At 5:30 last night I slowly lowered myself into the folding lawn chair that I had put in the garden. I wasn't sure that I had extended the legs all the way and half expected it to collapse under me. "This is it, " I thought, "This is it. I'm paralyzed. I'm going to have to sit here until after dark and hope that Michael will come out looking for me."
My back started going out on Thursday and by Friday it was excruciating. All I wanted to do was let it rest for the Sunshine Community Garden Plant Sale on Saturday. The plant sale was once a year and I was going if I had to be rolled in on a gurney. And I almost was.
Last night, as I sat on the lawn chair I tried to strategize my way back into the house. I could:
A. Use the lawn chair as a walker, the kind Auntie used to use.
B. I could wait until dark and hope Michael would come for me.
C. I could bite down hard and endure the pain. If it was too unbearable I could drop and roll to the back door.
I went with Option C. I did not have to drop and roll. Michael was not happy that I had overextended myself when my back seemed to be improving. Who could blame him? I got carried away and he had to clean up after me; turn off the water, sprinkle my new tomato plants which did NOT get put into the ground, and generally tidy up. He told me he did NOT want me gardening today. Okay. I'll have to take pleasure by looking back on the garden-centric weekend I spent with Katina (of Gardening In Austin fame).
Saturday was the second time that Katina and I met in person. The first time was shortly after I had my knee surgery and I was on crutches. This time, my back had gone out and I was shuffling along at zombie speeds and any little move was agonizing. Getting into her car was difficult, getting out was easier. The speedbumps, the first one was a surprise, the other five weren't as bad. Coming back over the half a dozen speedbumps while looking for parking at the plant sale was okay as long as I braced myself.
I have to say, I appreciated the way Katina apologized for the jarring trip over the bumps. It was a simple, "Sorry!" with what I assume was a smile on her face but I couldn't tell you for sure because I couldn't turn my head to the left. It was not an overly fawning exaggerated and elongated "Sorry" but more of a, "That's life, sorry it hurts but we're almost at the plant sale!" Either one of us could have canceled but we didn't. We knew what we were in for. I'm just glad she was with me to carry my tomatoes.
I took the camera but was not feeling the love. It was cold, a little windy and we had the second sale to get to. It was much smaller and was inside but was right there at Zilker Park so what did we do? Why, we made our way down the stone steps to the rose garden and then back up the incline to the car. Every twenty paces or so I had a shooting pain emanating from my back down through the rest of my body. We didn't stay long but we wanted to get our $2 worth out of the parking fee.
A day out like that deserves a slow unwinding on a warm front porch with a glass of whiskey and a beagle by one's side. So yes, the evening ended on just the right note. We talked the way two people learning about each other talk. We learned names of husbands and the where's and when's of each others lives. Learning about another person is a little like learning the names of the stars under the expanse of a clear night sky. That one is called such and such, it was born there and lives here. It was one of those perfect days, despite my infirmity.
Here's where I say, "Thank you, Katina for driving this ragged bag of bones to two plant sales and getting me home safe and sound with three more tomato plants that I know what to do with."
*Answer: No less than six and as many as twelve.