The day began with Nora, Grandma, and Grandpa at church. I always love what Pastor Jurchen says on Easter Sunday. "When I die, and there's a pastor standing over me and he says, 'Well, Arnie Jurchen is dead,' I want you to know I'm NOT. It only looks like I am. We are resurrection people!"
We came back from church, sliced and diced a few vegetables for a relish tray and headed over to Grandma and Grandpa B's farm down the road a mile or so. This is where Mike grew up, and where Mom met him. She lived in a farmhouse between my place and Grandma B's place. Mom remembers walking to Seward...I think to see a movie...I need to write all that down sometime. But I'll save it for another time. After we were done with ham and Easter egg hunts and tree planting, we came back to my place and Mike got back to work tilling the garden. He's done this for me every year I've lived here. I wouldn't have even begun to understand who I am and what I love if he didn't show up every year and work this dirt for me. He's got his own dirt to work out in a field near Grandma B's house, but he still finds the time. He's a really good guy, and I love him a lot.
Here's some lumber. It's like pick-up sticks. Nora arranged them in various patterns and balanced.
This is before I made Nora and Mom shovel a bunch of dirt. They look happy. And relaxed.
Mike and I consult the map. I made a few smart alec comments about where the pirates had buried the treasure. And then we got to building and digging.
Yes, I need some sawhorses.
I was just going to hold the corners in place like this, but Mike thought it would be neat to use screws instead, so we went with that.
From the looks of this picture, you might think we're arguing about where things should go. We aren't. Our backs just hurt because we're getting old.
Yo-hoe-hoe and a bottle of...
Mike has nicer power tools than I do. This is me admitting that he does. He started to talk about "torque" or "tork"--it's some man word that means "twisting power," I think. Whatever. All I know is that I'm really strong. And I like tools.
Here's Mike holding one of the corners. I reminded him about our plan to use screws.
My plan was to have Mike till up the entire space and then shovel the loose topsoil into the beds. At first we thought we'd have to haul a bunch of dirt in, but there was plenty. Flies buzzed over the top of the ground searching out all the dead stuff Mike had tilled up, and I hate to say that I found a few of those things while shoveling--toads mostly.
Nora and Grandma jumped in and shoveled a lot of ground. A few times Nora said she was tired. She'd lie down on a "dirt bed" and then jump up saying, "I'm not giving up" while she stretched her arms and got back to work with her tiny spade. I love her gumption and grit.
In fact, here is a toad she found. (Alive and kicking). I hate to admit this, but I'm a bit squeamish around frogs and snakes. Not Nora. She reached right down and picked him up.
You can't tell from the dark picture, but we finished the first part of the project just as the last light faded. We had trouble finding the tools in the grass.
These starters are ready. Now a couple more weeks for the soil temps to rise and threat of frost to skedaddle, and we're set.