Letters to Holly

Monday, May 10

Packed Weekend

A quick dinner at a bar Friday night turned into a parade of people we hadn't seen in forever. A pregnant stranger walked by and exchanged notes with Your Sister about due dates and movement. Her fetus had clearly dropped, something that hasn't happened yet with Your Sis. We're at 34 weeks today, with only six weeks left until the due date.

She took my monster mini to school to show off and made copies of the last page for her students to draw on. That feature went over like gangbusters, I hear, and two girls handed her their designs. I used them to start my online gallery. I hope every issue I sell at the convention leads to an entry.

As Your Sis and I surveyed the garden space, we realized a nearby peach tree was most sincerely dead, and I was commissioned to make it go away. Chopping down a tree is a satisfying experience. Particularly if it's a smallish tree. That done, I weeded the yard of all the nice yellow flowers she insists are weeds. With hands and arms shot, we went to lunch and to get garden stuff. We returned with five 50-pound bags of cow manure, fertilizer water additive, packets of seeds, and a few tomato plants. I set everything out to work with the next day, and we killed time before heading out for prom.

She wore a maternity shirt from Target and a black skirt, and I wore the suit bought for last year's work convention. I bought her the new Madonna concert CD for Mother's Day, and we cranked it in her new car's stereo. Roo immediately got active. I reached over and felt limbs move around, and he stayed moving until we got to the dinner restaurant. His movements dwindled over the next half hour. In the restaurant, we saw kids in their prom finery and overheard the other sharing their prom memories.

Dinner didn't take as long as we thought, and we killed time in Target before heading toward the prom. I have longed hoped to bedeck her in fashion jewelry from department stores, and I found a gaudy fake emerald ring she considered for about two seconds before putting back on the shelf. But then I thought of my high school ring and realized she could wear that. I should have thought of it for the prom, but she agreed to wear it to school Monday to extend our prom story. And finally after 20 years, a girl I took to prom has agreed to wear my school ring. It's a minor victory for our hero.

Prom was great. The kids looked sharp in a spectrum of dresses I hadn't seen before. I'm accustomed to a short range of colors and styles, but this collection of gals was muy diverso. Fabulousness reigned. We of course hit the free photo booth, and I posted those pics at FaceBook. The party was at the same country club as last year's, and it was again a perfect size for the number of kids. It was, unlike last year, freezing, and that eliminated the likelihood of kids sneaking onto the golf courses. They may have been further encouraged by how lovely Your Sister looked in the full blossom of maternity. A few teachers congratulated me on the monster comic, and I spread the word to the more arty kids. People sound excited for the show. I'm so releived to have the comics in hand that I'm almost nonchalant about the convention.

The tiller I rented was waiting for me Saturday morning, and the garden was officially begun on Sunday morning. I waited until 10 a.m. to be polite to the neighbors. People who crank up small yard engines before then should be pummeled. I chopped up the topsoil a few times. The small size of the tiller made it handy to steer by a pain to shove out of deep soil. My back was killing me. Also my hands were shot from tree-chopping and working the tiller handlebars. I spread almost 300 pounds of manure onto the soil and tilled that together before we headed out for groceries.

I waited until later in the day to plant the seeds and hopped online. I discovered an email questionnaire for the Asheville paper. I sent my answers along with the covers of the minis and a new photo of me freshly taken by Your Sis. I'm very curious to see where and how big it runs. I'm assuming it will be in the weekend tabloid.

Then I planted the garden. We've got lettuce, carrots, cilantro (all first-time tries), tomatoes, squash, and bell peppers. We used maybe half the garden space, and we'll plant more later in the summer.

That night, we wrote thank-you cards for the shower gifts and discussed the finances for the next year. If she takes a year off, we seem able to afford it. We think it's feasible, and I won't have to sacrifice too many Starbucks drinks. Priorities. I didn't sleept well, and I blame the aches of the weekend. I should have Adviled.

Before going to work this morning, I took the printer people two boxes of doughnuts. Tonight, we hope to see Iron Man 2. That's when I'll get my own doughnuts.

Birth Announcement of the Day

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