I once had a neighbor who gardened in a pink dress, its waist cinched and skirt flowing as she carefully tended her small plot. I found her attire both horrifying and fascinating and could not fathom ironing a dress just to garden in it. This memory pops to the surface as I dig through my dresser for my favorite pair of work shorts. The loose, quick drying fabric and deep pockets wick away sweat and help me keep track of my pruners. I slip them on and secure the built-in belt as tightly as I can. I throw on a faded pink t-shirt, dog chewed baseball hat and head out the door. If my former neighbor could see me, she would close the blinds.
Kneeling in the garden, I lean and bend and when no one is looking, wipe my sweaty face with the bottom of my shirt. In and out of my pocket slide the pruners, the belt of my shorts loosening with every drop of their heavy blades. Too big for my frame, my shorts begin to dip and I'm vaguely aware that my underwear are showing. I tug at the waist, half-heartedly tighten the belt, and continue to weed.
Lost in thought, I methodically pull weeds and errant trumpet creeper shoots. The still heat has begun to cool and the sweat along my back is beginning to dry. A slight breeze drifts across my lower spine and around to my stomach and I smile gratefully. I continue to lean forward, ripping the rampaging stems of the trumpet creeper from my agastache and feel the pruners brush against my lower thigh, the pockets almost touching the ground. The slam of the fence gate and teen chatter fill the silence. Suddenly, I hear my daughter shriek and gasp.
"OH MY GAWD!!! Mom, I can see your butt! Those stupid shorts are falling down again!"
The rolling hills of Upper Asster, Cheeksylvania are on full display and I bolt upright, grabbing my shorts as I burst out laughing. I quickly tighten the belt and call out, "Sorry, hon! My shorts are too big. At least now my butt's not sweaty."
I fumble with the shorts but cannot stop laughing. Hiking shorts off the clearance rack: $20. Flashing your daughter while gardening: Priceless!!