Field Reports, Writing

Field Report: Colonel Edition

Colonel C

I have now left base enough times that Sergeant said I could do my own field report. Her criteria that I actually experience the field to write about it is so specific. I ask if it is necessary when the world is quarantined. Almost everyone’s base is now the field, no?

Decided to do a raised bed garden in our side lot. Decided it would all happen as quickly as possible. A colonel must be decisive in these times. Planning and acquiring materials for this goal are the first activities to interrupt my martinis in a long time.

Looked up different plans for garden online. Original size I wanted was approximately 4 square acres; Sergeant annoyingly reminded me that our side lot is not that big. Asked her when she became such a buzzkill. Realized I should probably begin sucking up because I would need her muscles to carry 4-square acres of wood.

Nephews virtual birthday party was Friday at 6:30. Sergeant got home from the field and I told her my conundrum that I could find no birthday candles in the house. Tried to impress her with my improvisation skills. “I am soaking toothpicks in vodka! And then we’ll just light those on fire!”

She stared at me. Didn’t know she had a look that immediately says, “Vodka-soaked toothpick “candles” for a 6-year-old’s birthday party?” She does have that look.

They didn’t light well. Improvisation failure. Next time I’ll use a blow torch.

Figured out the “Miniature” raised-bed garden materials. Didn’t tell sergeant. First she learned of it was when the truck pulled in to pour 240 cubic feet of sand on our lawn.

Began hinting to Sergeant that we would need to shovel the sand to transport it back to the garden area after I tilled it. The most subtle hint I gave was, “You know we’re going to have to shovel the sand to transport it back to the garden area after I till it, right?”

I’m not a mysterious person.

Tilled the garden while she was in the field. Began moving sand. Called her emo because she said her work was crazy. Like tilling isn’t crazy! She needs to work on her perspective.

She did finally come help me shovel and wheelbarrow. Probably just enough to say she helped. Little did she know…

Today, I decided to make the first of what I assumed would be 13 trips to Menards. Asked if she would come. She said her virtual baseball team was in the playoffs. I suggested she watch it “virtually” from the lumberyard at Menards.

Walked through store. She looked for a set of drill bits I wanted. I couldn’t find them so I was looking from behind her. She thought I was a stranger and spun to look at me like I was COVIDiot.

Proceeded into lumberyard. Bought 13 boards, some 12-feet long, and loaded them into my not-12-feet-long Subaru.

We arrived home, trekking across the yard, board by board. She ran inside to check her virtual team. I prepared my next speech to get her to go back. But first, I wanted to find a truck.

I texted Private Ryan who said he wasn’t available. What else? I thought to myself. Wait. I wonder if Menards rents trucks?

They do! They rent trucks! I was so excited I ran to tell Sergeant while she stared at her virtual baseball team do nothing on the computer. I told her. She looked at me.

“They rent trucks?” she said to me and suddenly, I had rapid flashbacks of every house project we’d ever done where we shoved gigantic pieces of plywood, long metal poles, very awkward tools and boards, and massive lamps into our variety of vehicles, not a one of which was a truck.

“Oh,” I said. Sheepishly, I texted Private Ryan. ‘Sergeant just found out Menards rents trucks. She gave me that look that was like “Why have we not been doing this forever?” So problem is solved.”

Private Ryan texted back. “I know that look well.”

Away we went again! After 30 full minutes of paperwork to rent said truck and attempting to get into the wrong one, we reached the lumberyard and proceeded to purchase all 52 boards required to continue the project.

I took the Menards truck back and Sergeant got back to her virtual playoffs just in time to see them unexpectedly lose.

It’s been just the best day in the field! Time for a martini!

Sergeant K

Menards rents trucks.

They should really REALLY advertise that more.

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