April 30, 2009
Jane: Twentieth century British poet T. S. Eliot once wrote, "April is the cruelest month, mixing memory with desire." Why did T. S. poetically slam the month of April in The Waste Land? I suspect it was because he owned a dog.
No doubt about it, this April was cruel. Thirty days of snow and rain transformed our backyard into a personal Waste Land. Oh, we have memories: Once upon a time, long, long ago (before dogs), our lawn looked nice--think Augusta National golf course with a few dandelions. Desire? A yard that makes us proud and our neighbors jealous. But now memory mixes mostly with despair, not desire--despair over poop piles that fertilize some areas and urine circles that burn out others.
And then there's our lot location. We sit on the low point of our street. That means when we endure a deluge (of which there have been many), a run-off river runs through it. Our Waste Land becomes swamp land. Mulched gardens become mud masses.
Last Sunday the April showers temporarily abated, so we fired up the grill and invited friends over. Dear friends, but friends who are not dog owners. Sensible people. Their home is spotless, their clothing fur free. (Did I mention they're sensible people?) We sat on our deck sipping wine and chatting while our two dogs moshed in the mushy backyard and dumped directly in front of our guests' observant eyes. More wine, anyone?
Then Daisy discovered where our sump pump discharges into a storm sewer. The delights of gurgling gushes and pooling water proved too tempting to resist. Paws churned! Muck flew! Boomer looked on, curious, while our frenetic she-monster submerged her snout--repeatedly--in the primordial soup, reemerging with a mud-drunk grin. Can I pass you something?
Panic stricken, I glanced at my friend wearing a pristine white blouse. Daisy, PLEASE don't come up on the deck and shake, I thought wildly, heart pounding. PLEASE don't jump up on my friend!
Finally our Monster of the Mudway minded our stern scolding and submitted to a severe hosing. Once again looking like a ladylike cutie, Daisy settled quietly on the deck--but not before she emitted a contented sigh.
Relieved, I sighed. Catastrophe avoided. This time. Let's have dessert!
Tomorrow is May Day, the first day of May. I'm not going to miss April at all. T. S. Eliot was quite right: For dog owners, April is the cruelest month. April showers are supposed to bring May flowers. We'll see. I'm hoping for a kinder, gentler, dryer month ahead. What would T. S. have to say about that?
Posted by Rich, Jane, Boomer, and Daisy at 5:00 AM