So, you know how Mom used to tell us to wear nice underwear “just in case”? Well, this week I found out she was right.
It’s a long story.
The forecast has been promising cooler weather in the mid 20s (Celsius) and a chance of showers… but always five to seven days in the future. So on Friday I was shocked to discover that there was a 40% chance of showers predicted on Saturday! Mere hours away!
I dragged out our giant tarp and wrestled it across the bottom and up the sides of our 10′ deep, 60′ long (dry) dugout. All our downspouts are routed to the dugout and we have a lot of roof area, so I hoped that even a little sprinkle might yield a few gallons of captured water.
Imagine my delight when it POURED for half an hour on Saturday and I got three feet of water in my tarp – about 5,000 gallons, enough to water the garden for the rest of the summer! Hooray!
The tarp leaked. And we don’t have any 5,000-gallon storage vessels.
Soon there were only a few sad inches of unsalvageable muddy water lying in the folds of the tarp. Mosquito eggs hatch fast, so I needed to drain my failed experiment and get it out of the dugout.
But a few inches of water in a 60′ long tarp still amounts to a couple of hundred pounds of water. Add the couple of hundred pounds of silty gravel that had washed down into the tarp along with with the deluge. Then add me, trying to shovel/scrape/drain all that so I could drag the filthy (and therefore extra-heavy) tarp up a wet, unstable, 10 foot high, 45 degree gravel slope.
After about an hour of hard labour, I clawed my way to the top looking like some primeval swamp creature: caked with gritty mud, abraded by gravel, soaked to the skin, and so malodorous that even the mosquitoes lost interest and fled.
So your mother was right: Always wear nice underwear. Because you never know when you might end up doing a striptease1 in the back yard so your husband can hose you off2.
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1 At least none of the neighbours live close enough to see my performance (I hope). I’m going to consider that a qualified ‘win’. The ‘mud, sweat, and mosquito bites’ theme probably won’t catch on at any strip clubs; but after 19 years of marriage I like to think Hubby’s expectations are realistic.
2 Just thought you’d want to know that ‘hose you off’ is not a kinky euphemism – Hubby was wielding the garden hose. Honest.