Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's not easy being green...

I do remember somewhere months back whining about how bleak the days were then, cold, dark, without color, without life, dismal and full of gloom and despair. There was an intense desperation to see anything green, anything to exemplify life, and especially to the horses, it meant something to eat. It seemed at one point that there was a holding pattern that would never end of the grey, dull, cold, and colorless winter.

Then emerged the shoots of leaves and flowers. There was a wave of the color green coming out everywhere, in varying shades of celadon and pale limes and they framed multitudes of spring flowers. The air was full too, of the green pollen that coated every surface inside the house and out, especially cars and the inside of noses. But there was a great relief in this coming of the green. It meant relief from the grasp of winter and the cold and the misery that its grip held, and the horses once again could munch on the green with contintment.

Slowly, the celadon leaves darkened and became more of an emerald green. The grasses in the fields grew taller and put out seed heads that swayed in the late spring breezes, a soft landscape that was easy to relax and fall into a state of optimism with. The air cleared of the pollen finally and the droning sound of the starting of lawnmowers began to fill the air. It was good. The return of the green meant a welcomed peace of mind for all at that moment.

Suddenly, it seems now, it has become hot, sticky, and humid, and thick leaves are a dark deep sea green and cast shadows of devouring black holes. The pond that had, all winter, been a tannin stained brown that reflected a periwinkle sky, is now a pea soup jade, thick with algae. The grasses in the yard, the lawn, a blend of many mysterious unknown varieties, is now growing with a madness that requires weekly hours spent running circles on the lawn mower just to keep in check. The shrubbery in front of the house continually puts out shoots of new leaves which need trimming every other week to keep the view clear and keep claustrophobia to a minimum for folks sitting on the porch. The vegetation is on, now with a vengeance and that means war. I asked for it and I got it. Green is here and it is kicking.

Then there is the pool. Normally our pool is a cool blue oasis that sits between the views from the house to the pond. Recently, it’s been giving me all kinds of fits trying to get it balanced and something fit for anything but frogs to swim in. It had turned a peculiar shade of khaki green that defied all the testing I could do and chemicals I could throw in it, so I gathered up a sample to take to the pool supply place for evaluation.

I stated my plight to the young fellow at the pool place and he nodded with sympathy at my situation and began testing my green water with vials and reagents which turned my green into shades of violet, blues, and reds. The diognosis was not good. It was a bad case of phosphates making my soft blue pool a primordial soup. I was given a tincture of some undisclosed nature and was told what to do.

As I stood at the counter receiving my test results, another lady came in with a similar plight. A woman, who also worked there, took this customer’s sample water and heard her complaint and began testing the sludge. As the worker peered over her bifocals, she shook her head with admonishment and gave her the grim news of what was so dreadfully wrong with this other lady’s pool water.

I stood there and realized that I felt like I was in grade school and had just been given a failed test back from a teacher and was being scolded for my lack of effort or ability to comprehend the easiest and most basic of the subject. It was as if we customers were stupider that dirt and how could fail to do something so incredibly simple as to keep a pool balanced. We were before confessional and receiving our number of Hail Mary’s for our penance, all because of a bunch of green in our pool water. Humbly we thanked our teachers, took their advice, paid them for our remedies, and left to go make retribution.

Yesterday was phase one of this week’s war on the Green Machine with hedge trimmers and bush hogging. Today will be phase two, lawn cutting, three hours riding a noisy machine in the sun. There is a admitedly a degree of satisfaction in the resulting tidiness but there is also the resignation that next week I will repeat the performance and will continue this battle until next fall when chilly temps slow the war with the green. Winter will then come and erase all the greens and all will be grays and browns, once again.  At least the horses aren't complaining for now, and the formerly green pool has returned to its soft blue.

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