Stepped in dog crap in the yard multiple times this weekend.
Fine by me. I was tilling a garden by hand, shovel, foot and child. It was the first one in an old spot, which had a trail worn through it by a paranoid shelter dog that patrolled the yard’s parameter like a ghost.
Not that there’s ever been anything to keep out.
Kalista, armed with a plastic sand shovel and sifter, eventually made her way over from the sandbox to help. She’d followed my orders to report to the back yard as I started digging – a chicken was roasting in the rotisserie inside, and I didn’t want her in there should the kitchen burst into flames. Plus I didn’t want her making a mess with the hand soap by the bathroom sink.
We began discussing what would grow in there: carrots, beans, tomatoes and things like that. I explained to her the soil would yield more veggies as years passed, and we could make the garden bigger if we chose.
And I realized – suddenly and with short-lived surprise – I had no plans to uproot our family of two. I was okay with that, which conjured surprise that was not short-lived.
Earlier in the day I had watched Kalista sing at church with my dad. In a little Methodist joint tucked in the corner of a mill village, she alternated from my shoulder to Dad’s before eventually drifting into half-consciousness for the sermon.
She wouldn’t have been there that morning had we not moved here. Two years ago, church was something I’d always tried to make the most of because it only happened a few times a month. There was always cooking or cleaning or laundry or something to do on Sunday morning instead.
But this morning – as have the past three or so Sundays – afforded the time for cooking, cleaning, laundry and church. Dad had picked Kalista up for Sunday School after breakfast; I joined them for service an hour later.
It is rare I find myself relating to any natives of this place. We seem to have little common ground in this old-fashioned place dubbed a “GOP paradise” by crazy Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and acclimating has been – overall – a nightmare. Even for Kalista at times.
Here we are, though. A new town in a new state. The plan is for it to be the last. We’ve been through this before. The difference now, though, is Kalista’s grandma and grandpa live a few blocks away.
The setting reminds me of the garden we planted this weekend. It’s old ground with a new twist – and it could yield fruit for years to come.