Plots and Plots

I’m reading a book with four subplots — or rather four co-plots since none of the plotlines seem to have more importance than any other. That’s not a problem. I can keep four different plots in my head. The problem is that all four subplots are exactly the same, only with different names, though too many of the names are similar, making it even harder to distinguish the various plots. Each subplot has a bad-guy group and a good-guy group chasing each other with frequent pauses for a fight. The good guys want something the bad guys don’t want them to have — some sort of knowledge about a plague originating in ancient Egypt. At least, that’s what I think they want. Just as I sort of figure out what one group is actually after, the author switches to a different group. I have a hunch he thinks this keeps up the suspense, but all it does is put me to sleep.

Generally, when I get a book that bores the heck out of me, I skip to the end to find out what happened, and then forget it. With this book, I’m afraid that if I skipped to the end, I won’t know what happened. There’s also the possibility that if I don’t skip to the end and continue to plod through four plotlines that echo each other, I still won’t know what happened.

Is it any wonder I am weeding instead of reading?

Today I dug up more weeds, way more than I planned to. The ground had just enough dampness left from the last rain to be crumbly, so it was much easier to dig into than when the ground was sodden (and incredibly easier than when it was dry), so I continued working until that plot of ground was finished.

Hey! Plots and plots! Although I didn’t plan to wrap this blog around the theme of plots — story plots and garden plots — it tickles me that it happened.

I hope I finish the book soon so I can find something fun to read to allow me to sit still long enough to rest up from my outside labors. I did set aside the multiple-plot book for a while and read a single-plot book; unfortunately, that one was just as boring.

Even if the next book doesn’t keep my interest, it won’t matter. We’re returning to 100-degree temperatures (or close enough) for a while, and even a boring book won’t send me outside when it’s that hot.

Besides, I really do need to rest up. Starting next week, the plants and bulbs I ordered will be arriving, and I’ll have to be doing a lot more digging. I’m hoping digging to put plants in the soil will be easier than digging to pull things out, but I have a hunch digging is digging, whether it’s digging into the plot of a boring book or digging into a plot of weed-infested land.

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What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

The Spry Age

An older person in a book I’m reading was described as “spry,” which made me wonder if I’ve reached the spry age yet. Although originally the word “spry” meant any lively, energetic person who could move quickly and easily, in my lifetime I have only heard the word used in relation to older folk.

I suppose it doesn’t matter if I have reached the spry age, because even if I’m there, I’m not there because nothing about me, except maybe my mind, can be described as spry. Ever since my knee problem popped up, I seldom move spryly — I lumber more than I walk — though I hope that by continuing with my knee exercises, I will eventually solve that problem.

It’s a good thing one doesn’t need to be spry to work in one’s yard — one only needs . . . perseverance, perhaps. I generally have the grit to do whatever needs to be done, though yesterday, when the day was beautiful and relatively cool, I stayed inside and did laundry and other household chores. Today, when the temperature topped 100, I went outside to water and weed. Not the smartest use of those two days, so maybe I need to rethink that spryness of mind I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Still, spry or not, I managed to decimate a bunch of weeds. I always knew what the phrase “grows like a weed” meant, but now I have almost daily proof. Even though we haven’t had any rain recently, the weeds are doubling in size daily. Today I had to wrestle with weeds that were thigh-high, though the last time I was out, they were only slightly taller than my ankles. Luckily, digging up weeds needs a good shovel more than spryness.

I did find a few surprises in my yard. Gladiolus. Marigolds. And another daylily!

I planted these flowers, so there shouldn’t have been any surprises. The surprise comes when something actually blooms. I plant the same things in the same general vicinity so the soil is the same. I water them the same. They get the same amount of sun, but, for example, of the five gladioli I planted, only one grew enough to bloom. So, that was a surprise.

I’m getting off the topic of “spry,” which is probably a good thing. I’d rather think of growing flowers than contemplate my growing lack of spryness.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

A Morning in the Sunshine

I pulled more weeds today and I discovered that the problem with weeds is not so much that they grow back, but that it’s a never-ending job. All I was going to do was pull the most unsightly. I figured that once I did that, the others wouldn’t look so bad. Well, that’s not the case. I cleared away a large patch of weeds, then stretched and looked around, thinking to congratulate myself for a job well done, but the place looked just as bad as before I started to work. Apparently, once the highest weeds are gone, the second highest, which seemed rather benign, now stand out, so the yard looks like I never touched it.

Isn’t that always the way? You think the house is clean, so you decide just to pick up the worst of the clutter. Then, with the clutter gone, you notice dust, so you have to dust the furniture and fixtures. Then, with the dust gone, you notice that the floors look a bit dingy in comparison. So then you have to clean the floors. Next thing you know, a job you thought would take a few minutes has taken all day. Even worse, you now notice every speck of dust, so you spend all your time from then on, spot cleaning because although you know your house is clean, you are so focused on the dust motes that you can’t see the truth.

That seems like a parable more suited to some mystical or psychological or sociological problem rather than weeds, but I’m so exhausted from all the time outside that I don’t feel up to finding the wisdom in this blog post. It’s enough for today that I spent time in my yard.

And I saw a parade. Today was supposed to be the annual town festival with booths, entertainment, and a parade, but it had to be canceled because from what I understand, a lot of kids in the high school tested positive for The Bob. Someone decided enough was enough and so privately sponsored the parade, which I think is cool, sort of a celebration and a protest all in one. There weren’t many entries, and most of those were police cars, pickup trucks, and farm vehicles. Not many people watched either, but it’s the effort that counts.

So, some weeds gone, a parade, and a morning in the sunshine. Sounds like a good day to me!

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What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.