"Why don't we divide up the baby ones?" Jane says. Spindrift past the elbows, Jane, Jack, and Lu, scrub a harvest of radishes. They snap the cherry heads and pile them in the large mixing bowl. They highgrade the slender babies.
"This is my pile," Jack snips a nimble baby from green plumes and sets it on his pile.
"Why don't we divide them up?" Jane angles, her elbows vigorous engines scrubbing down to the nubby red flesh.
"I'm done." Jack pours half a dozen drips from the bottom of his bin. "Here," he says, "want me to help you, Jane?" He pulls an arching leaf, a bulbous root. He scrubs, farmer devotion sprawled across his face. He grabs another, scrubs it, lobs it in the mixing bowl, another and another, finally a baby. He scrubs, snaps the frindle leaves off, pauses. He looks at his pile, the babies. He looks back at the radish, then Jane. "Let's make one BIG pile," he says.
"Yeah," she nods, "then we can divide them up." She shanks her head to one side, "Not like everyone gets the same number, but all a pile -- about the same."
"Yeah. Yeah." Jack and Lu nod and chime, a board meeting of sorts.
"Oh, I have a return-to-sender," Jane says. She reaches through the facet mist, passes Jack an offending radish. "Return-to-sender," she says.
"Oh," Jack volleys, "smell!" A rising mist of radish, the others glance up. "It smells like SPICY," he bounds his eyebrows up. They nod, inhale. Jack scrubs the radish, lobs, grabs another. It's business, this negotiating, this working out of commerce. It's the art of exchange. They each take a turn at the reins.
5453. Joey poops in the toilet. "It smells like POOP in here," Myra frowns. Sure enough, that boy made the leap.
5454. My cousin joins us at the Tuesday Girls. Mom cuts my hair.
5455. The children weed the beans, weed the peas, and harvest the radishes.
5456. They replant the row the very same day.
5457. We have a picnic out on the lawn -- pizza and salad, strawberries and whip cream.
5458. Jack takes me on a date. "Don't worry, Mom," he says, "I brought money so you don't have to worry about it."
5459. Craig's mom takes a lunch with Jack.
5460. Mint chocolate chip ice cream cones, we make it a party.
5461. That big mixing bowl now filled with strawberries, washed, hulled, and bite size.
5462. Fitted sheets, the kids all get new fitted sheets, the same size and neutral earthy color. They wash them up and make the beds themselves.
5463. Support hose, I get new support hose, the kind that stops blood clots and binds you up fit as a fiddle.
5465. Mom, helps me tidy the basement. We bring a trash bag and head for the corners. When the corners are clean, you know you're really there.
5466. The World Cup. We gather around to watch the next round of the World Cup. Then the children form teams out on the back lawn.
5467. I start a knitting project for Lucy, a dress in navy, A-line, moss stitch at the hem.
5468. Craig works a full week, rolls up the driveway exhausted every night, and somehow finds the strength to barbecue burgers, host dinner, and guide us unyieldingly.