Friday, January 27, 2012

"You remember me?"

Last month an old beat up car drove up my driveway and the driver, an old Asian man, yelled that question to me...many, many times.

I was in the middle of planting crocuses. Tilly had managed to retrieve some of them to tenderly chew while her brother walked off with the box that held all 500 of them. Well.....that's how many there were before the dogs got involved...and I noticed one of those dogs had walked off with my dibber too while I tried to get things in order while that car came to a stop.


I had never seen him before. I was sure I hadn't.

"You gave me beer. You gave me cake."

Well, that sounded like something I would do.......but I was pretty sure I had never met him before. But maybe I met him at the barbecue Aussie's family had earlier in the year so I asked him if that was where we met. Now it was his turn to look bewildered.

"Nah......You no remember? You give me beer. You give me cake."

I told him I think he probably had me confused with the previous owner of the land from years ago. She was a former beauty queen (he must have some crazy eyesight to have me confused with her).

He considered that and then we both confirmed to the other that we had never met. Glad that was figured out. Turns out he lives in a house up the road. Sarah told me that when I live in the country, be prepared for people to just drop by and walk right on in through your front door.

He enthusiastically related his biography. "I'm Korean. My wife, she white. I am 66 years old. We've been married 38 years. That too long."

He went on to say that he had two sons. One of them went to Harvard and is now living in the Philippines. What took me a little aback was not the Harvard education but that someone's kid actually moved some place that was not next door to his parents. It seems like everyone's kid moves next door or to some other house on the same property. Out in the country, you could say they live on family compounds.

He said that the house he lives in is the house his wife has lived in her entire life (I think she was born in it). They thought they might have to sell a couple years ago because of the economy but his wife cried and cried about that because she knew every tree on that property (and had probably grown up with a lot of them) and did not want to leave her trees behind. That just touched me. I guess my neighbor was able to keep the house by finding yet another job to add to the ones he already had and that kind of ends his story and mine for the day.

I don't have many photos from that day because of the unexpected long conversation, me trying to get approximately 500 crocuses into the ground, and then having to search for the garden tools that were not in my hands when I was talking to my neighbor. Those dogs wandered off with everything.

Bo did show up on a later day with a lost spade exactly when I needed it so I know everything I lost is still out there...I just have to be patient for their return. One day one of those dogs will show up with another one of my lost tools in his or her mouth and if garden tools could talk, I'm sure they'd say, "You remember me?" And I would!


Anonymous said...

I am getting divorced, and the only thing I was going to miss was my trees and plants that I've raised from "pups"....I was very depressed about it too, but luckily, it doesn't look like I'm going to have to move!
I'm so looking forward to spring now!

Leenie said...

Five hundred crocuses!!!!! If you get all the non-dog-chewed ones in the dirt you are gonna have one bloomin' beautiful spring. Here's hoping your "helpers" return the tools they borrowed. While they can still remember.

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

OhMyGosh Maria you are in rare form on this post. I know people say it but the beauty queen thing, 38 years too long, people's kids NEVER leave in the country(true)they just drag a trailer in and move in, people DO just drive right up to your front door and tell you all kinds of stuff and the end about garden tools talking~Remember me? I know people say it, that they just snorted all over their keyboard, well I really did just snort my water and Ritz cracker thru my nose and choked on it! I am ok but still laughin'!

Fighting Mermaid said...

What a neat encounter! That said I sometimes find myself parking my car behind my house and "hiding out" just to get things done. Someone is always stopping with a request to pick the wild greens that grow in my pumpkin field or the muscadine grapes or to hunt the wild turkeys. The greens are free, but I like the grapes and my boy and I enjoy exploring out back without dodging bullets. Everyone of those requests comes wth the history of my house and all the neighborhood gossip and lasts a really long time, and I've often been tempted to let Noah set up a lemonade stand to make a few pennies from the conversation. Love this place though and all the characters that go with it.
Hope your garden tools come back to you soon!

Maria said...

Anonymous-So sorry to hear about your divorce. It's good you get to keep your trees because with so much change in your life, trees are a good source for stability and permanence, you know?

Leenie-That's what I ordered. 500. Not sure if 500 went into the ground that day though....and who knows how many stayed in. There are a lot of varmints out there and I'm not talking just dogs. I can't wait to see what happens when they do come up and bloom though. I saw something on the 'net somewhere where different colors were planted in drifts. Usually people get a bunch of colors and plant them randomly (which is always pretty too...I'm not knocking that) but to have drifts float by in a single was beautiful. I have no idea if I came remotely close to the photo I remember what with all the activity that day and the sun going down at the same time! We'll see what comes up in the next month and I will probably plant three times as many next year. :-)

Oh Pix-You made ME laugh. That was just the craziest day. That guy was very concerned that I wasn't married and didn't have any kids and tried to give me a pep talk about some spinster in her late 50s who married the parson after his wife died....that I should not lose hope, you know? I must have really bewildered him because that sort of advice made me laugh right in front of him. I couldn't help it. Oh well, he's probably talking about the character he met too. Hahaha.

Fighting Mermaid (still love that name)-Good idea about hiding the car. I'll probably be doing the same thing...before I even build a house out there! But you're right, the neighborhood stories and trying to fit what they say with what is really going on can be pretty interesting but sometimes I just wish those stories were a lot shorter, you know? And regarding the tools, I just want my Felco pruners back. :-(