A Sight For Sore Eyes
The Lighter Side to Facing Vision Loss
PLANT SMILES, GROW GIGGLES
My text alert sounded and I checked my phone. “I’m here.”
“Oh, I’ll be right down!” I texted back.
Sue was here to help me distinguish between the flowers we’d planted and any new weeds. One invaded the other and I had a fear of plucking out the beautiful (not to mention, COSTLY!) flowers we’d planted in the spring. I took the stairs two at a time so I wouldn’t keep her waiting. She came as a special favor to me. I wanted to take advantage of her expertise.
All business, she inspected my garden. While she was walking around, poking and prodding, hands crossed, I went in the garage to pick up my work gloves.
“Amy, you have a FOREST growing on this side of the garden! I have no idea what this is but it has to GO!”
“Huh? A forest?” I had no idea what she was talking about…
She pointed to some growth in the corner. The section looked like it was on steroids!
“It’s choking out your beautiful butterfly bush,” she commented. “Do you have a hand saw?”
Me have a hand saw? I was lucky to have a hand claw from Dollar General. And luckier yet if I could find it.
“I have no idea what that IS,” she repeated as she examined it closely.
“I have some … big scissors,” I offered helpfully.
“Well, it’s going to take some giant scissors to get those mammoth weeds out of that spot! Let’s try the clippers.”
Oh Lord, I hope I can find them.
She found them for me in my garage. “Get at it,” she ordered and pointed to a stalk half the size of my hand.
I gulped. She was leaving me to do this operation.
“I’m vision-impaired,” I protested.
“Even if you were a hundred percent blind, you would FEEL the size of those stalks, and I would hand you those clippers and you’d cut them,” she said a firmness I seldom heard in her voice.
“Oh. Okay.” I clumsily climbed onto the rotted telephone-pole stumps that formed a border around Dad’s old garden. “This one?” I asked, trying to get the clipper blades around the reed.
“Yes! That one. How long has it been growing?” She glared at me.
“Um, a few weeks. I’ve been busy…”
“More like more than a month! Those are mammoth-sized,” she fumed.
Just then my sister and two-year-old niece drove up to visit Mom and I that afternoon. My great niece, Fiona, looked extremely curious to see me perched precariously on the short, rotting stump with “big scissors” in my hand.
As Sue instructed and I finally cut the stalk in two, I handed it out to her. It looked like something out of the Land of the Lost, a show about a family lost in a prehistoric dinosaur era shown way back in the early 70s.
“Tell me you couldn’t see that!” Sue accused.
I grimaced. “Umm.” Should I say I was preoccupied and that I hadn’t really looked?
“You could see that all the way from Toledo, Ohio!”
I wanted to put on my black sleepshades and protest in total darkness. “Are we done?”
“Are you kidding? There are eight-nine-ten-eleven more stalks to cut! Well, get goin'”
Suddenly I saw the forest!
And so did Fiona. She’d peered from behind Sue, her eyes big and round. “What is THAT?” She looked so excited as she watched us cut another one down. She ran back to Gaga and smiled, pointing at us from the gliding swing.
I screamed. “I think I got stung by a bee!”
Sue peered at my leg. “It looks fine to me.”
I couldn’t see anything but then as a blind woman, I wouldn’t now, would I? I had to take her word for it.
Everything boils down to trust. Grrrr.
I worked hard and cut, cut, cut, and cut some more with the rusty clippers. We got into a routine, FIND, CUT, CUT AGAIN, CUT AGAIN, CATCH, HAND OVER the gigantic weed stalks to Sue.
We’ll need a truck to cart those away.
Fiona giggled and talked to Sue while I was busy cutting and handing.
She giggled and giggled. “Did you growed those?”
“No, I didn’t even plant them.”
She smiled and covered her mouth as a giggle escaped. “I didn’t do it. But they suuuure planted BIG!” she commented.
I looked up, amused. Suddenly, it all seemed kind of comical.
“There’s some Rose of Sharon bushes you might as well take out, too. This is not the place for them.”
Fiona, my sister and my mom watched with interest.
Finally, we completed our operation. I jumped to the ground…but landed smack on my dad’s flowers! Drat!I rolled onto the grass, irritated as all-get-out. That’s when I heard another giggle. It cane from mom still swinging on the swing.
“Do you want to try that again?” she asked. She looked young and relaxed, as if she quite enjoyed my … unintended slapstick humor.
For a moment, scratched and hot, I thought I was going to have a tantrum.
But then the picture in my mind my mom painted with her laughter of me jumping right where I wanted to avoid, then rolling on the grass in my mishap made me giggle too.
It felt so good in the heat of day to simply … laugh.
I wish I’d taken photos of the weeds and all the fun they created as we chopped them down. It stopped being work at the first smile on Fiona’s face. When the giggles came, even Sue relented.
Thank you, God for weeds as big as blades of grass in the dinosaur kingdom, so big that even a going-blind gal like me couldn’t miss ’em.
I always say God has a wonderful sense of humor when he’s trying to show me something.
I’m accountable like every other gardener.
No hiding behind my blindness in this case.
And just in case you were wondering, it did take a truck to pick up the whole mess!
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Amy Bovaird is a Christian & Inspirational writer whose humorous stories are featured in anthologies and magazines. She is writing her first autobiographical book based on her vision loss.
Greeting cards designed by Christy Reuling.