Monday, September 03, 2007


By C.L. Beck
© 2007

Monday is misnamed. It should be called Moan-day. Why? Because if anything’s going to go wrong, you can bet it’ll happen on that day.

On this particular Moan-day, it all started with gargantuan weeds in the driveway, near our front sidewalk. Knowing you should use the right tool for the right job, I dusted the cobwebs off the old weed-eater. I plead with it to start and begged it to run long enough to whack everything ... including the grass in the rose bed.

It started. Thirty seconds later, the line disappeared. I spent 45 minutes—with the hot sun beating on my head and sweat dripping down my neck—trying to figure out how to pop the spool out to put in new line.

Finally, I realized it wasn’t going to happen and decided to trim the deadwood in the rose bushes—then tackle the grass and weeds by hand.

The roses kept poking me. The sun blazed in the sky, my hair plastered itself to my head and my eyes stung from sweat trickling into them. Walking around the rose bed to try getting pierced from another angle, I noticed something suspicious—the sprinkler valve box was overflowing with water.

A leak. No wonder the lawn had dry spots and the weeds in the driveway were thriving. I schlepped to the garage, got the sprinkling system key and turned the water off.

By now I had a wheelbarrow with dead branches at one end of the sidewalk, a weed-whacker and 100 foot extension cord at the other end, two valve box lids laying on the lawn, and the sprinkler key sticking straight up out of the ground. My yard looked like I was recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

I realized I hadn’t gotten much of anything done. My stomach growled for breakfast. I was ready for a shower. Or maybe a nap. I figured I could make it easy on myself and nap while I showered. But then the weeding wouldn't get done.

I moved to the valve box and started bailing water. The sun rose higher in the sky. It was 11:00 a.m. and all I’d accomplished was to get hot and sweaty.

After looking the situation over, I decided to give the weed-eater one more try. Into the house I went to call the weed-whacker people. The gal there didn’t have a clue how to get the spool out. My weed-eater was older than her mother.

I finally saw a little doo-hickey on the weed-whacker’s cover. One push and ta-da, the housing popped free.

The spool had 18 inches of tangled line. I fed some through, put it back together and started it whirring. Thirty seconds later, the line disappeared. I took it apart, pulled more line and started it up. Thirty seconds later? No line again … that weed-eater hated me.

With all the stopping and starting, the machine ran for a total of five minutes. During that time I managed to weed-whack my bare ankles, chop off the heads of the roses and cut three weeds.
By then it was noon. The heat had sizzled what was left of my brain.

Putting everything away, I decided I was finished with weeding for the year—maybe for the century. I headed inside. Forget that longed-for shower of hours ago; I was taking a nap—and sleeping straight through the rest of Moan-day.

And what does this blog have to do with writing? Check back next week, when I plan to post a pithy analogy worthy of a Pulitzer prize—or at the very least an Academy Award!

What C.L.’s been reading recently:
Publishing Secrets by LDS Storymakers (BJ Rowley and others)
Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by Jon Franklin
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Browne & Dave King
The Art of Photographing Nature by Martha Hill with photographs by Art Wolfe

View C.L.’s other work:
Newspaper Column
Photography Website
Life is Like Riding a Unicycle by Shirley Bahlmann (Story on pg. 70)


Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Wow, sounds like your day has gone like mine. A different path, but oh yeah, this has not been the sunniest of Mondays. Hope yours gets better.

Keith Fisher said...

You should try the agreement I have with my line trimmer, for every hour it works it gets two weeks off. Unfortunatly it picks the times it wants to work. good blog.

C. L. Beck said...

Uh-oh. You were the dreaded victim of a Moan-day? How rude for it to happen to you ... and on a holiday, too! :)

Hopefully tomorrow--since it's a Tooth-day--will be better! :)

Thanks for reading and commenting.

C. L. Beck said...

Ha Keith!
I like that agreement. I'd try it with my weed whacker, but it only seems to speak (and understand)weed-whackese. :)

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Tooth-day, ha ha -- have to go to the dentist. Yuck!

Tristi Pinkston said...

I actually like Mondays -- I spend Sunday afternoons thinking of all the stuff I want to get done, and then as soon as Monday morning hits, I'm raring to go.

Yeah, I know -- I'm nuts.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

You know, your moan-day sounds like my every-time-I-try-to-do-something-mechanical days. I always thought it was because I'm so mechanically handicapped. Hmm. Maybe I ought to pay attention to the DAY I try to do yard work, etc. Maybe I'll be lucky and find it really isn't me.
Or maybe not.

C. L. Beck said...

Oh no! Did I jinx you with the Tooth-day comment? Did it give you a toothache? :)

C. L. Beck said...

Okay, I'll make you a deal. Since you like Moan-days, I'll let you have mine. :)

C. L. Beck said...

Your "mechanical" days sound like the days where I try to cook a meal for someone. No one believes I can actually cook, because whenever I volunteer to take a meal, everything goes wrong. The meatloaf doesn't cook in the middle, the potatoes boil into specks of gelatinous starch and the cake falls flat.

But hey, my frosting always turns out. (I buy it in a can:)