Letters to Holly

Friday, July 3

Out Here in the Fields

I'm writing this in the middle of the afternoon. I'm off from work for July 4, and I've spent much of the day in fourth gear.

I got home yesterday to find Your Sister grilling veggies. She asked me to get more, and I strolled the 30 yards to the garden, found a squash and cucumber, plucked them the vines, and handed them over. And we ate them. That will never get old. She grilled the squash, and the cucumber went in a salad. They were good. Framer Greg has had a good year so far.

Got up this morning and went straight back to the garden. I planted two more rows of corn with the now-regular ritual: hoe, manure, seed, compost, dirt, water. It's the opposite of toil. It's work, sure; my Cubs hat is a ratbag mess. But it's a calming ceremony. I've found a method of serenity punctuated by cursing the weeds and chopping the dirt. The iPod helps too. It helps everything. I pulverized the charcoal from last night's dinner and added the dust to the compost bin. It's alive with worms. Fat, pale worms joyous with our dirt. If crane to listen, you can hear them sing the American Bandstand theme.

I washed off my sneakers and decided I wasn't enervated enough. That's what farming does to me; it gives me enough of a high to run 3 miles on whimsy. I chucked off the dirty clothes, threw on the running togs, whispered bye to Your Sleeping Sister, and ran a 5k course. I'm willing to admit I may be stupid. I encountered high-school track girls and felt decrepit, like a running numeral 6. See that number? Just give it feet. That's me, I'm sure they thought.

I got home, cleaned up, and bought Your Not-Sleeping Sister Starbucks tea. I found the rare and treasured free bag of coffee grounds and snatched it up with an audible gasp. They had two bags. I got one. No need to be greedy. That stuff will go on the veggies tomorrow. She worked on the front yard weeds while I started the mini-comic. I type this having the entire thing penciled already, and now I hope to ink it before I go back to bed and rest my sore bones. We stopped for Mexican lunch, and she's on the couch reading some math textbooks.

Picture of the Day
Might as well jump. Go ahead and jump.

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