Letters to Holly

Monday, May 11

I Hoe, I Hoe.

I expected to arrive home Friday and find a tiller rented from a local store. Nope. Nothing. They were closed before I got back into town, and I fumed over this for a while. I called them as soon as they opened Saturday was told the order had been canceled. More fumage. I requested the same type of tiller that day, and it was delivered within an hour. I cut away the short end of the garden fence before leaving for chores. Your Sis was teaching a weekend lab.

I went to Lowe's and picked up some cow manure and pesticide recommended by my barber (yes, this is Mayberry). The manure was in 50-pound bags, and this was just the beginning of my gratitude for running since January. I picked up a bike horn for the play and stopped by the tailgate market. The schoolkids had advertised in the paper that they would be there with greenhouse seedlings for dirt cheap. Again, nope. This was a crucial part of the weekend plans. Oh, the fuming. I drove to the local hardware store and picked up seedlings there instead.

I got home about eleven and raked the topsoil to clear the weeds. I then dug into our compost pile for the very first time in its four-year existence. We had no idea what to expect; Your Sis thought it was in too much shade to disintegrate the food debris. I scraped away the top layer, dug into the chewy center, and found perfect compost soil. It was brown and powdery and inodorous. It was textbook. I chucked shovelfuls into the garden and topped that off with the cow manure. Then it all got tilled.

Your Sis arrived home just as I stopped, and she brought seedlings from the school. Apparently, they only took flowers to the tailgate market. In our carport, we had two bags of young tomato plants, cucumber vines, pepper shoots, and marigolds.

We took the rest of the day off and watched the new Star Trek movie. It's an entertainment engine. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would have gone back Sunday had I not reminded her she had much homework to do.

Sunday morning, I hit the garden early -- very early -- and planted the seedlings. I dusted off the sprinkler and arranged it to soak the soil and hooked up a fertilizer spray to it. Later in the day, I mowed. I think I took six showers this weekend. The red clay was so pervasive that I had to sit in the shower and scrub it away with a washcloth. Your Sis suggested next time that I use a large brush and sit in a horse trough.

So today, I type to you as a sore man. I feel every rake and squat and tiller turn. Also, I may have put on five pounds of muscle, and may be that's why Your Sis keeps staring at me. We spent the night watching Dr. Strangelove as we assemble a hypothetical university syllabus on apocalypse fiction. We've already added On the Beach, Alas Babylon, and The Day After.

Picture of the Day
My veggies shall rule the world.

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