Dig. Pot. Label. Dig. Pot. Label. Dig. Pot. Label. Multiply by infinity. In the snow. In the rain. In the wind. Put sun plants in the sun (what sun?). Put shade plants in the shade: anywhere is fine! Oh, no, the temperature is going to drop into the teens for days. Put plants inside, cover other plants with mulch, or Christmas tree branches. Stack them up together. Huddle! Huddle! Hide from the freezing cold. The sun comes out, the year marches on, Valentine’s Day comes and goes. We are safe. Take the plants out of their hiding places, let them have some light and air. Oh, no, more snow, more cold. Too tired to hide them again. Let them meet their fate. How bad can it be? Dump dead plants, save the soil, save the labels, save the pots, compost the plants. Goodbye dead plants, there are so many more of you still here. Dig. Pot. Label. Dig. Pot. Label. Dig. Pot. Label. Don’t stop, there are more plants, always more plants. Fill up the patio, fill up the driveway, fill up the other driveway. More plants, more plants. No, no stop potting. Enough plants! Not enough time. Groom the plants, groom the plants. Pull the weeds, snip the old foliage, check the labels. Why does that foxglove say it is a black-eyed susan? It is confused. Change the label. No confusion allowed. Oh, no, not enough time. Stop the grooming, start the moving. Put the plants in trays, put the trays in rows. Keep moving the plants. Grasses go here, shade plants go there. No, no, the sun finally came out for an hour, the shade plants all wilted. Move the shade plants, move the shade plants. Put the shade plants in the shade. That will keep the sun from ever coming out again. Count the plants, all the plants. Count the plants again, that can’t be right. Phone for trucks. Lots of trucks, many more trucks. Help, please help, so many plants. Load the plants, load the plants. Wet plants, slippery plants. Plants with no leaves because it has been cold and dark for so long. Load them anyway, maybe the leaves will come out tomorrow when the sun shines. Wave goodbye to all the plants. See you tomorrow plants, you will find new homes tomorrow. We don’t want you here anymore. Please open your leaves, please show your flowers, we want you to find somewhere else to live.
Set the alarm. Go to sleep. Wake up. Something got forgotten. Go to sleep. Wake up. Something else got forgotten. Write it down. It will never get read, but write it down anyway. Sometimes writing helps remembering. So many lists, so many notes. No time to read them. Only write them. Write notes on little pieces of paper. Little pieces of paper are much easier to lose, so use lots of little pieces of paper. Keep writing, never read. Put all the notes in the same bag. Do not read them, no time to read, just put them away. Alarm goes off. What a stupid time of day. It is still dark. How can we sell plants in the dark? No one can see plants in the dark. No one will buy plants they cannot see. This was a bad idea, a very bad idea. Get up. Guilt. Shame. Embarrassment. Avoid these, show up. Do what you said you would do. How can we sell plants in the dark? Eat seeds for breakfast. And carbs, lots of carbs. Snap at loved ones. Push them out the door. They wait while all the forgotten things get remembered/done/collected. Rain. Not much rain, just enough to keep everyone cold and clammy. Good call, weather, discomfort for all. Drive. drive fast. No one else is out. No one else is awake. Drive fast. So much to do. Arrive. It is dark and wet. Set up. Set up again three feet to the south. Hurry, hurry, they are coming, all the people to buy plants in the dark. Unload the plants, so many plants, too many plants. No time, no time to organize, no time to arrange them nicely. Unload the trucks. So many trucks. The trucks keep coming. Now the vegetables. So many vegetables. More vegetables than before. More tables for vegetables. Vegetables everywhere. Who plants vegetables in the dark? Oh, it isn’t dark anymore? Light, rainy, cloudy but light. People can see the plants. They can see the vegetables. It is almost time. Put on the signs. The tape does not stick. Everything is wet. Find a dry place, put tape there. Yes, it is a corner that no one can see, but put it there. It is almost time. Are we ready? No, but it is almost time. Hurry, hurry. No, you cannot come in until it is time.
Now it is time. Come in, come in. The rain stops, the clouds get thinner. The sky gets lighter. People are shopping. They have cardboard trays. Cardboard only. You cannot have the plastic trays. Give that back. Take plants, leave trays. Shopping, shopping. Questions, questions. Take this plant. You will love it, it will love you. This plant will change your life. You will change its life. It is an orphan, please give it a home. Answer questions, look at the sky. Is that a bit of blue? Everything is going to be O.K. Relax, the weather is going to be O.K. People shopping, answer questions, plants are going. Then. RAIN. People fleeing, people scurrying, leisurely shopping over, people running, not buying. Bad, bad weather, but now at least we will know if there are any witches amongst us. Any witches? No witches. No shoppers either. Please stop, rain, please, please stop. The rain stops, then starts, on and off all day. People shop, but not as many, not enough. Still so many plants. Come take our plants. We mark them down, we load up carts. Take our plants. We don’t want them any more. We want your money instead.
Then it is over. bring back the trucks. Time to go home. The sun comes out, it is lovely now. It taunts us while we load the trucks. The plants are so heavy, and there are too many of them. Fewer but not enough fewer. Curse you, sun, where were you when we needed you six hours ago? Feet are hurting, legs are aching, backs are sore. Just one more load, just one more box. Time to drive home. Plants in the road, unload the plants in the road. Unload one more truck. The sun disappears, it starts to hail while we unload the truck. So then, it could have been worse after all. At least that is something. Unload the truck in the hail, but at least there was no hail during the sale, or snow, or swarms of locusts. Perspective is important. The truck is unloaded. It is swept out. The blankets are refolded. It is ready to return. Goodbye truck. Please come back next year. We cannot have the plant sale without you. We would not be able to take our plants to it. Goodbye. Go inside. Take off shoes. Stretch out on the sofa. Turn on the television. Everything hurts. Now everything is paralyzed. It hurts to move. It is almost impossible to move. But must eat. Want to eat. Go to kitchen. Bring food back to television, and eat. Eat carbs. Lots and lots of carbs.