Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mucky Mother's Day

I've had a long standing feud with Mother's Day, ever since we moved into this new house, in this new neighborhood. That is, every year for twelve years Mother's Day coincides with our town's River Sludge Cleaning Day.

Happy Mother's Day! Now wake up early,  pull on those thigh-high rubber boots, and get out there and dredge some slime.

Okay, by river I mean this...

A River.

And this...

And Another River.

And this...


More like little streams running between houses and around the rice fields.  It's spring and almost time to plow, flood, and plant the fields, so every year at this time (EXACTLY on Mother's Day) we all wake up at seven and get to work. 

The whole thing looks a lot like this. 

Scraping up River Sludge.

The gunk is then put into these woven bags and stacked in piles all over the place. In about a week the city will send trucks around to pick it up. I hear they use it for fertilizer in some mysterious place.  

Bags of Yuck.

Basically the crud is a mixture of river grasses and mud (cans and garbage are plucked out and thrown away separately).  

So, a few years ago I pleaded my case. Why must the mom's do this treacherous work on Mother's Day? Not only that, but why can't we just leave the smelly, slimy stuff. The ducks and turtles and fish certainly seem to enjoy it. 

But I was chastised. 


If we leave it, I hear this will happen. 

Muck Monster.

And eventually, invariably...this. 

I eat you. 

And so, I no longer put up (much of) a fight. And my husband volunteers to go into the river with the boots and the funky shoveling device. I, along with all the other women in the neighborhood, just sit around picking weeds for an hour or so and rest assured we won't be killed in our sleep by a River Sludge Beastie. 

ETA: It's NOT Mother's Day. This is the first year in 12 that they've done it BEFORE MD. My husband I judge MD by Sludge Cleaning Day not by the calendar. That is scary.