All GARDENING is LANDSCAPE PAINTING. William Kent
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
I was on my annual pilgrimage to The Garden. My brother-in-law says I would get the reward for gardening from the greatest distance. Some people have garden plots on the city’s edge, as opposed to the 14 ½ hours I drive to garden for one week each June. This is not just any garden; it began with two large holes of the heart represented by the two components of the lake, at which point a bridge crosses over to the garden … This is the memorial project dedicated to my son, my daughter, two wonderful young people no longer on the planet … two young people who had spent many summers at the camp this project is now a part of.
This year I had ordered three concrete park benches and a picnic table to replace weather worn wooden/wrought iron benches. This is what I ordered …
I had invited friends to be there for the delivery at 1:30 Tues afternoon.
It had been overcast and intermittent rain for the first two days of the week. I postponed the bench delivery, as it was pouring rain, and I wanted pictures for when they would arrive … besides who was going to sit on the park bench on a rainy day? The next day was set up for better weather. The man I had communicated with, was not in when I called to change the delivery date … but another customer service rep took the message; he said he would first tell the delivery people, and then he would inform Daniel about the change as well. You’re sure? I ask, Yes I will be sure to pass on the information.
So while it was rained, my sister and I went to purchase plants that were to be admired from the new benches. We arrived back at the garden, with the newly purchased plants and with feet that had been in cold, wet runners and socks for the past three hours. My toes were wrinkled, and the hot chicken noodle soup had worn off.
“Look at those tracks, someone has been here” my sister said and pointed to wide mudded ruts ….
And then – “Do you think they dropped them off?”
This is what I got.
This was not what I expected, this was not what I had ordered.
I had not ordered pieces of a picnic table, no where had I read that I was to put this together. It never even entered my head.
I called back to Daniel, the polite young man I had met the day before, I had spoken with him by phone several times from two provinces away. I asked as to why they had come when I had postponed. More importantly these were pieces this was not a picnic table. He was not quite as understanding as I thought he should have been. He asked, How did I think these pieces could be shipped etc … takes up too much space, obviously they can’t be shipped already put together. In my head I wondered how much time I needed to spend at meditation in this prayer garden?
“When I order a dress from a catalogue I do not expect to have to sew it together.”
“I don’t think that is a fair comparison.”
I did and the only one that came to mind at the time … No where had I read that they were unassembled. Mostly it was the disappointment. This did not meet my expectations.
I had thought it would be something else … I thought, that if I ordered a bench, it would arrive looking like the picture, the picnic table would look like a picnic table.
My brother in-law chuckled at the dress concept, and added- when you buy lumber you don’t expect it to come in the form of a house. No, but if the lumber advertised itself as a house, I might?
Some assembly required …
Oh I know that applies to many areas in life, my expectations exceed the horizons.
On a happy note, I called Bob again, my go-to-guy at the camp, (he could probably tell how near the tears were) he thought he could send some help over the next day.
Park bench angels with strong backs … angels that thought this was like Lego for adults.
The picnic table instructions were hard to read, after being drenched in the rain. Did I mention that they were short 6 nuts and bolts, and the steel plates had holes that were off by half an inch? All’s well that ends well, I guess? I had coffee on the bench. I dunno, those lumber people, and God … they seem to promise things I can misconstrue so easily. And at least one of them gets away with it all the time.