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A Woman's Journal
Blue Squill

It was a bright and breezy day...  
By Maggie Turner  


Sunday, April 16, 2000

It was a bright and breezy day...

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When my children were little I loved their toys with a notable exception. I intensely disliked toys intended to make loud, sudden noises. Poppers, honkers, slappers, and all other types of noxiously noisy toys drove me to the point of hysteria. Of course, the girls loved these toys. I told myself their preference for these types of toys was unrelated to my personal taste; they did not like them just because I disliked them. However, to this day I harbor doubts.

Our neighbor "G" reminds me very much of my girls in their preschool years. He likes noise. He likes loud noise. He likes to make loud noise on peaceful Saturday afternoons when the breeze is warm and the air is sweet. His toys are bigger and better than any my girls ever had. He enthusiastically pulls the crank on chain saws and lawn mowers. He adds a whole new meaning to the phrase "plug n' play" when he switches on his electric leaf blower or lawn trimmer. He has toys that I do not even recognize. They all make noise, lots of noise.

Yesterday was a beautiful, warm sunny day. Yesterday was Saturday. I was ready and waiting to spring into action. You see I have a new toy, a Shop Vac. It is big and powerful and loud. As soon as I heard "G" out rummaging in his storage shed, choosing his weapon, I leapt into action. With safety goggles in hand I dragged the new Shop Vac to the back yard. On went the safety goggles, in went the plug into the outdoor socket and on went the switch. Contact!

I spent 4 hours vacuuming the back deck; the spaces are too tiny and catch everything. Of course, I did take short breaks to let the motor cool down and to enjoy cold refreshments. I am a very hard worker and I was on a mission. I do not know if "G" used any of his loud toys, I would not have heard them. You see my toy was the biggest, loudest, and rudest toy in the whole neighborhood.

The deck is clean; the deck is spotless. The deck will not need to be vacuumed again until next spring. I am thinking hard, thinking of other outdoor uses for my new Shop Vac. I am sure that the next time we are blessed with a warm, sunny Saturday I will be inspired to find one.

I had plans for today, a great many plans. I am easily distracted. The weather is unexpectedly cool, chilly, not nice. I was going to play in the dirt, plant morning glory seeds and tie string to the front deck to create a temporary trellis for the morning glories to climb. I had planned to clean up the gas BBQ and rustle up a few BBQ pork chops for Attila when he gets home from work. Instead I am huddled in my Cowichan in front of the computer playing with pictures and Photoshop. Occasionally I look up and out the window at the grey day, the bare tree branches and immediately return my thoughts to the "The Teenager" who smiles at me in glorious color from my monitor.

The phone rings and I answer knowing that it is she, and that she wants a ride home. Sometimes I enjoy playing the easygoing sucker. I let her talk me into traipsing about the city delivering her to and rescuing her from places away from home. Other times I do not want to play and she takes the bus or walks. It will not be very long until I do not know where she is or what she is doing on a daily basis. That is as it should be. I will have to find other safe ways to be a sucker.


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