Yesterday the temperatures barely got above freezing, but Cliff and I went to a friend's house and brought home his tiller... the kind of tiller you pull behind a tractor. Cliff hooked up to it to the John Deere, and within a half-hour, each garden plot was a perfect seed-bed; we returned the tiller to its home and waited for snow.
Yes, you read that right. Snow. This morning the ground is white, and there's a mix of snow and sleet coming down. It won't last long, because the weather-guessers are forecasting temperatures in the seventies for Thursday.
Meanwhile, the most exciting news around is that seeds are sprouting in the mini-greenhouses placed all over my bedroom. I've learned over the past few days that different varieties of tomato seeds germinate at different speeds. The Legend tomatoes showed themselves three days ago, but the other varieties are just now beginning to come up. None of the several varieties of pepper seeds I planted have sprouted. Saturday I took my cabbage plants out to get them used to sun, wind, and cooler temperatures; Sunday morning I started out with them and decided to check the temperature first. They stayed inside all day because it was cold, even for hardy little cabbages.
Cliff has a dentist appointment this morning, so while we're out, I'll probably pick up some seed potatoes. Who knows, I may yet plant a token few potatoes on St. Patrick's Day. I usually plant most of my potatoes on Good Friday, which is late this year, April 22.
I love my morning Eight O'clock Columbian coffee, which you can get as whole-bean or ground. That first cup of the day is heavenly, and I always think perhaps I should have made more than three cups. By the time I've drunk all three cups, though, I don't want any more. I've seen people who could drink coffee from morning til night, but once I reach my limit I don't want more unless I have a cup after dinner (the noon-day meal).
Here's something that strikes me as funny: Cliff has picked up the habit of calling guys "Hon" in the course of conversation. Now, he's called women "Hon" for years, but not guys. Here's what I think happened:
The twins loved all things mechanical, and picked up a wealth of information from Cliff. Not only that, but they were excellent helpers, willing to jump in and assist him with any task, no matter how unpleasant.
I believe they were eight or nine years old when they first showed up, and being cute little boys, Cliff called them "Hon" a lot; back then he wasn't sure which boy was which anyhow, so this worked. Once the boys discovered girls, they stopped showing up regularly, but they still keep in touch with Cliff by phone, and they'll stop by the shop once in awhile to bend his ear. Travis has often confided in Cliff, saying, "You're like another grandpa to me."
They're probably twenty years old now, but when Cliff is talking to one or the other on the phone, I'll hear him calling them Hon. And now, any man on the street is liable to be addressed as Hon. I've seen Cliff get some strange looks, believe me. He said one of his co-workers asked him the other day, "Did you just call me Hon?"
One of the twins now has an aggressive form of cancer and will soon be undergoing surgery followed by months of chemo. Now, those of you who think it's nuts to pray for people, just go on your merry way, because this isn't a laughing matter; but Cliff and I, and more importantly, Tyler and his family, would really appreciate all the prayers anyone can send in this young man's direction. Any brand of prayers. This is a serious situation.