Big excitement in our neck of the woods, boy, oh boy! That last big rain storm we had? Little Danny Grover (not to be confused with his dad, big Danny or his grandfather, old Danny), must’ve been speeding down our street, hit some standing water and lost control of his truck, hydroplaning or something. Long and short of it? He took out our mailbox, and tore up some of the Phinney's lawn in the process. Danny was okay. Shook up a bit, I guess. Oh, we had the police here, the rescue unit, and Hank Plaidsted, of course.
Hank and his wife, Pearl, live a couple of doors down, and nothing goes on in our neighborhood, that they don’t get the inside scoop on. Well, they have nothing better to do, right? I figure Pearl must be seventy-eight because they just went to her sixtieth high school reunion in Dover Foxcroft. Hank told me all about it when they got back.
“Ida,” says Hank, “it was like a visit to caneville.”
“Caneville?” I asked.
“Yup. Everyone had a cane.”
But not Hank. He just turned eighty-four and still works like a dog out in his yard. “Keeps me young, Ida. Listen, I got friends who are retired, and all they do is sit around watching the tube. Darn thing’s turned them into nitwits!”
Hank has more equipment than the Public Works, I kid you not. Tractors, a zero turn mower, riding snow blower, you name it. Whenever Charlie’s out puttering, Hank will drive one of his tractors over and shoot the breeze. It always starts out the same way.
“Charlie, quit workin’ so hard! You’re showing me up!”
“I doubt it, Hank. You got more toys and time to put into it and than I do.”
“True, true, but I also got a good twenty years on you!”
“Can’t argue with that.”
Then, they get down to business. Last Sunday was a case in point. Charlie goes, “Hank, what’s up with your lawn?”
Hank shakes his head. “You know how I’m always tryin’ to do too much?”
“Not you, Hank,” Charlie says, joking around.
“Well, I guess I over-fertilized the lawn or something. Darn near killed part of it. Pearl’s giving me a boat load a grief ‘bout it. I’ve been at it all weekend, tryin’ to rectify the situation, goin’ from one gotta to another. Gotta dig some of it up. Gotta reseed it. Gotta get some hay from the field to put on it so’s the birds don’t eat the seed. It never ends.”
“Ain’t that the truth!”
“I’m temped to just dig it all up and tar the whole thing over. But then, what would I do all summer?”
“Well, keeps you outta trouble.”
“Keeps me outta Pearl’s way, is what it does. Looks like you got your mail box fixed. Pearl and me thought you were diggin’ a hole to China.”
“Almost! Hit a boulder. That slowed me down a bit.”
“Kid’s today. They’re all high on something, you know? Pot, or what’s the other stuff? iMac? Something like that.”
“I don’t know ‘bout that, but little Danny was definitely goin’ too fast.”
“Imax, that’s it. All the kids are on it.”
Little Danny’s grandmother, Winnie (she’s married to old Danny) called Sunday evening, and she’s sending a check for thirty bucks for the mail box and the stick on numbers to go along the side. Charlie suggested that maybe Danny come over and fix up the Phinney’s lawn where he stove it up. I doubt the kid will do it, but Charlie felt good saying something.
Later that evening, Charlie says to me, “Ida, you ever hear of this drug Imax?”
I had to think a minute. “Imax? That isn’t a drug. That’s a movie theater. Remember when we went to the Boston Science Museum, and we saw the movie with the big screen all around? The roller coaster made you a little queasy, if memory serves. ‘Course the Big Mac and fries in Saugus probably didn’t help.”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side.
Upcoming Shows & Book Events: Summer
July 1 Reading, Brooksville Free Library, 6:30 p.m., Brookville, ME
July 8 Reading, Belgrade Public Library, 6:00 p.m., Belgrade, ME
July 14 Reading, Freeport Community Library, 7:00 p.m., Freeport, ME
July 22 Reading, Bailey Public Library, 6:30 p.m., Winthrop, ME
August 9 A Visit With Ida, Storytelling by the Sea, 7:15 p.m., Castine, ME
August 14 Ida’s Havin’ a Yard Sale, ACT ONE Festival 2014, 8:00 p.m., Portsmouth, NH
August 15 Ida’s Havin’ a Yard Sale, ACT ONE Festival 2014, 2:00 p.m., Portsmouth, NH
August 19 Reading, Southwest Harbor Public Library, 5:30 p.m., Southwest Harbor, ME
September 4 Ida’s Havin’ a Yard Sale, ACT ONE Festival 2014, 8:00 p.m. Portsmouth, NH
September 5 Ida’s Havin’ a Yard Sale, ACT ONE Festival 2014, 2:00 p.m. Portsmouth, NH