Michael KreponChauncey Gardiner Makes Another Appearance

Verse of the week:

“To the garden of the world anew descending,
Potent mates, daughters, sons, preluding,
The love, the life of their bodies, meaning and being,
Curious here behold my resurrection after slumber,
The revolving cycles in their wide sweep having brought me again,
amorous, mature, all beautiful to me, all wondrous” — Walt Whitman

MK: Chauncey, always an unexpected pleasure.

CG: I was in the neighborhood. The redbud and dogwood drove me here. The moss and ferns look great, although I notice the carpenter bees like it here, too.

MK: They arrive with the redbud, stay for the azaleas, and do the rhododendron for dessert. They drive me crazy, drilling perfect holes in the cedar siding to lay eggs for next year’s brood. I’ve resorted to chemical warfare.

CG: Not you! Didn’t you help wean the Army away from chemical weapons in your youth?

MK: That I did. But my palette now includes the color gray.  I have a complicated relationship with chemicals. They’ve given me two life extensions. And I can’t protect this house without resorting to chemical warfare.

CG: Ironies abound. Except in gardening.

MK: The chickweed doesn’t know the meaning of irony.

CG: Weeds will do what they’re programmed to do. But I see you are making serious progress.

MK: I’ll lose, but I’m all in. Gently pulling out chickweed by hand is very satisfying. I’ve got a change of clothing and footwear, if you want to lend a hand. Tasseled loafers won’t get the job done.

CG: I’m dressed for the cider works up the road. I need a break from weeding. My fingernails look like yours. It’s a badge of sanity. Weeding is therapy for the woes of this world. As is the winery I’ve noticed that’s also nearby.

MK: They’re propagating around here like extravagant hybrids from Napa and Sonoma. The wine is overpriced, but the views will cure whatever ails you and make the wine taste better.

CG: Speaking of the world’s ills, how are your friends in the Biden administration doing?

MK: They have their hands full, but I trust their judgment. Republicans on Capitol Hill won’t help much, and some of my colleagues will be outraged on occasion, but not me. I’m a white-muzzled, yellow dog Democrat.

CG: A nearly extinct breed. I thought we knew Biden, but he’s capable of surprise. He gets to the heart of the matter a lot more quickly than before.

MK: I like the man. I like how he speaks past Capitol Hill, a technique he seems to have picked up from Reagan. I also like the way he said ‘we’re done’ in Afghanistan, understanding what’s in store and then going for a walk in Arlington National Cemetery.

CG: Didn’t all these heavily credentialed experts call for a longer stay, based on conditions that won’t be met?

MK: I’m in favor of expertise, but the real experts for this call are the men and women who went to war without a workable plan for success.

CG: Isn’t weeding a form of unsuccessful warfare, too?

MK: My body isn’t on the line. Some situations are endlessly challenging and worth it; others aren’t. I get it that the carpenter bees and the chickweed will be here long after I’ve gone.

CG: Keep weeding. This place is a life extender.


  1. Sandra Savine (History)

    Spoken like the sage you are

    • Michael Krepon (History)

      Note that the commentator is biased toward sage, rosemary and especially basil.

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