Dad wearing his Michigan class ring (1940) with a barrel cactus. New Mexico, 1941.
Yesterday, I visited the local office of the credit union I’ve used since 1979. My goal, to move money from an IRA into my checking account so as to pay for house repairs. An hour later I emerged.
I seldom visit the brick and mortar branch any more as I am able to carry out most transactions from home. (I won’t bore you with the long convoluted story of how many issues I encountered most of the morning attempting to do this from a home computer while discussing my problems with a new staff member.)
I love my old Credit Union, but they’ve had some difficulty lately as staff members I have known for a long time retire and new younger people take their jobs. I swore I would not use any of my hard-earned savings for household repairs, but what are you going to do with your major investment? Let it fall down? So I pulled out enough money to cover a European cruise and let it go. Phew!
Troy, the brick mason, has been working on our brick exterior wall for over a week and is almost halfway done. The light snow today plus the cold have slowed him down (thanks Canada).
Troy is slow, meticulous and does beautiful work. The brick wall on our pseudo colonial home never looked so good. He is also a learned man who understands plants and their needs. The old mortar he scraped from the bricks is quite limey and he placed tarps below the wall to capture as much of the debris as he could, but of some of it has escaped into the garden. Troy and I discussed the effect it would have on the Holly, Pieris Japonica, Helleborus and other plants in the bed beneath the wall.
He thinks the alkaline mortar dust will have little effect because the soil hereabouts is quite acidic. In previous years, I buried sticks of chalk next to my Helleborus plants to help counter this acidity. In December, the nursery crew mulched around these plants, and the mulch is fairly acidic, so the mulch will absorb the mortar dust and they will neutralize each other. Even in winter the gardener never stops thinking about her garden.
Now, back to my garden catalogues where I dream of spring.