For those of you who don't know who "Perennial Pete" is, you should read schizophrenic gardening and Perennial Pete "part two" first....just so you know....
Yesterday, my BFF Lori announced just an hour before we were to leave that she was taking me across the street to "Perennial Pete's".
"No Way!" I said..."I'm not going over there!"
"Come on" she said..."'Pete's' outside, the gates is open, it will be good for you! Let's go make friends."
"Nope! Not interested. Not ready yet"....like I've told you before....if I can procrastinate on something...I will.
"It will give you something to blog about....." she teased in a sing-songie voice.
That made me reconsider....for about 2 seconds....."no thanks" was my reply.
"Then I'll drag you over there kicking and screaming!"
and so she did.....well, not really but almost.
I pouted....stuck out my bottom lip....and stomped my feet as we crossed the street.
"If he yells at me and makes me cry (I cry so easy, This IS a weakness of mine, as opposed to one of my "quirky personality traits"---I hate it!) then I'll.....I'll....(I was at a loss for a coming up with a punishment for her that would match my humiliation)....I'll...oh I don't even know what I'll do, but it will be big!" I lamely threatened.
So we walked thru the gate into his gardens. The first part is layed out like a nursery, a little run down, kinda old, little over grown, slightly neglected, nursery. Rows of potted plants, a small covered area with more potted plants on long tables.
And there was "Pete" behind the covered area, with a huge rototiller, struggling to keep it running. Every couple of minutes the engine would gasp and "Pete" would grab an aerosol can and squirt it at it and the engine would roar back to life.
Lori and I browsed while he repeated this process about a dozen times. He didn't seem to notice us there and I was thinking....maybe he'll keep ignoring us, we can sneak back home and I will get off easy....I "tried" I could report.....
No such luck. "Pete" cut the engine....and my heart started beating a little faster.....and I continued to browse. It seemed like an eternity and then I hear this strange wheezing noise. I was already a little creeped out....the whole place was a little scary to me in a "Freddie Cruger/ Friday The Thirteenth/ meets Martha Stewart" kinda way (oh come on!!! you know she's not human!)
anyways....the creepy wheezing noise....I turned around and there was a really old dog lumbering towards me. He was very dirty, and missing half his fur, and limping with arthritis. But he seemed to be greeting me with a wheezie smile.
"Pete" was following the dog. If I had to guess, I'd say "Pete" is in his early 70's and he was dressed in a grubby pair of coveralls.
I paused and waited for him to take the lead, but he made some comment on the beautiful day (I think) so I thrust out my hand and said "I'm Tori, I just moved in across the street a couple weeks ago". He paused and looked at my hand just long enough for me to have that thought "he's not gonna shake my hand and now what am I supposed to do with my hand hanging out there" kinda thought. But then he pulled his hand out of his coveralls and looked at it and said "It's covered with gasoline...." and gave me a questioning look. I grabbed his hand and said "Oh! I don't mind at all!" and gave him my best "I'm not the dainty little girl that I might look like--don't you ever mess with my kids again--or I'll kick your butt" firm handshake that I could muster.
Right there, and then, I think I passed some kind of "Perennial Pete" test "part one".....I don't know how to explain it....I could see it in his eyes.
On to "part two"....we walked up to some of the tables and he nonchalantly quizzed me on plant knowledge. Again, I could tell something was going on...but I seemed to pass.
Then "Pete" suddenly turns his back and mumbles something that I think I hear about a tour (darn deaf ear!) and he's off walking. Lori and I look at each other and give a quick shrug of the shoulders and then start to follow him.
To be continued....
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