's only natural that I'd check the bottom of my shoes. But this time, last week, it wasn't my shoe.

And then I had a small flash of some psychosomatic existential crisis: I'm having such a crappy week, it even smells like crap, something like that (though maybe ramp up the maudlin a few extra notches). I talked myself down from that, so ridiculous, and determined that it was just phantom crap smell. At different times in my cat's life, she's taken out her frustrations (with many, many moves, mostly, but sometimes it's just breakfast coming a few minutes too late) by urinating in places cat urine does not belong. It seems to come in bursts. It hasn't happened for a long time, thank goodness, but when it does, when I pick up that pile of laundry and smell that unmistakable ammonia-laded acrid but sweet stench, or when I stretch out my legs in bed upon waking and wonder, is that cold or is that wet?, when it happens frequently for a spell, I think I smell cat pee all the time. The odor crawls up inside my sinus cavity and hunkers down low and then surprise! does jumping jacks to get my attention all of a sudden, whether the cat really peed in some strange place or not. Phantom Cat Piss Smell. So, if the wafting stink of crap wasn't from some mutt's mushy pile outside, if it wasn't the rotting smell of my own wayward psyche leaking out into the atmosphere, then it was probably just my imagination.

But my imagination was so vivid. I kept smelling it. It was growing stronger. It was driving me crazy. And then I walked back to my boy's room, which isn't his room for sleeping, yet, but just his room for toys and books and clothes and books, and found, a discarded, forgotten poopy diaper. As in, I vaguely recalled changing it hours and hours earlier and just upon finishing, the doorbell rang (package delivery) and then the phone rang and then it was probably lunch time and then the day just clipped along and I never took care of that diaper. And it had sat there all day, warming up in front of one of our original 1958 cutting edge of technology radiant wall heaters. Like my own personal shit scented aromatherapy diffuser.

So sometimes life is crappy, and sometimes it's just a diaper you left behind.

This past weekend was a pleasant rush of yard work and muffins and reading and hot baths. You'd think I'd been missing hot water for months the way I jumped at the bathtub as soon as the hot water heater was replaced. I don't take a bath every night, usually, but I always could, if I wanted to. And something about the not being able to made me want to all the more and it was only three days, but I've taken five baths so far to make up for it.

And we built a new raised garden bed in an under-utilized corner of our front yard. By we, I really mean "he" as his building skills far surpass mine, but I stuck some annuals in pots for the front steps and stood by with the camera, should anyone care, or not, to have their picture taken.


It felt like Spring and I am excited about this shift in our family's busyness, the activities moving outside and in the dirt. The children coming in for dinner with grass stained knees, the obligatory removal of tiny splinters from hands with tweezers before bed. Our transient past has meant that we haven't done much in the way of vegetable growing, but I'm feeling enthusiastic. In general. And there's nothing crappy about that.


Lisa said...

Oh! I can't wait to see your garden bed.

I'm glad things are looking up after last week. I had to set aside my gardening plans on Sunday and miss the gorgeous weather by spending much of the day in my van. My purchased plants are patiently waiting on the porch to be planted.

Angelina said...

I can't wait to see it too!!

You really did have a crappy week. So I'm happy that the week-end offered such good family time to you.