Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2011
Dear Diary:

I regret not taking a "before" picture. I didn't take a before picture because I really didn't think there'd be an "after" for the spousal unit's latest treasure.

Ah, the spousal unit and his treasures.

Things tend to follow the spousal unit home. Broken things. Things other people don't want but things he's sure he can fix and return to usefulness. There have been battles about this in the past. There has been a lot of culling in the last few years because, well, even he can see that some of his treasures are flat out unfixable.

Last week he did work for a couple who bought an older home. Off hidden behind their garage were some old cement things. Things they did not want. He offered to barter some of his time for these cement things.

We christened it Urnie because we are both ten years old.The first night after he'd worked for them he brought home an old cement garden urn. It's actually quite charming, in a shabby chic sort of way, with a fading finish and bits of moss here and there. I made the mistake of telling him I adored it, especially how it looked as if it had been around forever.

The next night he pulled up with another cement treasure in the back of his vehicle. "I don't know why they didn't want this," he said, incredulous at his great luck.

"Really?" I replied. "You really can't see why they hid this behind their garage?"

Oh, man, it was ugh-lay. It was an old cement bird bath sort of dealie. It was so badly cracked that I doubted the base would hold together for us to roll it out of his vehicle. The cement in the basin section was badly damaged, crumbling away in places. Gobs of paint were flaking off the whole thing, making it look positively scabrous. There were huge clots of cement on it where someone had tried to patch the cracks.

My face must have said it all.

"I can fix it, you'll see," the spousal unit said. I pursed my lips, counted to ten, said nothing.

The base was even more stupidly heavy than I expected. It took all our strength to roll it down an improvised ramp into our driveway. Getting a full 360 view of the thing made me realize how utterly decrepit it truly was.

We rolled it off into a distant corner of the yard. I fully expected that this week we'd be rolling it on the tractor and leaving it by the road for the garbage pickup.

Every night after supper the spousal unit went out and worked on it for a few hours. He used a grinder to smooth out the awful cement patching job. He used some sort of special cement to join the cracks. He scraped and scraped at the thing to get off all the loose old paint. He sanded and sanded it so whatever paint was left would look smooth. He used special hardening cement to fill in the bits of the basin that had eroded away.

He put two coats of off white paint on it and called me over.

Have you ever eaten crow? I find ketchup helps a lot.

We've christened it tubby for obvious reasons.

As you can see, we've put it down by a big rock. At the moment it's far too white, but in a few years it will take on a patina of moss and dirt, just as the urn has, and look as if it's been there forever.

Which, come to think of it, is roughly how long it will take for the spousal unit to let me forget how I mocked him for bringing it home.

It's hard not to be bitter.


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She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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