So this year we're putting in a garden*, here in the Fort.
It's the first year we've tried -- for several years after we moved here, NW Arkansas had a fierce drought; and then we had the summer when it rained non-stop (I mean just seriously non-stop, torrential daily downpours, everything washed away) and then it was the summer two years ago when the temperature was 114 degrees for a month solid, and not much cooler than that the rest of the summer either, and when we stepped outside I swear you could smell the world toasting...
But this year, it's looking green out there. Like...maybe?
So we dug up a small patch, the kid and I. We have nice earth in this backyard, as it develops. Big fat earthworms came up with every shovelful. The ground smells so lovely. The kid kept squealing. (This is her first garden, or anyway the first she remembers.) "What's that?" "It's a bug!" "Is that -- that's a larva!"
And then yesterday when we actually planted, it was worse.
The Kid: Do what now?
Me: Poke your finger down, to about your first knuckle, and --
The Kid: Put my hand in the dirt?
Me: Um, yeah.
The Kid: In the dirt?
Me: Well, yes. Look, I'm afraid gardening does require you to get your hands dirty.
The Kid: --- --- ---
Me: You can wash them after.
The Kid: (whose idea this garden was, by the way)(darkly): You could have warned me about this.
*What are we growing? Tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, carrots, corn, and cantaloupe. Dr. Skull asked whether we wanted to put some flowers in. Chicks love flowers you know. Maybe I should.
2 hours ago