Tale Weaver #83 August 25: Out my kitchen window–midnight garden

2010 01 01_0207

Standing at my second floor kitchen window, I watched Griswold’s “Crickets’ Moon”* elbow aside the remaining clouds, silvering the midnight garden into luscious patterns. Windows open, rain-wet air lazily pluffing the curtains, bringing in the zephyrs of wet earth, night flowers, and sweet pine.

Looking at the midnight garden from this perspective there was some pattern to the randomness. Once the purvey of the rich, the lawn had been landscaped with a slight roll, Croquet anyone?; ornamental shrubs and trees tastefully positioned. My herb garden grew in the foundation of a long-dissolved gazebo. Large patches of lawn were now wildflower and native place “eco-systems” with stepping stones laid out so you had to dance your way through. Raised beds nestled vegetables; a few experimental heritage seed projects looked shabby next to their modern cousins.

Hedges became brambles, blackberry canes, and firethorn. My first foray into the jungle when I moved in was to rescue an old porch swing from the brambles’ clutches. Also Griswold’s first DYI project: stop the squeals and squeechs; and apply bright coloured paints. You’ve met Griswold, the monster boy who lives upstairs. I’m not sure if he considers me his friend or pet, but we have grown into each other’s lives. Mrs. G. isn’t thrilled; thinks I’m too much of a human influence (they really are a family of monsters), but as I am her go-between for fixes of fossimax, she has relented some.  And, to properly socialize him, he attends nightsery school and goes on play-dates with other monsters.

Tonight I hear, not see, his chort-chortling laughter bubbling out his ears. I can imagine his splay-foot dance ankle deep mud back at the “water feature,” with And. And Gumpsion is a new addition to our midnight gardens – the son of Mrs. G.’s supplier of fossimax, he enjoys the darkness too. When not doing deliveries for his father, And is an historical architect, and was sure that, given the age and design of the house, and it’s location, there should be a fountain, fish or lily pond somewhere.

Locating the most probable spot, the two had been merrily mud-larking for several weeks. I stayed out of the mud, looking at designs, solar power, plant life. I was due down with snacks soon. But the Cricket Moon and her namesakes held me at the window a few moments longer. There is magic at midnight in a garden full of love.

* Europeans and Native Americans have names for each full moon. August is the Full Sturgeon Moon. Griswold pointed out that there were more crickets than sturgeons in our midnight garden, so far.

Written for Tale Weaver #83, August 25: Out My Kitchen Window


Tale Weaver Nonsense: Mrs. G’s fossimax fix

Michael: I had an extra chuckle. There is an osteoporosis medication called Fosamax. Perhaps you have a second career as naming pharmaceuticals!


I got to know Mr. Gumpsion, Purveyor of Fine Fossimax quite well. He is the sort you’d expect who’d only made deliveries after midnight during thunderstorms. I often wanted to ask if the Gumpsions were related to the Addams, but thought that a bit forward.

The packages were actually for Mrs. G., the matriarch of the monster family upstairs. You may have met Griswold, their precious monster child before. Mrs. G. would much prefer her son had friends “of his kind,” of which there are far more than you realize. But Griswold adopted me has his friend or pet (I was never sure which), and attempts by his mother to separate us caused tantrums as only Griswold could give. Baths had a similar effect on him; but he likes playing water hose tag and sprinkler sprint in our version of the Summer Olympics.

Whatever fine fossimax was, Mrs. G. seemed embarrassed to be ordering. So, the packages come, about every few months, addressed to me, Melita, on Mockingbird Lane. Mr. Gumpsion, during the worst possible thunderstorms or thundersnows (they do exist), rings the downstairs bell, and waits on the stoop, enjoying the weather. I holler “right there,” grab his envelop, and tear down the rickety stairs.  “Lovely night,” he always says. I’d nod, smile and have our exchange: envelope for package.

After wishing him an unpleasant evening, which pleases him no end, I close the door and wait for Griswold to thump, bump, jump down to get his mother’s “goodies.” I, at various times, suspect it is the extra stench she adds to her cooking to annoy me, a potion to keep Mr. G amorously inclined, or what she brushes Griswold’s fur with that makes him squealreech like broken bagpipes.

She is more generous with Griswold’s human time after a delivery, so he c0mes back down to spend the entire night, eating popcorn and watching horror movies, with the sound turned off. He finds the music scary.

Starts off as the usual stormy delivery night. Griswold dropped off the envelop. But the bell doesn’t ring until 12:42, 5 minutes late, and rings twice more be for I jerk the door open, rain pelting into the hallway. But that is NOT Mr. Gumpsion, looking miserably wet on the door step. “Father isn’t well, so I’m doing his deliveries. I’m Son.” He held out a wet hand for a shake, the box perched on his other hip. “Oh sorry. Here’s your package.” I am a bit memorized as I trade for the package. I could not picture my Gumpsion in his youth EVER looking like his son.

I could hear Griswold’s impatient stomping upstairs – it was a double bill tonight Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood. Griswold hollered down: “Jazblue café. Night all open. Corner on. Good coffee.” Griswold playing match maker or just in a hurry for his horror popcorn theater night?

“My last delivery,” Son offers up the information.

“I’ll get two umbrellas and my ball cap and rubber boots.”

I called up to Griswold, “Remember how the microwave works, and no sound on for the movies.” I could image the joyous clapping of paws and the laughter chuck-chortling out his ears. The package and his night of freedom awaited.

Previous Melita and Griswold tales:

The Griswolds

Griswold, Melita and Dontify

Griswold Has Company

Griswold’s First Flight

Griswold and Salem

bEhinD cl0s3d door5

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver 80: Mr. Gumpsion and Son, Purveyors of Fine Fossimax

© taleweavering phylor 2016