Tuesday, I had to make my usual weekly trip to Safford (an hour away). And although we usually go together, Tim decided that he and the kids would stay home. I asked him, being the thoughtful wife that I am *smile* if there was anything he needed at Walmart while I was there. I wish I had never asked. He typically asks for simple things like pepsi, or a gallon of water, maybe some popcorn. Not today. Today he wanted... 8 bags of.....cow....manure...compost. My reaction was, I think, a reasonable one. I asked, "Is it going to stink?" He assured me it would only smell like dirt. My husband is an honest man. I believed him. My first mistake.
Tuesday was a day much like today, warm and sunny. And I was enjoy some time to myself, going to my appointments, doing some grocery shopping, and taking my time. That was my second mistake. If I had gotten my "rear in gear" I could have completed my tasks and made it home in time to make dinner, as was my plan. Instead, I took advantage of the fact that no none was asking me "are we almost done?"
By the time I had all my groceries in the car, a storm had blown in. It was now 50 degrees, windy, and raining, cold, tiny, stinging rain. I still had to get the cow manure compost, 8 bags of it. So I drove my car from the grocery side of the Walmart parking lot, to the gardening side of the parking lot. (What did you think I was going to carry 8 bags of cow manure compost clear across the parking lot? Sheesh. No!) Mind you, I thought this was going to be an easy task, but I looked all through the gardening section of Walmart, and there was no cow manure compost to be found. So finally, admitting defeat, I asked an associate for help.
What she told me was only "helpful" in the one sense of the word. Because the information was not "helpful" at all. The cow manure compost was located in the outdoor area of the gardening section. Remember what I said about the current weather? What would have been helpful would have been something like "how much do you need, let me get it for you." No such generosity was offered. In fact, I think she even snickered, knowing what I was about to do. Determined to fill my husband's request, I headed out into the 50 degree wind and stinging rain, and found the 20 lb bags of garden poop. They were, of course, in the far corner, and, much to my dismay standing in 4 inches of water. There was no getting around it, I rolled up my pants and sloshed on in to the mini-lake. I was wearing my crocs flip flops, thankfully. And suddenly I recalled a friendly warning from another blogging momma ,that in and around water, these particular shoes had a tendency to turn into surfboards. Can you see me, as I lifted a 20 lb bag of manure, falling rump over tea kettle on the concrete floor, flat on my back into an ice cold puddle of water, and being showered with 20 lbs of garden poop. I could see it too. Don't worry, that didn't happen. I was careful. But I did roll up my pants and bravely venture in.
If you have ever bought potting soil, or something like it, you know the bags are more like hair nets than they are bags. They only keep most of the contents in. Because of the rain, the 20 lb bags of cow poop were now wet, and now smeared with, well, you know. I needed to heave-ho eight of them into my cart without getting the contents all over myself, yeah right. Remember my husband promising me they wouldn't stink? Well, there's no other way to say it. He was dead wrong. They stunk. They were also quite weighty, and required me to hold them against my chest, in my new shirt of course, in order to get them in there. When I was done, I was covered with, well, you know. At this point I was thankful for the pond I was standing in, because at least I had some way to rinse the "compost" off my hands. I did just that with a hearty splish-splash, and headed back inside to checkout. At this point the scowl on my face was hard to hide. I even unintentionally made eye contact with another lady, who I know, thought I was giving her a dirty look. I paid for my 160 pounds of poop, and headed back out into the elements to the car.
This process repeated itself from the cart to the car. There was also an ugly encounter with a large, hairy, black spider. The problem now was that I had no pond to rinse my hands in and I had mouse-and-hairspray-encrusted-half-wet-sticking-to-my-face-poking-me-in-the-eye hair. I had to close the hatch, walk back inside, through the garden center, through the pet supplies, past the pharmacy, past the jewelry, and through the cash registers with my soiled hands held out in front of me, just to get to the bathroom, to wash my hands, to get my hair OUT OF MY FACE !! UGH! ....Deep breath.... I was sure in that moment I would come across some new member or recent visitor to our church, who at that point, would think twice about returning at the looks of me. That also didn't happen, thankfully.
My hands were clean, my hair was mess, but out of my face.
beep-beep-beep, beep-beep, beep-beep. "Hi Honey".... "yes I found the cow manure compost"...."Go ahead and put a frozen pizza in for you and the kids, I'm not gonna make it home in time to cook dinner"..."love you too."
There is no universe in which I would cook after all that.
Subway, here I come.