What can YOU say in six sentences?
The metaphors are rampant as I move through my early summer, as the days warm up to the 90s, as the water fades down into the sand, as the garden lushes through the afternoons.
I put on old clothes and gather my tools, mainly a stiff wire brush to knock off the bird poop, a can of Regal Red, a mitt that starts out light as air and gets heavier with each dip.
The more paint on the mitt, the easier the job, the faster I can run my hand down the pipe, the more dramatic the results.
The dog follows me, napping in the shade, wearing red drips on her fur for two weeks.
The tranformation glistens behind me as I leave section after section of pipe corrals with a fresh coat, a face lift, a stronger defense against wind and sun and rain and snow.
It is pretty.
It is a noxious invasive weed, taking over the bright green productive bottoms, choking out the grasses, spreading its needle seeds for next year, a wonder of evolution.
Surely I can walk through the meadow with my hoe and chop each seedling as it springs up.
Surely three of us can walk through the meadow with hoes and get the job done.
Surely two of us can use hand sprayers to kill the mo fo.
So now there is a 26 gallon sprayer on the quad, and we've got a scortched earth policy regading yellow starthistle, thank you California.
Its back to just me and my hoe, walking through the meadow, taking out the tenatious ones.
Visitors notice it first, the old white house, vacant for many years except for the birds that fly out of broken windows, pack rats that nest in the insulation, the dirt dobbers building under the eaves, maybe a lizard on the windowsill.
The lumber is all good, worthy of saving, worthy of stacking out of the weather, worthy of dreaming.
I wear gloves and a nail apron and learn to use the sawhorses, hammer, flat bar, pry bar, skill saw, and impact wrench (most fun), not to build but to dismantle, destroy, deconstruct, pull the nails and save the wood for our someday house.
The blue bucket is slowly filling with nails while the flatbed is slowly filling with lumber, good lumber, strong full-dimension lumber.
More than the tools, I am learning to use leverage, work with the job and not against it, discovering my own strength, my own ability to dream of my own house, someday, that no one can take away.
I am tearing down the old with you, and we sit in the shade with a beer and talk about the building of the new.