I wish I had taken photos, but really, I was too shocked to even think of it. This morning, just after I brushed my teeth (in all innocence), I spied through the corner of my eye: my brand new outdoor umbrella go sailing across the yard.
I ran. I flung open (or should that be shoved, considering it's a slider?) the back door and raced to the Good Neighbor fence off to the left. There tottering teetering precariously about to pitch itself head first into my neighbor's yard was my unfurled umbrella. I grabbed it, hoping that I would not pull a Mary Poppins. The umbrella and I did the Texas Two Step for a couple of beats before I brought it to heel (aren't you excited by the wild mixing of my metaphors here?). I managed to find the crank and turned it as fast as I could. The umbrella furled. The crisis was averted.
Until I looked at the redwood table. Here it is. The umbrella fits into a hole in the center of the table and then extends down to a cast iron umbrella stand. I repeat, cast iron. I paid almost as much for the stand as I did for the umbrella because I'm smart and I know that these umbrellas require steady footing of some sort. Clever, aren't I.
So back to the table. It wasn't there. Not there at all. The chairs were there, but the table, she had gone elsewhere. Perhaps to Oz.
Ah, shit, I said, because I'm eloquent and articulate that way. I did a three eighty of my backyard and, oh yes, I see it now. The table has been tumbled this way and that and is now on its head over by the fountain. Because I'm clever, I got immediately what had happened: the Mary Poppins scenario had happened to my table.
Since I live alone, there's no one to share this mighty feat of nature with. But then my gardener, Bob arrives and despite the fact that I know this will extend his time doing my yard work from 5 minutes to 7, I take him around back and show him my table. He is most appreciative. And helpful. He gets down on the ground and shows me that there's this screw thingie on the cast iron umbrella stand. One is meant, he tells me, to put the umbrella in the stand and then tighten the screw thingie. That, he assures me, is what is necessary to keep the umbrella where it belongs.
He was right. The wind blew like a bitch all afternoon, but my umbrella, she stayed put and my outdoor scene is restored to normalcy. Except for the vinyl tablecloth. Which is probably in someone's yard a house or two down.