“So, what’s out there?”
Panda’s question put an end to my reverie. I had been so absorbed in looking at the back yard that I’d forgotten all about him.
“Well,” I responded. “It’s looking pretty good out there. I think it might almost be spring.”
“Oh, does this mean the groundhog did or didn’t see his shadow?” Panda asked. “I always forget which way it is.” I had to laugh. “Dude! First that’s a hedgehog, not a groundhog. And second, nobody’s going to see their shadow under all those clothes on Mom’s chair.” “Aw man,” Panda replied. “I always forget there’s a chair under there. So tell me about the yard.”
“Well, to start with, the rubber plant outside the window has gotten lots bigger,” I began. “But I kind of think Mom may have overwatered it.” Panda’s eyes widened. “That plant must be really tall if it shows in the window,” he remarked.
“It’s actually on top of a file cabinet,” I explained patiently. “But if you look at the photo from 2017, it doesn’t look a lot different. I think Mom needs to wash off the leaves though. They look kind of dusty.”
“What about the cactuses?” Panda asked. “Or is it cacti?” I had to admit, I still wasn’t sure of the correct term. It reminded me of our trip to learn about cactus(es) when our new friend Dusty stowed away in our travel tunnel. “They’re getting really big,” I replied. “In fact, Mom said she might have to trim them a little.”
“Yeah, she’d better,” Panda said in a serious tone. “We don’t want them to get as big as the ones at Carlos and Kate’s.” I agreed, still wondering how he would even know about that if he had never been to their house. “Or the one you fell into when we went to Peru!” I added, to which he agreed wholeheartedly. “Is the Sago palm still out there?” was his next question.
“Yeah, believe it or not,” I said, looking out again. “It looks pretty good, too.”
“Well that’s good,” Panda said approvingly. “Remember when she made that shade thingy for it last summer?”
“Well,” I remarked, “That technically wasn’t last summer, it was the summer before. Remember, 2020 kind of doesn’t count.” Panda sighed. “I guess you’re right,” he conceded. “So did I hear Mom say something about the shade thingy falling down?” I nodded. “Yep,” I replied knowingly. “It rained so hard that the flowerbed got flooded and she had to take it down.”
“That’s too bad,” Panda said. “Well what about the two big plants on the patio?” Taking another look outside, I was able to report that they were both doing great. “The one behind it is getting big, too,” I offered. “Mom said she’s had that one since she first moved here.”
“What about the yard art?” Panda asked. “Does she still have the long and winding curb out there?” I answered in the affirmative. “Some of the yard art bit the dust,” I explained, “but the best ones are still there. And it looks like the daffodils are starting to come up too.”
“Oh yay!” exclaimed Panda. “I really like those. And I hope the iris are bigger this year.”
“They should be,” I replied thoughtfully. “It will be their second year being transplanted from Grandma’s house.”
“The succulents are looking pretty good, too,” I added. Panda laughed. “They should be,” he said. “Mom always says they’re pretty hard to kill.”
“So in all, I’d say the back yard is coming along nicely,” I concluded. “The grass is even green, which is highly unusual.”
“Dude, I think that’s from the rain,” Panda replied as I jumped down onto the bed. “I guess you’re right,” I agreed. “Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it looks in a couple of months.”
Panda agreed. “It already looks a lot different than it has in the past,” he remarked. “I guess Mom’s decided to keep working on it till she gets it right!”