We stopped at the house in the morning. The Lone Mudslinger was still at work.
I went outside to see if the soffit had been installed. It had, and I hadn’t noticed it on the way in.
I did notice that there was only one box of joint compound in the garage. It must be his last day.
There was one box of joint compound in a bucket, still holding its box shape.
We went to the landscaper’s yard so I could pick out the trees and shrubs that I wanted. John told me that most people just go with whatever he puts in. But, I’m a tree hugger, shrub shaker, and flower fan. I wanted to know what I was getting. This region of Florida is live oak country. They are awesome. I’m sorry I didn’t get 40 acres full of live oaks, but I’ll get two with this house. Unfortunately, they are small and won’t be gnarly, spreading, many-branched, or draped with Spanish moss in my lifetime. He also recommended two magnolia trees, one on each side of the house. I love magnolias, but the small ones they plant are rather scraggly looking. I don’t know how many years it will take for them to look decent. I picked as many flowering shrubs as I could. I was pausing over what to put in the front of the house, between the garage and front door. John suggested a gardenia and my heart melted.
My poor farmer grandparents lived in an old house with a tin roof. Grandma had a gardenia bush just outside a window at one end of the house. With all the windows open in the summer, the scent drifted through the house. I couldn’t get enough of it. Now I am going to have my own outside the dining room window. I can’t wait to smell the gardenias.
When we got back to the house in the afternoon, The Mudslinger had finished all the joint compound in the boxes. He was putting on a final top-coat, another blend in a few bags.
I loved watching him spread the stuff and making the walls and ceiling smooth as can be.
Andy thought The Mudslinger had forgotten his office and was relieved when he moved to that room.
We sat in our folding chairs out back. Here is the grove of live oaks bordering the golf course.
We had seen a flock of ibis land on the far side of the 14th tee and, since there were no golfers in sight, we decided to walk over to see if there was water over there.
Andy stood there admiring the view.
I noted the golfer’s-eye view of our house.
Andy wanted to go check the house again in the evening. It was six o’clock and The Mudslinger was still there scraping up the globs of joint compound that had hit the floor this week.
His job was done and we thanked him for doing a good job. I’m not sure he understood what we were saying. He did understand the smiles and thumbs up.
We had some dramatic sky when we walked back out to the car. There was some thunder, but we never got rain.