“The Trouble With Trellises” 

An Excerpt from Cane Confessions

A white trellis Source: yardemy.com
A white trellis Source: yardemy.com

35-Day Author Blogging Challenge – Day 10

Debbie shook a finger at me. “Your clematis needs a trellis to grow properly. You pick up the trellis and I’ll stop by tomorrow to help you plant it.”

I hated to ask but I had no idea what a trellis was.  

“That’s just some lightweight wood with square holes so flowers can wind around it and look pretty.” 

I hoped I could find one in the store. 

I cornered my brother the next afternoon. “Come on, bro! We gotta go to the store. Debbie will be here at four o’clock and I need that trellis.”

“I’m busy,” he protested. “I’ll take you tomorrow.”

I shook my head. I knew he hated shopping. “C’mon. Let’s GO!” I jumped in the passenger’s side of his SUV. 

At Lowe’s, my brother sneakily changed the plan. “I’ll get some gas while you get the trellis.”

As I slid the passenger door open, I felt for my long white mobility can. Where was it? I remembered that I was in a rush to leave …“Oh! I forgot my cane.”

“You’ll be okay,” my brother said, “Just ask someone where the trellises are.”

His vehicle got smaller and smaller as he drove away.

I squared my shoulders. Lowe’s Garden Center loomed ahead of me. Without my cane, I faced a million potential hazards. No choice now. Another day, another dare!

Where to start? Finally, I found a clerk. He was about seven-foot tall and had long, long legs.

“Sure, follow me,” he replied when I asked him for help.

I half-skipped and half-ran to keep up with him. He didn’t even turn around. So, I had to keep right on his trail. I felt like a sparrow trying to follow an ostrich.

I was so intent on keeping up, I didn’t see the bright red obstacle at knee-level.


I torpedoed over a wide wagon filled with gardening supplies. My face hit the corner of the wagon and my knees sprawled at odd angles. I quickly patted myself down. No broken bones. No blood. Now if I could only get up off the floor…

Big Bird turned around at the crash. “Oh my GOD! Are you okay?”

I could feel my face heat up. “Yes, of course.”

He waited to see if I needed help but I scrambled up on my own. Years of practice made me quick. 

He headed for the trellises again and the race was on. “Here we are. Do you need anything else?”

“No thanks. I’m good.”

I stood in the aisle , combing my eyes over the area. Blur. Blur. Blur. I scrunched up my right eye, the better of the two. Finally, I located what could be trellises at the wall ahead of me. I guessed that fit Debbie’s description–lightweight with holes.

“Debbie said to get white. Here’s a white one.” I reached out. Just my luck. Stuck!  When I wiggled it free and pulled it out from under the others, three brown trellises crashed down on me and knocked me to the floor.

“Aaaghhh!” I peeked out through a couple of holes.

A customer came running. “Are you OKAY?”

“Yeah, just fine.” I gulped from the bottom of the pile.

“Do you need any help?”

I shook my head when she didn’t seem to know what to do. “No-o. I’ll be fine. I just have to work my way out…” 

“If you’re sure…” With a few guilty looks my way, the woman snuck off.

I am woman. Hear me roar… 

I shifted the trellises off me and emerged from the bottom. They didn’t weigh much but three of them were awkward to move. I carefully leaned them against the wall in the corner.

With my arms finally free, I waved them up and down like a bird flapping its wings to make sure they still worked. All skinned up and a sore elbow. I’d survive. I turned my attention to the trellises. Where was that white one? Might as well get two. Dad’s rule of thumb. You can never have too many of anything, and you don’t want to run out. 

I carried them in my arms and headed for the exit door. Which way was out? I looked around me. Everything looked the same. I had forgotten to leave bread crumbs behind me to find my way home.

I chose a direction at random.

First, I carried the trellises over my head, then to one side. Then to the other. I stretched to try to relieve the strain. Stupid trellises! I couldn’t even see through the tiny squares. Not that I could see much better without the trellises, I reminded myself.

Careful there. Don’t run into anything. Or clobber anyone. Knocking off someone’s head definitely wouldn’t be smart.

Suddenly a long forgotten melody came to mind. In a voice loud enough only I could hear, I entertained myself. “Tiptoe though the trellises  … Don’t break the window … Tiptoe through Lowe’s garden with me. If I hit you, will you pardon me?”

I paused. I could never carry a tune or ad lib very well. Good thing these trellises were so big. I’d die if anyone heard me. Okay, time to get serious!

Where was the checkout? 

I tried one direction. Dead end. It seemed no matter which direction I turned, it led to a wall or another dead end. I’m sure my brother would be wondering what happened tome. What time was it?  A glance at my wrist told me I’d forgotten my watch. No watch. No cane. On a roll here. 

Finally, I saw a red vest and grabbed the human wearing it. Tell me where the exit is! In my dreams. I actually asked for directions quite politely. 

He pointed to some sliding doors.“Straight ahead.”

Yes, there they were. Less than two feet away! 

You’d think the clerk would offer to carry these horrible trellises. But he didn’t. He just walked away without lifting a finger to help me. 

When I found the check-out, I found my brother.

“Where were you?” He took the trellises from me.

“Thanks,” I said contorting my back to get some relief. I decided to ignore his question and tone of voice. “Mike, could you do me a favor. I need a bag of dirt. A medium-sized bag.”

“All right.” He went off to look for the dirt.   

 A few minutes later, I saw a figure but not my  brother. The form moved like a drunken bag of Miracle Grow  “All I could find was–” the bag grumbled. No lips moving. 

I understood now. A ventriloquist. 

The bag tumbled onto the table next to the register and my brother emerged. “–a 50-pound bag.” 

Fifty pounds!  After all his work, I didn’t have the heart to say I only needed a six or eight-pound bag. 

The cashier rang my purchases. “That will be thirty-five fifty,” she informed me.

I felt for my purse and unzipped it. My wallet suddenly seemed lean. I stared at the cashier. Which did I cut out? 

What will happen next? After all that effort will I leave the trellises behind? Will I try to find a smaller bag of soil? What other adventures awaited me with those crazy trellises in hand? Coming soon in Cane Confessions.

You have just read, “The Trouble With Trellises” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright September 22, 2015. Don’t forget to LIKE and comment on this post. I’d love if you could share it with your friends! 

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