Letters to Holly

Tuesday, April 24

Planting the Seeds

The next-door neighbors and I had talked about starting our gardens since September. They wanted to start one but hadn't tried it before, and that made me the default garden expert. OK. We agreed we'd rent a tiller from the town rental shop. Turns out, though, that the new neighbor across the street (with the chickens) has a tiller, and our next-doors had asked him for it. This saves us a chunk of change and the hassle of taking the tiller back to the rental shop. Originally we agreed to use the tiller two weekends ago, but the next-doors weren't ready yet, and we decided we could do it this past weekend. Just sometime. Whenever.

I was awake for about 15 minutes Saturday when the next-doors called to say they had the machine and were ready when I was. Your Sister and Nephew were leaving for their Saturday morning outing (tailgate market, library, etc.), and I walked over with some coffee. The tiller is a beast. It's much bigger and stronger than the rental model I had used for years. The neighbor husband offered it to me first as they were heading out for Earth Day. I said I could start it up now and take it to my garden so he could watch, and we could work out the kinks. We did that, discovering the contraption's ins and outs, and he left for the family events while I finished up the tillin'. It was about half-an-hour after I woke up, I hadn't had my coffee yet, and I had the house to myself. I decided that momentum directed me to stick with this and get the garden started right.

I drove to the local Lowe's (despite the store's past efforts to drive me mad) and bought a stack of cow manure. I didn't know how much would fit in the car, so I stopped at eight bags, bought those, loaded them up, and went back to get more. That done, I went back home to toss the unopened bags onto the soil and see how much coverage I bought myself. I decided I needed more. Back I went, and more I bought. After two trips, I had bought 17 bags of manure. Those are 50 pounds each. I heaved each of the them onto the carts, into the car, out to the garden, and then cut them open and slung them about to spread the manure. I figure I lifted 2,600 pounds in an hour's time. I covered that with a bag of fertilizer and mixed all that into the dirt with the tiller. By this time, Your Sis and Neph were back, and he was eating lunch on the deck. He loves him some engines, and he was hypnotized by the tiller. I took the tiller back to the next-doors before going back inside.

I finished up just after he was put into bed, and I was fairly exhausted. It was getting too hot to keep going, and I needed a break. When I took the deputy out and about later in the day, I made sure to stop by to see if the next-doors had any luck. Their plot was tilled up, and they were unloading their truck of soil materials. They're going wholly organic, and we talked about that before he casually mentioned it was going to snow in a few days. I hadn't heard about this, but a quick check showed we were at least gonna freeze. That kept me from doing any garden work until, maybe, tonight. If I can get a chance to run outside after work, I might get the potatoes in the ground. The plantings I bought a two weekends back are getting too big for the pots. They gotta get in the soil soon.

Meanwhile, I'm just about done with the comic. I'm gonna send it to a real comic printer and hopefully get a real comic back. I only have to finalize the cover coloring and the inside cover text blocks. That's it. And it's not even May yet. I'm going to advertise in the next rollerderby home program; I already got a QR code for my website. I also designed a rollerderby t-shirt I hope to get printed by the store that stocks my shirt designs. Suddenly, things are coming together.

Using the address you emailed us yesterday, I was able to Google movie theatres. Emerald Isle has two, and I'm hoping the adults can watch the deputy while we three run off to see The Avengers. Even if we can't this trip will be a great way to cap off the comic effort over the past five months. And of course, your ECU tenure. Thanks again for putting this together. Mom's gonna want to pitch in on some expenses, even if it's stocking the house with food.

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