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Cardboard Chronicles - 12/27/2023

On this Wednesday morning, I embarked on a journey to Mount Vernon with a specific purpose in mind. My first stop was to meet with Emily, our board president, g with whom I had planned to tie up a few loose ends before the year came to a close. We decided to convene at our coworking space, where we could delve into the final stages of number crunching and data collection. Over the past couple of months, I have gained a wealth of knowledge through the meticulous analysis of these numbers. I must admit, at times, it felt as though the sheer magnitude of numerical data could drive a person to the brink of madness! Nevertheless, the experience has been incredibly fulfilling, especially when witnessing the positive impact our organization has had on the community. As I eagerly anticipate the arrival of the new year, I am filled with excitement to witness the growth of these numbers and the subsequent impact they will have.

Once Emily and I reached a satisfactory point in our reports, we realized that time was running out to spread some last-minute holiday cheer. With this in mind, we gathered a collection of holiday cards to express our gratitude to the local friends we had made in town. As we sorted through the cards, we divided them into separate piles, each representing a different delivery destination. While Emily focused on completing her remaining tasks, I took it upon myself to begin distributing the cards to their intended homes. It was heartwarming to witness the joy and appreciation on the faces of those who received our tokens of gratitude. After completing a few deliveries, I made my way back to meet Emily, who had an abundance of leftover cardboard from the holiday season. Together, we loaded the cardboard into my vehicle, ready to be recycled and put to good use.

After completing my card deliveries, I made my way to the greenhouse where Nancy eagerly greeted me. We exchanged warm hellos before I began unloading the new collection of cards near the hoop house, which I planned to work on and hopefully finish today. Before diving into the task at hand, I took a break to enjoy my lunch and refuel. Meanwhile, Nancy diligently worked on connecting the watering hoses, ensuring that her thriving vegetables and the interior of our hoop houses would receive the necessary hydration. With a satisfied stomach and refreshed energy, I retrieved the tools from our shed and started working on the soil. It was crucial to allow the soil to breathe and aid in the decomposition of the cardboard layer.

As I worked in the hoop house, I decided to experiment with a different approach to aerating the soil. Instead of simply loosening it, I gently turned it over to make it easier to eliminate the grass. This technique created a spongier soil, providing an ideal environment for growth. While engrossed in my task, Nancy entered the hoop house and requested assistance with the watering hoses. She explained that once they froze, they became tough to connect and extremely cold to the touch. Understanding the discomfort, I gladly offered my help. As Nancy continued her work inside the hoop house, diligently removing tape and stickers from the cardboard boxes, she took a moment to warm her hands and face from the biting wind outside the protective plastic walls.

After completing the task of connecting the two hoses, I felt a sense of relief from the relentless wind as I joined Nancy indoors. Together, we diligently worked on removing all the stickiness from the boxes, determined to finish the job. Once we accomplished that, Nancy returned to her watering duties while I focused on preparing the soil and layering cardboard over my completed work. Although I managed to finish only half of the task before it was time to water the plants indoors and head home, I still found time to aerate some soil on the other side. Despite not achieving my goal of completing the hoop house today, I remain enthusiastic and determined to see it through.

Before calling it a day, we took a leisure stroll around the garden, meticulously inspecting every nook and cranny to ensure we hadn't missed anything. It was important to us that everything was in order and that no doors were left unlatched. As we made our way towards our cars, I couldn't help but share my disappointment with Nancy about not being able to finish that particular building. I expressed my desire to complete it, so we would only have one more left to tackle. However, Nancy, always the voice of reason, reminded me that progress is progress, no matter how small. She emphasized the importance of appreciating the things we were able to accomplish rather than dwelling on what was left undone.

With Nancy's wise words resonating in my mind, we took a moment to plan our next meeting, eagerly looking forward to the future projects we would embark on together. As we bid each other farewell, we exchanged warm wishes for a happy and safe New Year, grateful for the valuable lessons we had learned and the bond we had formed through our shared love for gardening.

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