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Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Wife..., Julie

The picture doesn’t do her justice. It was taken some 20 years ago and taking a picture of a picture…., even with a fancy new digital camera…, loses a little in translation. Graham Greene said, “In human relations, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.” I tell her that she is getting better looking every day…, just like me…, and I tell her that her graying hair and character lines only add to her beauty. But sometimes you just have to tell the truth…, and today was one of those days. Sometimes she just ain’t too damn smart.

I had been slaving away out in the pastures, cleaning up horse manure for a good long hour or so and needed a little beer and cigarette break. I probably hadn’t been sitting in the lawn chair in the shade of the shed for more than a couple of hours, when she appears at the one corner of the house I can see from that vantage point. She has a bucket of soapy water and something that looks like a toilet brush with a long handle…, and she starts scrubbing away at the side of the house.

I should mention that we live on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state in one of few temperate rain forests in the world. Forests aren’t the only things that grow here. If they ever prefect the art of making gasoline from algae…, we may be in the money. Green stuff creeps up the side of our house as relentlessly as government deficit spending. But that green stuff doesn’t look like money just yet. At least not to Julie. I have a better imagination.

I didn’t know that Julie was such a hard worker the first time I met her about 30 years ago in Idaho. I was an unattached bachelor, so naturally, I was at the bar where a bunch of my friends wives were having a girls night out in celebration of something or other. Julie happened to be sitting next to me. I had no idea who she was…, but after we danced a couple of times I began to realize just what a foxy lady she really was. Then she said she had to go. I was like, “Who was that girl?” to the gals I knew. I never forgot who she was…, but never saw her again until I came to Forks in 1987.

Continued in the comments section


  1. She was separated from her husband then…, but of course…, just look at the picture…, she had a boyfriend. I guess I played my cards right. I let her beat me at Cribbage more than her share of times. Anyway…, I guess Jackson Browne says it in “Ready or Not” better than I ever could.

    “I told her that I had always lived alone,
    And probably always would,
    And all I wanted was my freedom,
    And she told me that she understood.

    But I let her do some of my laundry,
    And she slipped a few meals in between,
    The next thing I remember, she was all moved in,
    And I was buying her a washing machine.”

    Well sure…, I suppose you are saying that she was one smart cookie to land the ultimate prize in me. But let me get back to the story of today.

    Here she is trying to wipe out the algae bloom on the side of the house with a toilet brush. I interrupt my break…, saunter over and politely ask what’s she doing? She says, “This stuff just won’t come off. I’m going to buy some of that stuff I saw on TV that you just spray on and it takes it right off.” Yeah right, I am thinking. I go back to the shed and get the three foot wide push broom and hand her the hose with the fancy high-powered spray nozzle attachment and have her wet down an area. Then I scrub vigorously with the push broom and have her spray the area. The algae melts away like stimulus money. “WOW!” she says, “How did you do that?” I tell her to wet down another area. She inadvertently squirts me before she hits the next area. I demonstrate the proper technique with particular attention on the scrubbing action. She manages to rinse the area without giving me a full burst of the spray…, just a little residual effect. I offer to let her try the broom end of the operation…, she says that she better learn to handle the hose end of the deal first…, as I take a burst upside the head. “Good idea,” I say.

    Now…, in Julie’s defense I have to admit that she became quite proficient in operating our little cat-backhoe machine when we were moving 30 foot long beams around on the property…, while I was running around tying the beams up for lifting and then maneuvering them around by hand into the proper place. But it took her a couple of hours to master the hose end of the house cleaning operation. I was soaking ass wet…, and done…, by the time she was ready to try the broom end of the operation.

    Yeah…, Graham Greene can wax poetic all he wants about kindness and lies. Sometimes you just have to tell the unabashed truth. Julie is getting better looking every day…, and I love her more every day… but she just ain’t all that smart.

  2. Scott, I am impressed by what you wrote, about Julie. It is good!