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Proust would be proud

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“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

Today I have to take a moment to cherish one of my friends, N, who contributes greatly to my happiness on an almost-daily basis, despite living 1,300 miles away. One of the many lovely qualities to recommend N is her do-it-herself, up-by-her-bootstraps resourcefulness, and today I enjoyed her ability to take great pleasure both in her accomplishments (installing a new sink sprayer for the kitchen sink) and her failures (diagnosing the illness of a finicky lawn mower). In fact, some of my favorite N moments come when the fix isn’t quick in coming. Take, for instance, the conversation we just had a moment ago:

(mid-conversation on canceling guaranteed-to-be-bad dates gracefully)

N: So it wasn’t the spark plug

Me: huh?

N: Remember earlier today I was telling you about my dysfunctional lawn mower? Well, it wasn’t grumpy about it’s spark plug, because I turned the thing upside down, located the part number, called the manufacturer, located and replaced it, but alas, no go. I also changed the oil, but that didn’t make a difference either.

Me: (impressed) Wow.

N: So now I’m at Home Depot buying one of those old-fashioned ones that doesn’t need spark plugs

Me:  The Leave It To Beaver kind with the blades that spin as you push it around? They sell those at Home Depot? (who knew?)

N: Yep, that’s the one. I’ve canceled my membership at the gym, and I’ve decided that pushing around a lawn mower can substitute for at least some of the effort formerly employed there. Plus, the new mower will be carbon neutral. (How eco-friendly! She’d fit right in here in my new neighborhood!)

All I can say is that I really miss this girl, and thank goodness no one frets about “long distance” calls anymore. If only I could observe said wonder-girl self-propelling her new toy around the yard!


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