Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mitch the Shy Landscaper, Returned!

Speaking of returned, we rolled up to our house this morning at 2am, after 27 hours of travel from Sydney. Somewhere around hour 18, I realized that other people, smarter people, break up these kinds of itineraries. Like, after our transpacific flight, we could have spent the night in LA, then come on to ATL the next day. But maybe that just means longer in-transit time and not a more restful experience overall. Whatever, we're tough. Matt sat awake for the entire 12-hour flight from Auckland to LA, holding a sleeping Hank. And I actually watched Dragonball: Evolution, and even enjoyed part of it. Take that, air travel! Is that all you got? Next time, try kryptonite.

So as we were approaching the house, I said, "I wonder what our grass looks like?" I was thinking it hadn't been mowed in four weeks, and would now be a knee-high refuge for possums, or even could have sprouted a Trans-Am up on blocks. Imagine my surprise and wonderment when we rounded the corner and saw that it was neatly cut. And edged! And the laurel bushes were clipped! What Good Fairy of Lawn Care did I have to thank for this? My first thought was, believe it or not, of Frenemy Neighbor. I had left a key with her, because none of my non-frenemized peeps were going to be home this whole time, and at one point I asked her to go in the house and have a look around. So when I saw the grass cut, I thought maybe she had arranged for it to be done in the name of neighborhood beautification or just plain kindness. Then, I got into the house and saw that she must have straightened up our living room when she came in. We had left it somewhat cycloned on our way out the door, but it was now plumped and neatened. This confirmed my hunch that she'd arranged for grass cutting, and my heart filled with appreciation for her. I felt like such an ungrateful wretch, making blog sport of her character eccentricities! Such a kind and thoughtful neighbor! Oh reader, in the dark of night, humbled and travel-weary, I vowed to be a better person and a kinder blogger!

Then, we all woke up very late today and found that the mail lady had delivered a crate of withheld mail. In it was an invoice from Mitch the Disappearing Mowing Dude! The invoice bills us for that time he mowed-and-ran, and claims that he did our yard three times while we were gone. Fascinating! I am happy to pay him, of course, and I'm happy that the yard didn't return to jungle while we were gone, but it's funny, because there was nothing in our interaction that one time that suggested we were agreeing to a weekly relationship, AND he didn't come the week right before we left, but apparently came each week we were gone. So, hmm. He didn't know we were about to leave town, though, so I don't think it's some kind of fiendish plot to get rich by only mowing our yard twice instead of four times.

So Frenemy apparently did not cut our grass, though she did straighten the living room, which was very sweet. When Matt and I were heading from Sydney to Vanuatu, I emailed her and asked her to go into the house and check things out. When we got back to email, I had a note from her that said only this:
We checked on your house & everything looked fine. A bee entered when the front door was open so be aware.
Is she not kind of adorable? I laughed so hard when I got that. It seemed like such a world away from everything we were doing. We had recently stood on the rim of a volcano that was shooting lava into the air. Just so incongruous. And we weren't due back for over a week, but she thought she'd better let us know about that bee. When we got in last night, I sent a "we're back" text message to Amy, and I added, "There's a huge bee in here! Why didn't somebody warn us?"

What was that about being a kinder blogger? I do owe her a big thank-you. And we are glad to be home, even jet lagged, and glad the crape myrtle is still blooming, and glad the grass is cut, and glad to have had a wonderful trip. You'll be hearing more about Australia, I'm afraid, and Vanuatu, because I've got a backlog of stories to tell and photos to share. I hope y'all are having a wonderful summer. I'm looking forward to coming by everyone's blog and getting caught up.

19 comments:

The Dental Maven said...

WELCOME HOME!!!

Boy, I'll bet that bee is HUGE by now. Better beeware!

Veronica said...

Welcome home! Can't wait to hear more about your trip.

Sara said...

"beeware" hee!

I'm so glad that Mitch mystery is solved!

You guys are hardcore. Glad you're home all safe and sound. :)

Michele said...

Welcome home! The kids sounds like they were troopers.

The Messy Mom said...

You have such a great attitude. I probably would have been much more grumpy after a trip like that. Thinking things like "she was in my stuff!?" or "he billed me for something I didn't ask for!?". I know, I am terrible. Anyway, welcome back.

Cassie said...

Welcome home! Glad you're all back safe and that your homeward bound trip was uneventful. Can't wait to see/hear more about your vacation!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Be, be, bee be aggressive!

Now, as to that little mower dude, hmm. I think he might be in law school, studying "unjust enrichment." No contract, no nothing and he invoices you for FOUR mows? That's a lawyer in the making if ever I saw one.

Welcome home. I almost passed you in the air. We're about to take a family vacation . . . which means: send out a search party if I'm not back in 2 weeks!

Keely said...

Welcome back!

I hear bees grow to the size of their container, or something. So be aware.

Jane said...

Welcome home!

Amy said...

Glad you made it back safely, although I am still bitter you had to return to your "life" and "home". That's a bit selfish, isn't it?

Weeee miss youuuuu!

Kate said...

wow--mitch is stealthy. and don't we hate it when our frenemies act kindly?

bsouth said...

Glad to hear you're back safely. I will be chuckling about frenemy neighbour and the bee for a while. Did she think he'd be assuming squatters rights when you returned?

Michele said...

Welcome back safe and sound! I swear it rained only two times while you were gone. These days the grass is not growing that fast for weekly cuts. Lawyer Mom's comment cracks me up. Seems like he is one of those "Lawyers" who does not communicate.
Can't wait for the deets down under.

Michele Renee said...

That post above was from me.

Jenni said...

welcome home. maybe mitch came by to pick up his $$ and since you were never there he just mowed. because he was already there and all.

gretchen said...

You watched Dragonball: Evolution and enjoyed part of it??!!

About a week after I bought my car, a tiny spider took up residence in it. I saw it, a tiny, tiny little creature spinning a tiny, tiny little web in my new Prius. So cute. I never noticed it again. Then, about 4 months later, I was driving along and a HUGE, HIDEOUS spider leapt onto my driving leg - I mean gigantic, the diameter of a quarter. I shrieked and almost had a wreck. Managed to pull over and chase the thing around the car until I caught it in an old Starbucks cup and set it free. I'm convinced it had been lying in wait, quietly growing until it could try to kill me! So watch out for the bee. Check the closets!

Becky said...

Gretchen, that spider story struck fear in my heart. Okay, I'm off to search every corner for the MONSTER BEE. Will post pics if I find him.

Also, yes, Dragonball. It's funny, because a friend of ours was on a long flight to Europe at the same time, and when he got back, we had to spend fifteen minutes complaining about that movie before we could exchange even basic information about our trips.

fraught said...

Yay! Welcome back!! But if you become a kinder and gentler blogger, how will we get our vicarious snark fix?? Nooooo! Please don't do it!!

delaine said...

That jet lag business is a stinker, huh? How did it feel to leave winter and go back to a wretched hot summer ? It's very cool tonight and a fire is roaring in the stove. I'm just saying...