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Richard A. Moran

Rich Moran

The day started out with a plan. First thing I am going to organize the wine cellar. The bottles are helter skelter and I fear that someone will randomly pick that $250 bottle for making spaghetti sauce. But I wonder, should I sort the bottles alphabetically by label or sort them by varietals or sort them by price with the most expensive wine sort of hidden in the corner? But wait, there’s a mousetrap in one of the slots. No dead mouse but now I wonder where the other mousetraps are located. Maybe in the garage, I think.

Yikes, this place is disorganized. Let me put some of this place in order. Wonder where these old square head nails came from? May as well organize the nails while I am here. Some nails are in old coffee cans and mixed up with hinges and springs. That’s when America was great, when coffee came in cans. Ugh, way too much trouble to sort out these nails but maybe I should build a makeshift shelf for all these coffee cans.

At least the wood for the coffee can shelves is organized outside in the corner under a blue tarp but it’s heavy. I’ll need the lawn tractor and the little trailer to haul this wood over to the garage. Drat. The battery on the little John Deere is dead. I need those cables and the little charging machine to get it going. I think that extension cord is in the potting shed.

What? The old pumpkin is in here and rotten and no one scraped the seeds out of it. It’s a raunchy job but I need to scoop those out right away and get some in the ground. Wait. Is it too early to plant pumpkin seeds? Probably. May as well check on the garden while I’m here. The tomatoes look a little dry; I better get some water on them. What’s going on with the water pressure? It should be stronger than this. I wonder if someone is stealing the water. Could it be pot growers in the hills? They probably don’t do that anymore since pot is now legal. Forget about that; let’s figure out what’s going on with the water.

Oh, the pool guy is here and he is doing some flushing or something, so that’s affecting the water pressure. Better warn him about not too much chlorine because the little kids are coming over later. Dang it, there are baby frogs clinging to the side of the pool. They can’t get out and the chlorine won’t help the situation. Let’s scoop them all out. What kind of frogs are they? Some are green, some are brown with spots, better look them up in the wildlife directory.

Wonder how all these weeds grew around the pool area. I have a container of Round Up but I am no longer sure if it’s safe to use around the house. NPR says that the chemical companies are in big legal battles about whether or not the pesticide is safe. Plus, I just watched a special about Rachel Carson and how hard it was for her to publish “Silent Spring.” Wonder what ever happened to that book, we used to have a paperback copy. I’ll look later; it’s too nice to be inside today. The temperature is supposed to get into the 90s. Better move all the cars into the shade. Maybe I’ll wash them later if I can get anyone to help me. Rats, the car keys are in the house.

Wonder what time it is. It must be about lunchtime. Let’s see, what was I doing? Puttering is what it is called – a joyous and constructive use of my time in wine country.

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Rich Moran is an award-winning columnist who spends a lot of time puttering.

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