Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sunday Scribblings: Phantom & Shadows

This is a memory that has become somewhat of a "phantom" to me. I remember some of the details, but others are becoming less clear over time. So, while this story is mostly true, I've added little bits here and there to fill in the blanks.

“What’s a hydroseeder?” Melissa asked.

“It’s like a truck that plants grass.” I tried to sound authoritative, but all I really knew about the hydroseeder parked in front of our house was what I learned from my dad’s appearance when he came home from a hydroseeding job covered, head to toe in green mulch. Green furry mulch in his eyebrows and sideburns, the back of his shirt covered so I could barely read the Ferry Morris logo anymore.

My mom made him get undressed on the back patio by the sliding glass door so he wouldn’t track the green stuff all through the house. I wondered why she didn’t just brush him off with the stiff bristled broom like she did to us kids when we had been playing in the sandbox all afternoon. Everything came in to be washed eventually, but the green-covered shoes stayed and waited just outside the sliding glass door for the next time my dad went hydroseeding.

Dad had brought the hydroseeder home after work last night and this morning was filling it up with water. Two hoses, screwed together reached all the way down the driveway and into the massive tank on the back of the truck. Filling up the tank would take all morning and part of the afternoon.

“My dad’s going to squirt us with the hose this afternoon, so if you want to come, wear your bathing suit. It will be super fun,” I promised Melissa. We were having a heat wave which was quite clear to me because of the vaporous curtains of heat waving up off the asphalt on Almond Road.

I spent the rest of the morning alerting all the other neighbors about the squirting that would take place later that afternoon and tried to distract myself from the boredom of waiting.

How I wanted to climb up that little ladder on the side of the tank and peek in at the water level. My dad had made it clear however, that the little ladder was the path to certain danger and maybe even dismemberment. His threats were not idle either; a man who’d been working with him once fell into the tank while the big motor was stirring up the mulch and water and seeds. He ended up in the hospital for days.

No, I would not climb the ladder.

Finally, my dad came out, turned off the hose and announced it was time.

Friends started gathering and my dad climbed up on the truck bed, and then very bravely climbed that dangerous little ladder like a pro.

First, there was a loud noise as what I guessed was the water pump started up. Then came the water, shooting out of the hose in a beautiful arc.

Kids continued to gather around the hydroseeder like little shreds of metal sucked into a magnet’s pull.

I inched my way closer and closer to the hydroseeder until the water from the hose stung my skin and I had to back away. Kids were laughing and shouting and running in and out of the spray, elusive as the rainbows that formed and disappeared as the water changed direction.

We must have stayed outside all afternoon, playing in the water that shot from the hydroseeder’s big hose. Or, maybe it was only 30 minutes.

When the tank finally ran out of water, or my dad or us kids tired out, we rolled out our towels on the driveway and let the sun dry us off.

“Will you bring the hydroseeder home next Saturday Dad?” I asked.

“We’ll see.” He said, smiling.


Tara said...

How fun is that?! What kid wouldn't love it? And very nice writing style, Afton! I could picture the whole thing in my mind. :-)

Debbie said...

Great story again :) I could have used one of those today...it was 106 here! I bet even the business people would have run thru the water!

Erika and Ryan said...

Yes, you painted a nice picture in my head, making me think of when I was a child and how it was to be young and carefree.

Allyson said...

Hey, you left out the part about dad spraying some kid on a bike and it knocked the front wheel off. I'm pretty sure that happened, right?

Afton said...

I said my memory was foggy...but now that you mention that, I totally remember it. Oh man! That was funny, but probably not for the kid with the bike.

I-Shüan Warr said...

That was a great story! Very descriptive and reminiscent of the good ol' days of being a kid!

I kept thinking someone was going to accidentally get sprayed and become a chia pet though... :-)

Tumblewords: said...

What fun! Life is so BIG when you're young! Great story!

gel(Emerald Eyes) said...

enjoyed reading about the fun
carefree-wheeee :D