This very fragrant rose grows like a boss beside my back door. No amount of pruning deters its vigorously clawing growth, and from inside each blossom you can hear the murmurings of a furious and territorial bumblebee. The stems are encased in millions of venomous needles. You can hack at this rosebush, to try and create a safe path of egress, but you will not defeat it, and just for laughs, it will grab your hat as you make your feeble attempt. I might consider moving it, but for that I’d need a suit of chain mail. This rosebush is large and in charge. It smells great though. Inspired by The Girl Who Married a Bear, I decided to see if I could harness some of this, its one good quality, so I put on long sleeves and my most serious pair of leather work gloves and took my life into my own hands in order to harvest a jar full of the incredible, richly scented petals. The bees were extremely annoyed, I can tell you. Once safely indoors, I poured sweet almond oil over the petals to cover them, put a lid on it, and set the jar in a sunny window, where it will steep for a week or so, making the oil a rosy pink infusion of fragrant loveliness. I will strain the petals out, bottle it, dab it upon and massage it into my wrinkly face over the next few months, and I’m sure I’ll be passing for [insert name of somebody young, famous, and beautiful here, because I am so unhip I can’t think of anybody—is Lindsay Lohan still young?]
Also, I am cleaning the garage like a mad freak. No spider-filled corner is safe from my broom, no mildewy box uninspected. I have found no evidence (thank goodness!) of the snake, who, it appears, has hightailed it. I am organizing the screwdrivers. I hung a lace curtain in the window, so I don’t have to see the extension ladder from the yard anymore. Making it pretty, wherever I can. It’s been kind of compelling and, dare I say, fun? I do not know what’s come over me. My mother will be so proud/confused. Actually, I think it has something to do with a general sense of upheaval and my need to impose order somewhere, anywhere. Both kids (and the cat) are moving out in the next few weeks, and my mind reels with trying to imagine a quiet, clean, post-nuclear-family life. If I can’t boss them around anymore, I’m turning my attention to the dust bunnies. The teensy cozy things cottage will suddenly seem huge, and echoing.