As the first week of fall arrives in north Texas (technically, has been fall for a couple of weeks), a few things happen to affirm its arrival:
- The skimmers start getting full more quickly from leaves in the swimming pool
- The windows can stay open while the air conditioners get a much needed rest
- The desire to move plants around in the flower beds (or create new flower beds) comes into complete fruition, AND
- The tire gauge light lights up on the dashboard….
I suppose it is just part of the chemistry of molecules becoming more compressed as they cool, but it affects my Saturday morning in a very real way. As I planned my landscaping errand, I made sure I would pass a gas station with a functioning air tank. Fortunately, DFW is full of many such gas stations. With my route barely altered, I came up on my gas station and pump to find out someone else had beaten me there. I pulled up next to the curb to place my car next in line. Then, I parked myself at the pump with a finger ready to press the button at the moment the pump shut off. With the help of a couple of my finger taps AND help unrolling the hose from the reel more efficiently, my predecessor was able to get on his way more quickly. He may have also grunted a couple of “thank yous” and agreed with me how we were men of action to attack this low pressure issue so immediately.
My “filling of the tires” went pretty well. I had no hose/button guy. Despite this delay and the yanking off of the hubcaps (they seem to fit too snugly to allow the hose to properly access the tire nozzle), I was able to accomplish my task. (I have bought an extra set of hubcaps on eBay. I have lost a couple because I felt I could properly snug them on while at the gas station. Deciding to not risk the frustration with myself, I threw them in the back of the van. They were pounded back on the tires when I got back from the plant store.) As I was finishing the last tire and reattaching the screw-on nozzle covers, another car got in line behind the other car that was waiting. (When the car behind me showed up, I used sign language to let him know I was next. Based on this evolving hierarchy, I believed the new seeker-of-the-air would also play by our established rules.) As I backed out to “hand off the hose”, I swung the car around in such a way the “new” arrival would be screened out from jumping ahead of the other guy. I just believed it was right and felt no guilt in it.
Now, with the tires filled, I again parked and sought my “black mango tea” companion for the drive to the nursery. With the tea pot empty and a wait of 2+ minutes ahead of me, I resolved to not volunteer to pay for a tea I had to wait for. (There policy is, “If it is not ready, you don’t pay for it.”) With my cup full of tea and no room for negotiation on my face, I easily convinced the checkout clerk of my need for a free drink.
With my companion in the car drink holder and my dash now free of the annoying light (I am discounting the now present oil change light while writing this), I went on to purchase heavily discounted plants for heavily shaded areas of my backyard. The goal, of course, to create a small sanctuary from the world for every season AND to give the writer something to do outside of the house so he doesn’t have his family members ask him to go on a walk.