Regular readers of my blog will recognize that I have had an encounter with Yard Guy, whose real name is Tom. I see him only every two to three weeks, and our conversations are brief but wonderful. He’s the 40-something son of one of my neighbors. We became acquainted because my neighbor noticed that my 1995 Camaro was sitting in my driveway for months and that I had bought a new car. (See, that’s the kind of neighborhood I live in. The kind where the neighbor next door once asked me if I realized how unsightly all those pine cones in the front yard were. I don’t know whether to be warmed by the fact that my neighbors are looking out for me, or to tell them to mind their own business. )
In any case, Tom wanted the Camaro, and that’s even after I told him “It needs an engine”. He offered to take care of my yard for the entire season (I think this was in March or April) in exchange for it. A true example of the barter system, and something about that just touched a (good) nerve in me. This is the way we used to do stuff, and I wonder if we aren’t all there again. I heard a story on NPR yesterday about a restaurant called “Forage”. Home gardeners bring in their produce, and they cook you a meal with it…along with stuff other people brought in.
So far, I think Tom has gotten the raw end of this deal, but apparently he doesn’t see it that way. I got the Camaro towed away, and have gotten months of really hard work on his part, plus the pleasure of getting to know him. Today we talked about lionfish being discovered in the Gulf and the Keys (released from stupid people’s aquariums), Burmese pythons in the Everglades, the lingering effects of the oil spill (underwater plumes), and the decline of tourism in all parts of Florida because people apparently can’t read maps. Hello: Gulf of Mexico. Atlantic Ocean. We talked about the best places to eat seafood. Angelo’s in Panacea…he says it isn’t as good as it was before the 2004 hurricanes. He told me about Angel’s. “You go out Highway 20 and cross the Ocklockonee River bridge, then there’s this dirt road on your right…”
The important thing is, that every time I talk to him, I’m reminded that I live in the best place on earth, for me.
By contrast, I’ve been reading a couple of political blogs lately that are making me ill. It’s natural that things would heat up, pre-November 2, but…seriously. I said one of them made me want to take a shower, then go do a blog post about flowers or something.
So here’s a flower. It’s Blue Sky vine (Thunbergia grandiflora). Mine has just started to bloom.
I’m throwing in a butterfly for free…the Zebra Longwing…official butterfly of Florida.