Peter went with me to get my springtime supply of potting soil. I had to ask a Lowe’s employee to help us get it off the stack and onto a flat cart. Together, we managed to heft it into the car ourselves, but at home Peter insisted he wrestle the monster bag to the backyard himself.
Then, Friday, with only a few more plants to pot, I set myself up under the maple tree with trowel, pots, scoop and…where the heck was the potting soil? I looked in the gardening cupboard, the shed, the basement. Arrgh-h, was it that bag that made the garbage bin so heavy that morning? It had been very difficult to roll to the street and Peter was concerned the weight would be too much for the lifting mechanism on the truck.
“Do you know where the potting soil is?” I asked Peter, knowing he wouldn’t know what I was talking about.
“Potting soil? What’s that?”
“Big green bag, heavy, you lugged it around back for me couple weeks ago. Come help me, I’m probably looking right at it and can’t see it.”
We went to the shed and looked under and behind things. Nope. Storage cupboard? Nope. Basement? Nope. “If it was as heavy as you say I don’t think I could’ve carried it down here,” he said.
I groaned, sure it had been put into the blue bin that had already been collected. Peter often sneaks things into the garbage. We really couldn’t blame that, even jokingly, on Nobby.
I plonked down on the terrace steps, frustrated. In order to finish, I’d have to go get another bag of the stuff. But oh, wait, something bright green beside the steps caught my eye. OH!
“Peter, I found it,” I yelled. I pointed to the bag leaning against the wall. I’d practically stepped on it when I began my search.
He laughed. He hooted. His face turned red.
“I’m sorry! It’s my fault, not yours!” I said, laughing almost as much as he was.
Leslie arrived just then. What’s going on, she wanted to know. Peter, still laughing, pointed to the very big, very green bag. “Mum tried to blame me…said I threw that away…I can’t even lift it….”
She laughed too, as only she can. Later, she suggested the episode was a post waiting to be written. I, like Peter, always do what Leslie says.
At least Nobby didn’t get the blame.
Header: Peter weeds the herb garden.
2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist.