There is a piece of land here, that just came up for sale for a kajillion dollars, and the island is all abuzz.
There are no houses for sale on the island for a kajillion dollars, not even close. And this is just a house lot. No house, no nothin’. Just dirt and ledge and rocks and pine trees and other trees and brownery and greenery. Don’t get me wrong, this land is particularly stunning and is right on the ocean. But for a kajillion dollars, I would think I could live on it. Like, not outside. And also there would be a refrigerator, and maybe a washer and a dryer.
When I went to look at it, there was – however – a freakin’ chicken. No, I’m not kidding. He – or she – was all black and wandering around the rocks. And you are probably right…
If it comes with a chicken, maybe this land is actually worth a kajillion dollars.
I hope I get a chance to help the person who buys this land in their negotiations, because I will tell them to insist on the chicken or the deal is off.
I am not, nor have I ever been, the type of human to spend a lot of time thinking about someone else’s house or income or car or dog breed choice (except maybe a tea-cup chihuahua because, really, that is just a large mouse), and it is none of my business what anyone else does with their dollars, from charity work to art patron-osity, to spending a kajillion dollars on a waterfront chicken.
What it did make me think of, though, was telephone poles.
Why, what were you thinking of?
I was thinking about telephone poles because many times, when people build very nice houses or gardens or stuff that you can see other stuff from, they do not want telephone poles in their sights and they pay big bucks to move them.
And I remember that, back on Pringle Street (Yep, I grew up on Pringle Street and then married John Dingle, which is why I need to be Poet Laureate-ed right away (the body of work be damned)). Anyway, we had a telephone pole in our teeny front yard.
It had one of those steel cables coming diagonally off the back of it (I guess it was kind of a telephone pole anchor), that looked like someone braided it, and I used to wish my hair could look like that – but not steel, because steel wasn’t bouncy and I wanted bouncy hair (and, yes, I did think that about the steel).
My mother hated that telephone pole, and did everything within her budget to make it pretty.
Which, of course, called more attention the damn telephone pole.
She planted Morning Glories (she got a free, little brown envelope full of teeny tiny black seeds by mailing in some labels of something (probably canned creamed corn)). Anyway, the idea was that they would wrap all around the steel cable and – I dunno – in a stunning display of Morning Glory vine power, pour themselves over the telephone pole, creating a blue-blooming, 30-foot mountain at 117 Pringle Street.
So my mother decided to go low or go home and planted marigolds.
I am not a marigold fan to this day and please do not write to me, Marigold Society of the United States, because – seriously – your flowers have no telephone pole hiding capabilities, and also they kept dying even though my mother said they are practically ‘kill proof’ and their tragic deaths were on my hands because watering them was my job.
Also, red and yellow is not my favorite color combination and they had both – in the same flower.
You know, now that I think about it, perhaps their job – the marigolds – was not to conceal the telephone pole, but to distract from it, utilizing a shocking color combo. Kind of like those Poison Dart Frogs somewhere in South America. They are so pretty and bright that you get drawn in and, before you know it, you are dead. Which is pretty much the idea behind marigolds, I think.
Anyway, I remember my mother saying that, if she only had the money, she would pay the damn telephone company to move the pole. Me? I was looking in a different direction for relief. We were on the list for public housing, and all I knew about it was that we would be in an apartment. This sounded pretty good to me because we would have no telephone pole to be responsible for, no yard, and hence – you guessed it – no trouble-making marigolds.
Somehow I grew up.
And yet here I was, wondering about telephone poles on this kajillion dollar piece of land.
And then I remembered that I have one right now, at our house in Maine, smack dab in the middle of my view of the water.
It isn’t pretty, I suppose. It’s just a telephone pole, doing its job, holding up telephone-y and electricity-type stuff so we – and our neighbors – can have both.
But it got me to thinking.
I don’t see the pole, really.
My mother saw the pole, sometimes only.
Two very different views of our own front yards.
Two different views of life, really.
Go ahead and get all wrapped up in the stuff that bugs you, spend your time hanging out with irritation and pissed-off-ed-ness with that you cannot change…
Or realize there is so much more.
Beyond, behind, in front of, and beside the not so great stuff.
Good stuff, big and small.
Stuff to celebrate.
To be grateful for.
To smile at, even when you are rolling your eyes.
Quite a cool lesson on perspective, courtesy of the salty wind, lapping waves, a kajillion dollar lot of land…
And one freakin’ chicken.
Thanks for readin’.
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