This expression may not sound very dignified, but I did not feel at all dignified yesterday morning!
The June sun was already becoming hot at only 10:30 a.m.
Don’t worry; I was not using the above derogatory phrase against anyone but myself. One of my co-workers had offered me that I could come and pick her rhubarb – she did not want this first batch.
I had decided to take her up on the offer and thought I would take two of our able-bodied residents with so they could enjoy an outing and have a sense of being helpful (something they very much enjoy).
I had been to her place a couple of times before, but it had been a while, so I got some directions when she was at work the afternoon before. She promised she would park out back so I would more readily recognize the place.
After tracking down the wheelbarrow and waiting for “my ladies” to finish their morning coffee, I headed out the door and toward “a blue house a couple of blocks down, by the ally.”
We must have kind of been a sight: two elderly ladies, a wheelbarrow, and a sister…walking down the sidewalk on the north side of Grand Forks!
Oh well, it was for a good cause!
We reached Eighth Avenue, the street on which our benefactor-to-be had her residence. I was on the lookout for a blue house, blue garage, promised parked vehicle, and the rhubarb patch. I spotted a blue house, and none other was in sight.
I wasn’t quite sure…did that seem right? A gentleman was out in a nearby yard so I inquired with him.
Finally, I did spot a small rhubarb patch in the corner of that yard and, unable to find a house number, assumed it must be the right place. I would have felt better if I’d caught sight of my coworker to confirm things, but what could I do?
We parked the wheelbarrow and I instructed my companions as to what I wanted them to do: I would pick and they should please tear off the leaves, putting the stalks on a pile on the ground and the leaves in the wheelbarrow. (This would make transporting things back easier.)
Things went alright with the picking. The three of us made a good team. However, I did notice that it was starting to go to seed.
As we were finishing, I thought I’d try again to connect with my generous co-worker. (Throughout the course of the escapade, I called her house a few times.)
I did finally connect with her and found out that I had, in fact, picked rhubarb from the wrong place!!! Now what?
No one appeared to be home, as I had observed before. I didn’t want to just leave the rhubarb out, but what should I do?
Oh well, we would take it back, clean it up, and try to make things right with the owner, whose identity I would have to seek out.
I felt like such a fool: here I was with two senior residents and a wheelbarrow full of stolen rhubarb!
My co-worker, bless her heart, did not leave me to my demise in the building heat. She took her car out and came looking for the thievish trio. Having finally found us, she offered the two ladies a ride back home. Meanwhile, she had showed me where her rhubarb was so I could pick it before returning to St. Anne’s.
I ended up with a bigger load of rhubarb than I expected! I had previously announced a “rhubarb-cutting party” for 12:45 that afternoon, and when it was all said and done, we ended up processing about 35 pounds of this “North Dakota State Weed.”
In closing, might I add that I am attempting restitution to the owner of the first rhubarb patch. With help from the other rhubarb owner, I have sent a message and am awaiting a reply. However, both of us doubt that the owner was really interested. After all, he was letting it go to seed, and she said he is not often home.
If I thought I was done making foolish mistakes, I guess I had another thing coming!