Who would have thought a ton of pea gravel would finally get me over my cold? I have been sniffling for nearly three weeks. Some ugly croup that has been going around. It does no good to call the doctor. "Do you have a temperature?" That is always the first question. "I don't know." That is always my answer. I don't own a thermometer. It would be simple to buy one, but when I am feeling well it never crosses my mind. Then when I am feeling badly who wants to shop for one?
Nothing I took would clear out my head. Usually I am so nice, but I found myself irritable, even towards the dogs. Now that is really feeling sick.
Last week the Reverend who is my garden angel stopped by. "Want to plant seed again this year?" He makes up lists for the yard just like my husband did. Last year it cost me $500 for seed, lime, fertilizer and I had grass for almost a month. My back yard is impossible. Trees so thick the sun can’t reach the ground in most places. Then add six dogs running and romping through the yard. Grass does not stand a chance.
"You know, I was in Home Depot last week and saw gravel and pavers. Maybe we could do a patio on part of that dead space." My mantra after leaving Home Depot was gravel, pavers, bricks. I was excited.
"Yes, ma'am," the Reverend smiled at me. "I can get a ton of gravel in my truck and be there Tuesday."
Tuesday came and the sun was shining so brightly. Almost a true spring day. I had picked up some pavers at Home Depot and waited for the Reverend to arrive. My head was still foggy from my cold, but I was ready to tackle the day.
Unprepared but resourceful is how I like to describe myself. I forgot to buy the plastic for the ground. I went through the back shed and found an old roll of black roofing paper. "Let's use this," I told the Reverend. After all, there would be a ton of gravel over it so the weeds would be choked out one way or another. Squashed would be my guess.
We plotted out the spot and cut the paper. Then as he started emptying gravel into his wheelbarrow I laid out the pavers. Pitiful. Not enough to edge the area and certainly not high enough to contain the gravel.
I went through all my overgrown beds and pulled heavy old stones that had been there for years. Stones I had picked up on the side of the road every day for a month and tossed them in my car on the way home from work. Stones from an old landmark in Atlanta that was being torn down. Free stones all those years ago.
Then I went to the side of the house where chunks of old cement had been jack hammered when my foundation had to be sealed from all the water that was draining in from the thirty days of rain in September. "Don't toss those," I told the guy digging on the foundation. "May use them in the garden."
Well, now they were put to use. I lugged all of the rocks, cement chunks and odd stones to my little pea gravel patio. Huffing, puffing, breathing in fresh air, and sweating like crazy. I thought I might just drop right there. From noon until five I worked hard. Side by side with the Reverend.Then I took the rake and leveled out the pea gravel. Six thick brick pavers placed in the center. By six pm the project was complete.
The Reverend left and I fell into an old rusty chair on my deck. Breathing deeply I realized I felt great. The best I've felt in three weeks. Fresh air and exercise was all I needed. Not the pills I'd been popping and the cough syrup I'd been slugging down.
I opened the kitchen door and six dogs ran out to enjoy a romp. Of course, six dogs stopped on the deck and looked at the pea gravel with confusion. Something new that was not there earlier in the day. They each tilted their heads in wonder then leaped into the pea gravel. It looked like a day at the beach. Dogs running leaving paw prints and then leaping over the rock border to run through the yard.
I was laughing so hard I couldn't stop. My new pea gravel patio looked like a litter box. Tomorrow I am getting pavers to drop on top of the gravel to make it look more like a patio then a playpen for dogs.
Oh my. Finally. I am over my cold. I am laughing again. And my even temperament is back. It only took a ton of pea gravel rather than a handful of pills to cure what ailed me. Next time I am under the weather I am heading for Home Depot and forgetting the doctor.