Saturday at around 7 pm, the doorbell rings. Mark immediately responds with “No. thank you, we’re not interested,” thus fulfilling his husbandly duty of deterring yet another of an onslaught of solicitors who peddle everything from tree work to eternal salvation. Except this time, I recognized the truck out front. And in it was an enormous log.
The kindness of strangers
About four years ago, when we first moved into our house, the first thing I set about doing was to dig up the front lawn with a shovel–crazy under normal circumstances, but unthinkable in LA where virtually no one does their own yard work. A white truck pulled up and, instead of offering help for hire like everyone else who passed by, the driver asked if I wanted free dirt. Would I? The next day, I enlisted the aforementioned husband, drove our pickup truck to the disclosed location and dug enough dirt to start the front garden.
Four years later, the log arrives. I didn’t even know I needed a log until I saw it. The person in possession of the log had removed it from one of his stonework contracts and thought I might want it for my garden. My next door neighbor happened to be outside when it arrived and the two men managed to remove the twisted behemoth from the back of the truck and position it in the driveway without dislocating any vertebrae.
No good deed
Sunday, I drove to the place where we had dug the dirt four years ago with a token of appreciation. The house was boarded up. I asked the neighbor where the owner was and she told me that he had moved in with his elderly father a few houses down. I tried there a couple of times. Finally, a woman answered and told me she would pass it along the next time she saw him.
The photograph doesn’t do it justice: the log is magnificent.