Today, when I woke up, I could breathe. This was a remarkable experience after after two weeks of nearly hacking up a lung every twenty minutes (because, apparently, I can't just come down with a case of the blahs-- oh no-- I have to come down with a case of the cold from hell, too, or, shoot, maybe it was whooping cough or pneumonia something; I don't know, but the boy didn't catch it, which is good, considering that for the past several days my husband has been gone on an extended business trip! Hooray!)
Since I was feeling quasi-normal I decided that today might be a good day to FINALLY get some work done on my new herb garden. This despite the fact that after two weeks of illness I had laundry on the bedroom floor, dishes in the sink, and a Matchbox car obstacle course in my office.
You see, I've been planning to dig a plot for the garden and lay out a cement brick border for weeks; I'd already purchased a couple of plants and they have been getting quite literally sick of living in tiny plastic containers on a windowsill under crappy fluorescent lighting. If I wait much longer to plant these poor creatures, they'll croak.
Isaac was itching to get outside anyway after days of being cooped up with a loony sick woman who sounds like a broken robot when she speaks.
So, when we got a break in the rain this afternoon, I went out to dig.
After marking out two small garden beds next to my patio, I started digging up the grass. Isaac pretended to help me with his little trowel, and insisted that I rescue every worm we came across. Things were going pretty well, albeit slowly. Every ten minutes or so, I had to stop to catch my breath; my lungs were still pretty unhappy after two weeks of coughing.
I had gotten about half of one bed dug when I realized it was almost dinner time. I decided to cut a sharp edge with my trowel, lay the cement bricks in one one side of one bed, and then go back inside.
As I dug, my trowel struck something that was decidedly un-dirt-like. I pushed back the dirt with my gloved hands, and discovered a piece of coarse, dirt-encrusted fabric. I could see a seam down the middle of the exposed piece.
Could it be a bag, I wondered? A few weeks ago, while planting fruit trees, my husband had dug up an old-fashioned, dented silver serving spoon. We'd wondered whether it had been buried by a child playing with some old worn-out silverware, or an adult who had some sort of poverty paranoia who had decided to hide silver trinkets throughout the yard.
When I hit the cloth, I thought that perhaps it was a bag full of coins, or more silverware, buried by the same silver-hoarder.
I dug more carefully, with my hands, gently exposing the fabric.
It wasn't a bag.
It was a pair of jeans.
There wasn't a body inside them.
I may or may not have googled, "What should I do when I find clothes buried in my backyard?" this evening . . .
(Being married to a former Catholic has its advantages. When your husband has a family roughly the size of a small town, he's bound to be related to someone in just about every profession. So I already called the police-officer-in-law tonight. His thought is that maybe the rehabber who owned the house briefly several years ago, just before the people we bought the house from moved in, may have buried a bunch of junk that had been left in the house in the yard before sodding over it, because it was easier than taking it to the dump. What's your theory?)