Thursday, October 6, 2011

Henry and Alba

Today the weather the acts like it wants to rain, we need it to rain, but I suspect it won't rain here.  Once again I hook up Henry and Alba each at the end of a very long garden hose.  This year since April they have been criss-crossing our huge yard doing their dead level best to sprinkle our dry Kansas soil.  Normally, I suppose, people don't name their sprinklers, but I come from a family who nicknamed most every critter, car, or device imaginable.  Consequently, a few years ago I observed the one yellow cast iron steel tractor follow the hose until it decided to skip away and take it's own path.  How nervy I thought of a plain yellow garden tractor just to go where it wanted.

It just so happened that we bought a second yellow tractor for the front yard and it, too, has a mind of it's own.  It was  during that summer three years ago I read with great fascination a book called The Time Traveler's Wife.  Oh wow, what a great imagination the author displayed in her writing.  I was completely taken by her idea of time travel.  Even the movie was well constructed, but of course, didn't compare to the depth of the characters in the story.  In no time at all I had named our water tractors Henry and Alba for the two time travelers in the book.

I've never put an H or an A on either one, but each year when they come out of storage it only takes a few days for my husband and I to know which one is Henry and which one is Alba.  Alba, like her namesake in the story rarely leaves the track.  I can nearly trust her to follow the green hose to the end time after time.  Henry, however, always begins with good intentions and then somehow just takes a turn.  Even the neighbors can tell us which one is Henry.  One day he went so far off track that his front end hit the fence and the spokes that turn and send out the rain were jammed.  But Henry continued to churn his wheels digging a sizable hole where the two back spiked wheels dug in.  He had mud splashed everywhere, "Henry, I declare.  If you followed the green hose you wouldn't find yourself in so much mud and muck!"  He didn't listen.

Now the season is ending but once again Henry and Alba are fast at work, doing their best to keep our fescue grass green and fall flowers blooming.    

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