lost and found

Yesterday on the way down into the valley for piano before he commenced refinement of that inscrutable classic On Top of Spaghetti Oliver Fern and I made the recovery of one, lost red purse in the middle of the street which fortunately had not been turned into mush by motorists braking for dear life down the Himalayasque hills of our neighborhood. The handbag was weirdly emptyish, smelled a tad gamey so that momentarily I considered that one of the mentally ill persons residing quite difficultly outdoors in the greenspaces which fringe the arboretum, who carry on most tragically, immorally invisible to most anyone, may have dropped it but utilizing our best forensic skills we ascertained it had fallen, bounced as it were from the panniers of someone’s bicycle as they concentrated for the steep descent of the grade and personal photo identification inside (did I not say, our best forensic skills?) confirmed it belonged to a resident whose domicile was located just blocks away. She wasn’t home, we placed a telephone call to her utilizing the contact number from a clutch of business cards contained inside of the handbag (you should have business cards, Papa! Oliver gleefully announced) the numerosity of which seemed to indicate a rather strong demand in the Puget Sound region for those contracting as health and wellness coaches (which sounds suspiciously like shit white people get paid for) so as you can imagine I was filled with a degree of trepidation that in my person she’d see through to any deficiencies in character or nutrition (as there are plenty, I’m afraid) needing to be buffed.

Some time later back at the house a polite and pleasing cadence of knocks at the front door revealed a distinguished, matronly individual with twenty one speed bicycle and brandishing a small, traditional shepherd’s pie as an apparently commensurate purse-finding reward. She had ridden her bike down to the Arboretum and somehow the purse had gone a-flying. As it was pizza night and the shepherd’s pie contained lamb, the boys demurred but I will attest it was quite good.

This outdoor appliance was bequeathed to me several years ago as yet another entirely unnecessary show of appreciation (because after all we just do what we do) this particular occasion by that onetime neighbor across the street, a somewhat irascible fellow by way of New York City whom I came to adore for obstinacy of spirit and occasionally disagreeable but elegantly, steadfastly supported notions of how everything should simply be, so that I was disappointed when he and his better half saw fit to move further atop the hill closer to bustling urbanity because to put a fine point on it they were battling that culture shock of cool Seattle niceness. Once or twice a year we exchange correspondences about getting together for coffee but it just never happens so you could say he has become a truer Seattleite than even he imagines.

At any rate, they moved into a small condominium apartment sans small balcony or patio, as such they had no use of a charcoal grill and really neither did I but this idea had always occurred to me and the beginning of last summer finally saw it into fruition.  The hens and chickens might have gotten scorched in their southern exposure come August (not to mention it gets hella hot under that black dome) except we had a relatively mild summer whew! so I think they may be better off in the rust garden out back.

6 thoughts on “lost and found

  1. Love the purse story, you tell them so well.

    And the bbq photo looks instantly to me like a Sesame Street character (Cookie Monster the most likely suspect) munching on some green nutritious salad. Great repurposing!

    I really like the idea of gardens containing old decaying objects that have been recycled from their original use. Over here in certain types of cottage garden it’s almost obligatory to have an old butler’s sink half buried in the earth with a herb garden or rockery type plants (succulents?) overspilling. And on allotments I’ve often seen old bath tubs used as makeshift water gathering receptacles (as most allotments are lacking in running water and the owners must innovate in any way they can to store water for dry spells lest they sacrifice an entire crop)…

      • J, what’s a vanity? Our back lawn this summer just gone was more clover than grass, it was amazing when it was all in flower and there were a dozen bees in the garden at once hovering from flower to flower…

  2. Around these parts “vanity” is a functional word with perhaps slightly high-falutin’ overtones that I’m all too happy to appropriate and which refers to the counter or tabletop surface around a bath/washroom basin that my kids are always leaving humongous globs of toothpaste on.

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