"I don't even know how you're going to BUY dirt," Jane says.
Jane, Jack, and Lu, bent over pony packs of potting soil, they measure out seeds. Like long legged storks, crouched awkward and elbow-ish, they plant sand-like seeds. They nestle the seeds in 5x5 grids by kind and ripening date. Each grid an installment of 25 plants, they plan. Transplanting will take dirt, lots of dirt, a whole compressed bale of it, a whole $40 bale of it.
"I just don't know how you're gonna buy more dirt," she says.
"Jane," Jack says.
"I have some money," she says.
"JANE," he says again.
" I can LEND it to to you," she says.
"Jane, JANE, Mother is going to have me grow her seeds, and she is going to help me out as payment," he says.
"Oh," she says. "Oh, good." All this time they never make eye contact, eyes fixed on placing each seed from palm to soil nest. "I can't wait," she says. "I just can't wait to sell these and bless people with some good plants."
"One hundred twenty-five," Jack says. "ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE, I've already done one hundred twenty-five." Now he's looking around, face resplendent, gleeful even, not withstanding dirt settled past his elbows, up on his shirt. "One sixth. I've already done ONE SIXTH of them!" he says, eyebrows a triumphant arc.
"Plus a hundred here," Lu says.
"And eighty five here," Jane says.
"Two twenty-five, three ten. That makes three ten," Jack says. "We're almost HALF way." He grins, but already his palm has another tiny pile of the next tomato variety and he's plucking seed by seed into another grid in another container.
And so we work. More than ever we work. And I see bonds; irreplicable attachments begin to form. Loyalty springs up between seedlings. Dependence and gratitude hold hands. We race the clock to tuck in seeds. We time germination to prelude planting. And there in the middle I see them begin to let go of entitlement and look for what they can give to success. The sacrifices draw them together.
6317. A flat tire brings a dear friend and her family to our home for dinner, a spontaneous dinner. "That was so fun, I almost wish they would get a flat tire every time they come to the valley," Jane says.
6318. I can't believe I'm starting to master the art of wrapping George on my back. It's so fun!
6319. Craig and the kids continue construction on our family greenhouse. Jack devotes his free-time as if the greenhouse were recreation.
6320. Jack completes another wrestling season. More tests of character, more strengthening, more pushing himself and encouraging the people around him, we ring in a good season.
6321. George now four months, I find I am feeling more like my good old self.
6322. We begin the process of sprouting seeds. 700+ seeds nestled away for germination, we wait. And we plan. The children begin to author cathedrals of garden dreams.
6323. We begin to plan a neighborhood plant sale. The thought of all of our friends coming together is as fun as all the plants.
6324. The weather gradually orbits into windows of hospitable, even inviting, bits. We eat them up, every last crumb. Spring, it finally feels like it could be on the way.
6325. So many good days, the goodness being a pulpy and nutritious center more than measurable tasks or fancy destinations, we nourish our spirits on these good times.