Little voices

The day after the tea at Maggie and Heal’s, Steve contacted Randy, our landlord, to confirm what we had heard was true: a garden was permissible. Randy gave us the go-ahead, with the exhortation that we should keep it reasonably sized and that it should run next to our neighbor’s fence, near the edge of the property line.

On May 5, Steve and I hosted a little gathering to inaugurate our adopted grill. Steve acquired it toward the end of the previous summer, right before I moved to Iowa City, and due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, we never used it before the weather turned cold.

Our original plan involved burgers (and veggie burgers) and dogs, but that morphed into fajitas after I realized what day it would be. I didn’t grow up observing Cinco de Mayo, but once ChiChi’s and Chili’s and Carlos O’Kelly’s got hold of it, it seems to have become some sort of commercially-mandated celebration. On the morning of May 5, even the parking garage at work seemed abnormally empty, and my office building suffered from Abandoned Cubicle Syndrome, as if someone had put out a memo that Cinco de Mayo was, now, a state-sanctioned holiday.

Just before Maggie and Heal left our fiesta, we caucused about our gardening lesson, and agreed late Sunday afternoon timing would be best. A little voice in the back of my head reminded me if we were going to put in this garden during the same weekend, that meant we’d have to do it Sunday night, but I shushed that voice.

Silly little voice. How long could it take to put in a garden?

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