I have the hands of my pioneer ancestors who pulled wagons and mended clothes and planted seeds along the path from Illinois to the Salt Lake Valley. I looked down at my ripped cuticles and jagged nails at work today and paused to dig a paperclip under a few that gave refuge to fat crescents of dirt. I work in the yard most mornings before my job and spend weekends doing errands and exploring this place. The more I get out in the city, the more I want to get my hands into something messy when I get home, build something, cook something, sweat until it falls into my eyes - which doesn’t take very long here.
A few weeks ago I began my search for various yard related hardware items; pieces of wood, wire, steel rods, nails – stuff to build my fantasy garden where I pulled out a small fig tree and a flowering aloe vera a few weeks ago. (Don’t worry, both were replanted somewhere else in the yard.) But when I ask people where one finds such items a puzzled look comes over their faces.
And then it dawned on me one day as I watched the migration of foreign workers from their cites to the freeways to catch shared, crammed, busses or to simply walk until they reach their apartment: fixing up your house, building things in the yard, repairing broken pipes and trimming trees are all things done by other people here. I could be wrong, but I think there aren’t many “Do It Yourself” kind of stores here because, well, people don’t do it themselves.
And for some reason, this makes me want to build my own bamboo tomato trellis and mop my own floors and weed my own garden. To make pasta from scratch and rake the leaves myself. We got a bit carried away in Casablanca with a housekeeper who also cooked and a doorman and drivers from time to time and it’s feeling really good to sink my hands in again.
**Pictures coming soon! We took the camera to the beach the other day, but it was so humid that my lens immediately fogged up and I couldn't acclimate it before our dog walk was finished. Perhaps this week now that we have our own car!