March 21st, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Directory Back

The first thing I did with the directory was to click on that link for my location. There turns out to be an even dozen of us here who will admit to living in Paradise. Two are new journals, never updated. Six have not been updated for various periods ranging from 23 weeks to 54 weeks. The three that are more or less active nevertheless have large gaps in them. Most of the users are very young, only one other than me is a guy, and he hasn't updated in 19 weeks. I have very little in common with any of them. I am not a bit surprised. In the town of Paradise, I am unique. I'm not bragging- (well, yes, I am) but it is something I have known since I came here. Either I am the perfect misfit in this place, or everybody else is. That this should also be true with regard to other LJ users here is to be expected.
caillebotte_man at his window

Cow Farts and Steer Manure (this post is not as bad as it sounds.)

Someone in the neighborhood must be fertilizing their lawn of garden. I caught a whiff of manure this afternoon. I like the smell of steer manure. Unlike the chemiocal fertilizers now commonly used, it has a pleasant, earthy scent. This pleasure I feel is partly the result of nostalgia, I suppose. My father always used steer manure on the lawns of our house in the hills.

I remember the breezy spring days when he would tear open the big paper bag from the Bandini Fertilizer Company, and fling shovelsfull of the rich, dark powder across the lawn. To me, this ritual was always the harbinger of summer hours I would spend on the green plush, wearing only bathing trunks and watering both lawn and myself in the afternoon sunlight, aiming the hose straight up into the cloudless blue sky, so that the bright drops would fall glittering back down on top of me, the rising scent of wet grass and earth as refreshing as the cool water.

In those days, the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles were still home to many herds of dairy cattle, and on Sunday drives we would often pass them before reaching the orchards and vinyards farther out in the countryside. We would roll up the car windows as we passed these pastures full of stolid, munching cows. The smell was astonishing. It was always a puzzle to me how a beast that produced such pleasant smelling dung could emit such rank, acrid flatulence. Just one of natures little mysteries.

Perhaps, one day this summer, I will go out in the yard and get myself wet with the hose. I doubt that it would be the same, though. Maybe it is best to let the memory lie in the past, as green as that lawn of my childhood.