Entry 142: Everything I’ve Learned I’ve Seen Out My Office Window

I’m writing this post in real time, just like Jack Bauer on 24, except without all the, you know, grimacing and explosions and such.

It is July 9, 1:09pm. I’m sitting in my office, doing whatever the hell I do in my office all day, and suddenly I spot movement outside the window.

This doesn’t shock me, because one thing I’ve learned living up here in Stamford is that there are always things moving around outside. They have small animals here, and large birds, and sometimes trees fall over.

This, however, is none of those things.

It’s a man with a hose.

The last time I glimpsed a man with a hose outside my window, it was soon after we had moved in, and I was quite surprised, since I had not yet become accustomed to things moving outside my window. In that instance, it was a large man, with a large hose, and it turned out he was there to suck the, um, stuff, out of the septic tank.

Since that was just over a year ago, I think this new man with a hose might be up to the same thing, even though this is a smaller man with a smaller hose. But when I go to the window to see, he is gone.

“Hmm,” I say, even though no one else is home except my trusty Shetland Sheepdog Toby. He looks up at me expectantly. You never know when it might be dinner time.

Another thing I’ve learned about owning your own home, is that when unusual things happen, such as small ponds appearing in the basement, you should sometimes look into them. (Other times, such as when dead animals appear in your driveway, not so much.)

In this case, I think that maybe I should investigate. So I go into the bedroom to look out of the window there. Toby follows.

Sure enough, there is the man with the hose, and he is spraying stuff all over the front lawn.  I sincerely hope he is not the septic guy.

And here’s the thing: you’ll never guess what I do next. I return to my office. (Toby follows.)

I do not race to the front door, burst outside (Toby following), and yell, “Who the hell are you and what the hell are you spraying on my front lawn?” which would seem like an appropriate response when observing someone I’ve never seen before spraying unidentified stuff on my front lawn.

But I do not do this, because I just assume that the man with the hose is a member of the large and varied lawn maintenance team employed by our landscaper. These people arrive at seemingly random times, usually pushing or pulling or riding extremely loud machines. I have learned (yes, I’ve learned something else!) not to ask these people what they are doing, because I will not understand their answers, since I just barely passed high school Spanish and, frankly, I am not even sure that’s what language they are speaking except that it is not English, but even if it was, I would not be able to hear their answers over the roar of the machines.

This all goes to show how much I’ve changed in just over a year. In our old condo townhouse, if I’d seen a man with a hose outside my office window, you can bet I’d be outside asking questions, starting with “How are you managing to be outside my office window with a hose when my office is on the second floor?”

But now I just take it in stride. And it is 1:42, and the man with the hose is gone. He may, in fact, have left awhile ago; I wouldn’t know because I’ve been in my office writing this.

Do I know for sure if the man with the hose was part of the landscaping company? I do not. Do I have any idea what it was he was spraying? I do not. It could have been weed killer. It could have been insecticide. It could have been water. It could have been, for all I know, liquified manure, which would bring us full circle (sort of) back to the septic tank.

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in a year of home ownership, it’s this: it always comes back to the septic tank.

See you soon.

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