Sunday, April 25, 2010


Steve and I discovered early that we were going to have to work to converse with each other. It's not just the classic "men/women venus/mars" thing. Steve is a very analytical and abstract thinker, and I'm all story. Which is not to say I don't thrill at a good idea and he doesn't relish a great story. But when I talk, I tend to be associational, and when he talks, he seems to my mind to lack important details.

Take landscaping. The first few seasons, he would say I wasn't interested in his work. He would complain that he spent a lot of time listening to me about my work, but I didn't care about his. Which wasn't true. What I don't care about is the intricacy of machinery. Or the broad strokes of machinery. I'm interested in the projects up to a point, but what I really want to know about is the clients!

And how hard is it to listen to me, anyway? I mean, I'm so darn entertaining with all my stories! Stories, he would point out, that are often held together by the thinnest thread imaginable and take significant energy to follow.

This year already there have been some good stories, like the one in the last entries. My favorite from last week was the report about a burn he did for one of his regular customers. He does work every summer on a large property owned by a cardiologist. This year they were ready to do a sizable burn to plant an area in natives. However, given the dry February and March, burn restrictions went into place early.  Then suddenly, a window opened for April 22. Steve got the permit and went out to do the burn.

For which he incurred the wrath of the cardiologist's 8-year-old. He brought her out to see the fire, and she just glowered at Steve. He wasn't sure what the problem was, so asked her if she was afraid of the fire.

"No!" she scowled.

"OK," he said.

"Tell Steve why you're mad," her father instructed.

"Don't you know it's Earth Day?!" she asked. "How can you be out here destroying the earth-- on Earth Day!"

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