Friday, March 01, 2013

That Sinking Feeling

I just came in from taking a walk to the nether regions of my backyard, not a walk of any great distance, but one to a destination I've avoided for the past couple of months. The tall dog-fence that surrounds the rarely used burn pile back there had been blown down in an earlier winter storm. Following several consecutive days of sunshine, I thought today that the ground there might have dried up enough to walk on it and pick up the fence.

It had not. My footing felt solid until I was about three feet shy of where I needed to be, then I began to sink into the swampy soil. Soupy mud oozed over the tops of my shoes and into my socks. By then it was too late to change my mind, so I plowed in deeper, picked up the edge of the fallen fence, wrested it from the weeds growing through it, and set it back where it's supposed to be. From that vantage point I could see that an adjacent area along the back fence still has water standing several inches deep.

Levi and Gimpy, of course, do not avoid that corner of the yard. In fact, it's probably their favorite part, their own private water park. They like it so much that I've been taking them outside one at a time all winter to keep them from chasing each other  through the muck. That's helped to reduce the extra dog-bathing, but they're dogs, and sometimes, even if they have to do it solo, they've just gotta run.

They race across the yard in abandonment, letting the mud fly: one pass, two passes, three, and then . . . then they seem to remember that they don't want to stay out there forever. They change course and cross to the concrete slab in front of the garden shed. From there they walk calmly, their steps careful, staying on the sidewalk, not cutting the corner at the sidewalk's right-angle turn, all the way to the backdoor.

I'll be so happy when the mud dries up. Probably as happy as you'll be when I stop complaining about the mud.

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