Be Careful What You Wish For

The sump pump churns, emitting a low hum that permeates the house for a few seconds and then shuts off with a “thunk”.  It has been cycling every thirty seconds or so for the last few hours.  It’s nice to know something around here works and is doing its job.  Yes, I know I temp fate by saying crap like that, but at this point fate can go f*ck herself two times with the fuzzy end of a cattail for all I care.

Today looked promising.  The plumber made it out to fix the shower, check the water line leading to the ice maker, and to fix a leak in the basement. But that wasn’t my primary concern. I wanted to sorta get out of having to do some outdoor work tonight, and save some water. I checked the weather and they were predicting rain.  If I was lucky it’d rain.  And if it rained it would mean I wouldn’t have to chase garden hoses all around my front yard trying to water the grass, shrubs, and wildflower seeds.  Rain would also fill up our cistern with free water.

By mid morning it was pouring at work.  I called home an hour later to see if it rained at home.  No luck the storm swept to the north.  Leaving work I came to terms that I’d spend the evening dragging the hoses back out and hooking up sprinkler heads.  Much to my delight though, as the Rabbit and I rambled down the freeway, I could see darkening clouds to the south.  As I approached the exit ramp it started to rain.  Light at first then a little bit heavier. By time we pulled up next to the garage it was a downpour.  I contemplated how to get out and scramble inside without getting wet.  I dawned a raincoat that had been piled up amongst my tools in the back of the Rabbit.  Just as I opened the car door and put a foot on the ground the entire sky lit up.  And “CRACK” the thunder rung in my ears.  Not worrying about what in the hell the lighting struck I high tailed and fumbled my key into the front door lock. 

Once settled down all the wife, me and the boys could do was stare out the window at the rain and lighting.  Quickly the water came rushing down across the yard, emerging from the tall grass in tiny tendrils, collecting into fast-moving streams.  Every low spot and channel was easily identified by the rising water.  We half heartedly tried to make dinner and not stare at the defeat taking place outside.  With over a hundred square feet of glass facing out towards the yard it was hard not to watch  the carnage as Mother Nature swept away a few thousand (unpaid) dollars worth of landscaping down and around the bend, under the driveway and off into the east meadow.  It’s uncanny how often during the construction and living in this house it has made my physically ill to be a part of this endeavor.  It I wasn’t so damn fascinated by it all I would have cried.  Watching the patterns develop as rushing water coursed across previously arid dirt.  It was as if nature was defining the true design of our yard.  You could see clearly where the southern grass line should be, carved out by a temporary stream.  If we are to plant trees as shown in the plan, I’ll need to brave the long grass and plant them further from the house beyond the grass line.  Closer in the large bed was perfectly defined by a smaller stream carrying away countless pieces of straw and grass seed. 

In the back yard, where there is not formal landscaping yet, the rushing water made short work of trying to find the path of least resistance.  The wine garden area, flattened in anticipation of future landscaping, became a temporary pool.  And the pond berm actually had a little pond behind it after the hour or so of rainfall.  Down by the driveway it was mesmerizing to watch the water collect and wait patiently to pass through the sluice pipe and be ejected forcefully through the other end.  What had been a mosquito breeding, cess pool the day before was now a cool little pond.  Water raced through the tall grass and out of sight.  To look a mere thirty feet and you’d have no idea the amount of surface water was traveling out there, at such a fast pace.

There isn’t much we can do.  Just how life is some times.  I don’t have to like it, but in the end we generally make up with the house and land.  Frankly I’m so fascinated with the outside bits of the property it’s tough to get too upset or mad.  Nature is so awesome.  Everyday I find something new to make me smile outside. That’s one of the main reasons we moved out here. The wife and I were getting down on the house while we tried to make dinner tonight.  We were reflecting on the things that have gone wrong and all the bits that we absolutely hate.  So to be more positive we started making a list of things we like about the new house.  She said she liked how the master bath toilet flushes.  I have to say it is kinda nice, albeit a bit limp for a toilet lever.  I said I like how we had a lot of cardinals around the property. So when there were birds flying in, after the rain stopped, to eat our as of yet unpaid for grass seed I was delighted to see most of them were cardinals.  Nature is so awesome.

So maybe someone is listening to me finally.  I wanted rain and they gave me rain.  Next time I’ll ask for money or beer.  At least the cistern should be fairly full now.

Temporary stream in background defines far side of future grass line between high maintenance and natural tick infested tall grass. Look closely and you can see a cardinal eating what’s left of our grass seed. Pretty birdie. Awe. Mmmwah.

Further up the front lawn you can see far side stream forming seemingly from nowhere in the tall grass. In the foreground is pool formed by dam of straw. Dark soil on right is the world’s largest planting bed.

Wine & sculpture garden to be, now filled with a large pool of water. Wood for screen porch sits to right getting soiled. That can’t be good.

Water rushes off back into the tall grass of the side yard. Pretty yellow flowers. Weeee!

You can see the lone “6th” green velvet boxwood here in this photo. No worries, he’s just fine. Slightly lonely and scared, but overal just fine he is. Wildflower patch is dark soil to far left, in front of temporary stream.

I suspect the Hazelnut saplings took a hit, though you can’t see them from this image.

Very cool pool forms to right side of driveway in this view. Orchard grass is in foreground.

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