Friday, March 14, 2008

Volkswagon Summer Post #5

But this weekend, my dad was not baking bread. He was staying out of mom's way. I think he felt the same way about the garage sale as I did. He couldn't wait to get it over with so he could have his garage back. He was up early on Friday and had already watered most of the quarter acre lawn that surrounded our house. He was meticulous about our lawn. He installed a sprinkler system that had to be turned on by hand with the large metal fork that looked more like a weapon than a tool for lawn maintenance. He wore his plaid, polyester pants, black sandals, white socks and a red golf shirt. His bald head sweated in the morning sun as he walked across the lawn to make sure none of his sprinkers had been broken by the neighborhood kids who used our lawn as the football field. I opened the screen door to our backyard and walked outside with my toast in hand and plopped down onto the yellow vinyl lounger we had inherited from my grandmother. "Good morning sunshine, what's up?" my dad said as he leaned over to pull a dandelion from his blessed green lawn. "Nothing," I replied as I stood up and followed him to the garden that was just starting to show shoots of green in even rows of cocoa-colored mud. "We should have a great crop this year. I'll have to make sure it gets watered while we are in California. I thought about asking Tim next store to come and keep up on the yard while we are gone," he said as he eyed the garden and looked fiercely for any wild weed that would dare invade his newest masterpiece. "About California. Do I really have to go? I mean most of my friends are getting jobs this summer and I was thinking...." I was interupted by my mom as she threw open the screen door. "Kim, I need you to come in and help this lady while I man the garage," she motioned me inside. "You've always loved our annual trip to California. You can get a job next year. Don't rush it," my dad said as he grabbed the hoe leaning up against the house and started stabbing the dirt. I followed my mom inside, knowing that there was no way I was getting out of the family trip, at least not this year. A woman was standing in the living room. "Oh, you are just my daughter's size, do you mind trying these on to make sure they'll fit before I buy them?" She held two skirts and two tops I had never seen before, obviously a donation to the garage sale from one of the neighbors. "I took the clothes and closed the locked the bathroom door and slipped on the skirt. The lace brushed my ankles and the shirt hung way below my waistband making me look like an undersized Pilgram. I walked out of the bathroom and walked into the living room where I had left the lady. She turned and her hands clapped together. "Oh it's perfect. Thank you sweetie. I'll take all of them." I turned and changed back into my shorts and brought the pile of clothes back out to the lady. It should have felt strange to try on clothes for complete strangers but it didn't. I had been doing it every summer since I could remember. I was just thankful that she didn't ask me to try on the underwear.

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