homeowning, joys of

so we've been adrift, awash in boxes and bookshelves and
things that look good in one corner for a few hours and
then need to get moved and an out of tune piano
and the pets who still are adjusting. in the middle
of all that/this chaos is the grass, uncut for so long
that we now must be the talk over coffee on our street,
the new neighbors whose yard looks like crap
dandelions sprouting.
the catch: even if i wanted to mow the lawn
the mower is locked up in our new shed the keys to which
i wks ago misplaced or set down or tossed haphazardly into
a box or shelf that i cannot find any longer.

Sunday 10 AM. W/ Margaret away for a couple hrs to do yoga
i figure i can score some husbandly points for taking the initiative to
cut the grass. I call brian and cheryl and borrow their push mower.
i walk it back to the house.
it works real good but it only takes a few minutes for me to realize
that the lawn is too far gone. the push mower can't handle the
dandelion stalks and the sun is beating down already.

moments later. I am unscrewing the hinges from the door to the shed
to extract the lawnmower. It takes a bit of exertion but
i manage it. the lawnmower is free, sitting on the driveway.
and there's gas in it. but will it start?

moments later. it started. I am mowing the lawn. i will be done with this
in a few moments. margaret will come home and maybe
we can go for a hike up mt tabor and then go to breakfast? no, maybe
we can ride our bikes to breakfast somewhere and spend the
day in leisurely fashion: some lounging, some reading, some more unpacking, easing into our status as homeowners on this, the 4wk anniversary of us moving in.
one half of the front yd is done and i cross the path that leads
to our front door and begin to mow the other half. I push
the mower alongside the tall grass that shoots along the brick
siding at the front of the house and that's when it happens:

i blindly slam the mower into an unseen sprinkler head.

a moment.


not a light spray or mist (as the word sprinkler might suggest)
but a steady rising mass, spreading up from some unknown
depth, spreading across the lawn,
paralysis. i stare. it's running down the walkway into the street.
not drops of water
but an insistent gurgling organism, spreading. moving. growing.
what to do?
who to call and what dollar figure is attached to what phone number?

mad scrambling ensues, a dash for some type of handle or valve or person
to stem the flow but nothing comes. nothing works

margaret calling on the phone. not now i say

margaret coming home

us trying to turn water off at the street, the meter spinning and spinning
as gallon after gallon goes. we don't have the right tool.
we don't know what we're doing. we are freaking out.

Water Bureau emergency employee pulls up in his truck. laughs when
i tell him what i did b/c he's done the same thing recently. turns the water off
at the street. gives us some advice for fixing problem. sets up temporary line
so that we can have water until problem is fixed. He is a life-saver. don't let it ruin your sunday he says

margaret and i later, at genies having breakfast and coffee. it is 3pm.
we will go to hardware store. we will buy 3/4 inch cap for pvc and
a shovel and some adheseive. we already have a hacksaw. we will go home
and dig a trench until we find the T where the line from the street meets w/
the sprinkler line. we know more than we did an hour ago but not as much as two days later


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