Pinwheels, Not Pounds

I am not happy.

Clothes are piled on the lone single bed in the spare bedroom.  Some fairly new, but most years old.  Bought with the mindset of investment dressing, they are good basic pieces that never go out of style and that round out a wardrobe.

So what’s the problem? Condition? No. Style? No. Color? No. Size? Bingo!
The items flung carelessly across the bedspread are too small – the pants can’t be zipped without lying on the bed and sucking in gargantuan breaths of air. The dresses cling and pull in all the wrong places and the blouses stretch uncomfortably across the back and bust.

I have been trying for the last decade to lose the five pounds that will allow me to pour myself into these clothes. Actually, I’ve been trying for the last decade to lose the ten pounds –  well really the fifteen pounds –  that would allow me to wriggle effortlessly into these clothes.

I’ve given up.

It’s hard to believe I EVER wore these clothes comfortably. Maybe I was that skinny for about 15 minutes after mononucleosis struck in 1965 or for an afternoon or two after recovering from a severe stomach flu in 1981.

Shunning my husband’s jocular remarks, I go for a walk – while mourning the loss of linen slacks and blazers, two piece suits, and  silk shirts that will soon be gracing the racks of the nearest Goodwill store.

As I lumber along, I ignore the flower gardens bursting with daisies, the neatly trimmed hedges lining the sidewalks, and the summertime smell of freshly cut grass. Suddenly, however, I see a site that dazzles and beckons – penetrating my black mood.

A yellow clapboard house sits on a rise, set back from the street with two welcoming shade trees gracing its front yard. (I am a tried and true tree-hugger.)  Below the trees is a ground cover of ivy, extending beyond the trunk’s perimeters in a casual oval.

What nature has nurtured, this homeowner has built upon. Interspersed in the ivy is a literal garden of pinwheels, blowing gently and colorfully in the soft evening breeze.

I stop to drink in the inviting sight and am beguiled by the rows and rows of pinwheels merrily spinning in the wind.  Jo’s Pinwheel Garden is a visual delight – a silent symphony of color and movement. And off to the side, a flowerpot is filled to overflowing with more pinwheels, accompanied by a hand-lettered sign that says: One to a customer. Kids only (0 to 16 years).

I leave a note for Jo.  I must speak with this woman.

She calls me early the next morning and I strike investigative gold.  Last summer for her 64th birthday, Jo’s husband placed a mass of pinwheels in their backyard. This year, in honor of her 65th, she decided to position the pinwheel garden in the front yard so more could enjoy this alluring site.

Pinwheels, which Jo tells me sell for about $1.50 each in party stores, aren’t making tabloid headlines but they are causing a stir in Jo’s quiet  neighborhood this summer.  Walkers stop to say how much the sight cheers them up.  Small children, under watchful parental eyes, ring her bell to tell her thanks.

Makes you wonder: So much good will – for so little buck.

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