Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sowing Plans - The Story

Sowing Plans finds Bartholomew, his aunt and uncle and his friends planning the garden they are going to plant.  They are also joined by an elderly neighbor named Mr. McBardon.  Sometimes elderly people can be a little strange -- they can be direct without being detailed.  This can be confusing or at least seem odd.  Many people pick up traits, ticks or habits over the years that have become divorced from their origins and now seem very strange. Sometimes we need to be reminded that everyone is doing the best they can in this life, even when we can't understand where they are coming from.  Do we think badly of these people?  Do we give them room to be themselves?

Here is an excerpt from Sowing Plans that will be published this Friday at The Book of Bartholomew.

 “All right, next thing I am wondering is if we all want our separate plots or if we want to grow stuff together? It might be easier if we grew enough tomatoes for everyone and grew them all next to each other. Then do the same with peas, and beans, etc.”

Mr. McBardon ran his hand through his thinning white hair and seemed agitated. “I want my own plot. You all can grow things together if you want, but I want my own plot for my own stuff. I want my own plot.”

Everyone raised their eyebrows at Mr. McBardon's insistence. “Okay, what do other people think?” asked Bartholomew.

Everyone else liked the idea of growing all of their food together. This was the first time most of them had grown food, so there were no expectations. Aunt Josephine and Uncle Jeffrey commented that it would be fun to grow it all together. They had grown a few things in their yard but nothing on this scale. So it was agreed that almost everyone would grow their food together but Mr. McBardon would have his own plot.

“Okay, so what do we want to grow? After we figure that out we can determine where we will plant everything. Any suggestions?”

Claire took a carrot stick from the tray dipped it and bit into it. Loud crunching sounds emanated from her mouth.

“I think Claire wants carrots,” joked Topping.

Claire nodded her head and smiled while she chewed.

“Okay, carrots,” said Bartholomew. “Anything else?”

Aunt Josephine spoke up, “Well, I would like some peas and beans. They are early vegetables so we would have to start them soon. I'm a little worried about vermin getting to them. When I was little, rabbits and squirrels would eat the peas before they could grow.”

“Not to mention the rats that might be along the railroad track,” said Mr. McBardon.

Charlotte let out a little squeal at the thought of rats.

“I'm sure there aren't any rats along the tracks,” assured Uncle Jeffrey.

“Just so,” said Mr. McBardon, “I can put my plot out closest to the railroad tracks and plant a big hedge of plants so they can't get through. And there's that little dog that's been hanging around humping everything. It might dig up the garden.”

There was a pause in the conversation as everyone wondered how a hedge of plants could keep out rats. Mr. McBardon just sat there chewing on his upper lip with his bottom dentures.

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