Monday, September 9, 2019

What's wrong with this picture?

"Nothing," you may be tempted to say.

You would be wrong.

On Saturday afternoon, as we (Mrs. RWP and I) were sitting in our house watching television, we heard an odd sound.

"What was that?" said Mrs. RWP.

"Oh, I bet the wind has picked up the patio umbrella again," I answered. We occasionally find it in our back yard after a particularly stiff breeze has blown through. The problem, I think, is with its base, which is filled with sand and into which one is supposed to stick the umbrella. Ours is cantankerous and often spits the umbrella out with the help of the wind.

I got up to look and, sure enough, the umbrella was missing.

First I looked to the right.

Then I looked to the left.

Then I looked even further to the left.

No umbrella in sight. Where could it have gone? It must have blown around the corner of the house, farther away than it has ever blown before. I decided to go find it and bring it back after a good talking-to.

I took a few steps off the patio and this is what I saw:

I was shocked. How did it get up there? I viewed it from another angle:

I am 78 years old. I don't do roofs any more. Even if I did, the longest ladder I have is only eight feet long. Besides, if I tried, I would never hear the end of it from Mrs. RWP.

What to do? Mrs. RWP wanted to call our son or grandson to come from 12 miles away and get it down.

I rejected this idea as being too time-consuming.

In just a couple of minutes, while we were wondering how to proceed, another gust of wind returned the intrepid explorer to the ground. I retrieved it and put it back where it belongs but forgot to take a final photograph. Here's one from a while back:

I have decided to give our patio umbrella a name since it has proved itself to be almost human. I can't decide between Griselda and Magellan. I am unsure of its gender, so Francis/Frances Drake is a possibility.

I'm just glad the pole didn't go through one of our windows.

While the view from the roof of the Rhymeswithplagues of Canton, Georgia, USA is unimpressive, nothing to write home about, the view from the roof where the Yorkshire Puddings of Sheffield, England, UK are currently vacationing in Orebic, Croatia looks like this.

Today I thought I heard Griselda/Magellan quoting the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu (604 BCE - 531 BCE) to one of the patio chairs, and what he or she said was, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Watch out, Croatia. Keep your eyes peeled for an unexpected visitor.


  1. When I began to read this I thought what was missing in the picture was me with a tall glass of iced tea and a good book. Then I thought an umbrella would be nice. It was quite a tale. The story of your traveling umbrella is a good one.

  2. Even umbrellas subscribe to the 'a change is as good as a holiday' adage.

    1. Elephant's Child, choosing to shop at a different grocery is nowhere near as satisfying as taking a trip to the beach. Trust me.

  3. Ooooh that was some wind! I'm laughing at Sue's comment too, hehehehe.

    1. Starshine Twinkletoes, I give you Christina Rossetti:

      Who has seen the wind?
      Neither I nor you:
      But when the leaves hang trembling,
      The wind is passing through.

      Who has seen the wind?
      Neither you nor I:
      But when the trees bow down their heads,
      The wind is passing by.

      Here's a third verse from me:

      Who has seen the wind?
      Neither of us did:
      But when umbrella's on the roof,
      It paid a visit, kid.

  4. Replies
    1. T.D., Mary Poppins had an umbrella, but she wasn't the umbrella. However,she did come and go every time the wind shifted, so from that aspect you are correct!