Irony: Moonscape or Landscape, Part 3

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve considered myself to be very creative. On the other hand I’ve considered my wife to be a very good manager. I’d create and she’d manage the creation.

In irony, things turn out to be the opposite of what you say they are. Let me share a story with you that describes what I mean.

About twelve years ago my wife bought a piece of property in downtown Salt Lake City. It was close to half an acre. The property had a rather steep slope to it with a gully running down one of its sides. It had six one hundred year old trees on it, two of which were destroyed in a tornado, another one by pine beetles.

It was a weird shaped property with different levels.

She hired an architect and general contractor, and worked with them to design and build a home on the property. At the end of the project, we were a little tight on cash, so she decided to do the entire landscaping herself.

The home was nice, but the terrain was a barren rock pile. I’d go in and close the blinds so I wouldn’t have to look at what reminded me of the moon. The more I saw the property the more I hated it, and the more our neighbors hated it too. I’d go out in the morning and my neighbors would give me the eagle eye. This home and its ugly terrain began to depress me.

One day Cheri went shopping and came home with six box wood plants, a bag of soil, and a shovel. She carried these things to one of the many ridges that make up the terrain, and announced that this would be the place she was going to start the landscaping.

She asked me to dig the first hole. As I put the shovel into the ground, I came up with a mixture of dirt and small rocks.

“This sucks, Cheri.”

She took a hand full of soil, placed it in the hole, put the plant in, separated the rocks from the dirt and filled in the remainder of the hole with the dirt.

“Who knows? We might find fossils, so don’t get rid of the rocks,” she said.

Five years, and fourteen hundred plants, trees, and bushes later, the property was full of life. She planted and replanted the grass twice. There were rock formations that complement the ten gardens she had created. Only one was left for development.

A couple of years ago, our neighbor on the west of us commented that it looked like Martha Stewart had there.

And last spring our grumpy neighbor to the east asked Cheri if she would redo his yard.

In the midst of this, she got into her mind to build a fifteen hundred square foot plus patio.

“Why?” I asked.

Then came three fountains that formed a waterfall.

“Why?” I asked.

Then came birds, bees and squirrels.

About 2% of the trees and plants died. She’d dig them up, take them back to the nursery where she first bought them, and have the nursery replace them.

Come to find out she had kept receipts on every plant, bush and tree she had purchased over that period.

One morning I went out and walked around the entire property. I saw and heard the birds chirping as they landed next to the falling water from the ponds. I walked along the gully and wondered how she ever got down into the steepest part to plant the firms that bent ever so gently as the wind came through. I took a 360 degree walk around the entire area and sat down in a chair on the patio she had just finished.

“This is beautiful,” I whispered to myself.

Ironic isn’t it? I saw a moonscape, she saw a landscape. I saw rocks, she saw rock formations.

The creator is never known, until the creation appears.

It’s now twelve years later, and I can hear her getting ready to go out to work on the eleventh garden. It’s her third attempt. She hasn’t been satisfied with the other two.

Time for me to make the bed, and open the blinds.