The oblique criminal

My guru, the Plant Goddess, moves stuff around in her gardens. She has a normal sized in-town house and grounds, and she grows more food than four good-sized farms, not to mention the armloads of roses and herbs and exotic stuff like giant bamboo and sea lavender. And she is not afraid of plants. You smile. But lots of  gardeners live in plant fear. Their plants might be porcelain, or maybe nitroglyerin. But the Plant Goddess knows who is in charge, and it is nothing for her to plant and replant the same plant several times of a gardening afternoon. But she gets it right before she quits. Or she moves it again. She also edits out a lot of stuff. This is because everything in her gardens gets huge, like 40% bigger than the Sunset Garden Book says is botanically possible. I have a huge amount of garden space so she gives me stuff, and I have gotten some great and enormous ferns that way.

I have also dug ferns out of ditches along the public roads. Very nice sword ferns, just like the ones that sell at nurseries. One year, when I was prone to this behavior, I became known at my own house as the Plant Thief. This was totally unjustified. Especially after I had called the county maintenance guy to ask first about digging plants from ditches and he said he had done it and that I should just tell anyone who asks that I’m saving them from the ditch trimmer or weed sprayer people. But he added that I should not dig where the adjacent homeowner might object. (Lots of people in rural Oregon have guns.)

That was pretty much my only life-of-crime period, except for the bank incident. (It was a tiny little incident. ) That day I was driver for my elderly step-father, and waiting across the room for him as he dealt with the bank teller. It was a bright, hot summer day and I had on my new very dark dark-glasses which as a health-insurance-less person I had totally paid for, and they are even tri-focals.  That is when a bank lady came from across the building to accost me.

This bank person, who had very bad fashion sense by the way, said I could not wear my sunglasses in the bank. She said I might be there to “case the place” in preparation for a robbery. I thought about this. I took off my glasses. I remarked that now I could case the place without my glasses.  She noted, pointing up, that the video camera could also now adequately identify me.  She said this was their policy for everyone, that everyone was asked to remove  hats and sunglasses to make banks so very much more homeland secure. I left without a word about how my ninety-year-old step-father was in her bank in that subversive baseball cap.



About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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