Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Boys

While the Eastern Boys are repelling down canyons in Southern Utah, I'm still laying brick and digging up lemon mint.  Anyone want some lemon mint?  It's crowding out the spearmint.  It's done-in the peppermint.  I've had it with the lemon mint.  Oh yes, it does sound as if it would be lovely.  But it only takes a couple of years in the garden to crowd out damn near everything else. And sadly, it's a pale imitation of a mint with a faint scent of citrus.

I'm still opening up vinca covered swaths of ground beside the gazebo to add more patio space.  My brick laying has taken a drastic turn from widening a pathway to creating a whole new patio. I hope I have enough bricks.

I've tried to explain to the Dartmouth boy (who is the one around the place during the daytime) the formula for keeping the main house cool through the summer.  It involves keeping sunlight out of the house.  It involves keeping the house all shut up during the day except the two farthest windows upstairs which should be just opened a bit to create a place for the hot air to go as the cool air from the swamp-cooler whooshes through the house chasing that flow of hot air out those two small openings in the upstairs bedrooms.  A lifetime of living with swamp-coolers has taught me how to make the best use of them.  Just by closing the shades on the side of the house that sun is shinning on will lower the temperature in the house five to ten degrees.  By opening the house at night to the canyon winds that blow from east to west, you can sleep comfortably with just the ceiling fan on low. 

But the Dartmouth boy has other things on his mind.  He's starting a new business in the food service industry and it's all new to him.  He hasn't worked in the restaurant business; he hasn't any construction experience.  So his firm timeline seems to be slipping away.  He's tried to hire several tradesmen to do the conversion from bus to rolling restaurant in a specific length of time.  Things are scheduled and don't go as planned.  I could have told him not to count on contractors to give you an accurate timeline.  There are always things you didn't factor into your plan that drag time out way past your prior deadline.

So he is worried about his bus and his timeline.  He can't concentrate on what the old woman is saying about keeping the house closed up in the daytime and dark.  He didn't hear me tell him about the way a small opening at the bottom of a window is enough draft to draw the cool air from downstairs upstairs to chase out the hot.  I know. It's counter intuitive.  And I am just a talkative old woman.

The boys are already a big hit in the neighborhood.  Neighbors know their names and all the girls and women find them charming.  They are eye-candy for the ladies.  And they're friendly in a breezy sort of way as they rush from one sport to another.  Seems they do it all, from mountain climbing to rowing.  And they have copious amounts of sports equipment for every imaginable sport.  I'm impressed and yet a bit annoyed that there are five specialized bikes in the fireplace room leaning against various unused pieces of furniture. 

The William & Mary boy comes from a military family.  I met his dad briefly when he was here for a fishing trip with his son.  He's a semi-retired high ranking naval officer, and he's a magnificent hunk of a charming man.  I had the pleasure of an introduction.  He told me the house and neighborhood remind him of places in Virginia.  He told me the boys love the house and neighborhood.  His son is a snappy dressing organized and orderly young man.  He's going places.  He's got his life as well ordered and organized as his bedroom and office. His clothes are hung up or put in drawers.  His bed is carefully made.

The Dartmouth boy is living in chaos.  His room is a mess.  It appears he needs a cleaning lady or a wife. Clothes are strewn about the floor like a thirteen year old.  Bed unmade and shoved against a wall, so making it up will be harder than necessary.  The drawers of his chest of drawers are haphazardly open. I'm so tempted to pick up is dirty clothes and make his bed but I resist the impulse. I know it will be taken as criticism, or worse, snooping.  And I don't want to be any one's cleaning lady or mother.  Yet I want to warn him not to take his girlfriend into that messy room.  I must resist this impulse.  I hope the chaos is a temporary problem that's related to his stalled business plan, because I like the boys.  I want them to stay awhile.