Late in the summer, I put an ad in Front Porch Forum, the local virtual bulletin board: free mulch. Chloe came from around the corner with her garden cart. She filled the cart up in a leisurely manner, which both children appreciated. So did I. She told us where she lived. And so we saw her house each time we walked by, and we noticed, not long thereafter, that she had her own gigantic pile of wood chips delivered. I had thought she might come back for more. It would have been nice.
So towards autumn, I wrote her a letter, offering some strawberries. She came and dug them up slowly, quite slowly, with even greater leisure than she had shoveled wood chips. Indeed, I had never seen anyone dig strawberries so slowly in all my life. Akiva quite enjoyed it. Iris was at Mz. Terri’s, I believe. Which Chloe may have been a little disappointed about, or Iris may have been a little disappointed about— I forget which.
Later I discovered that her father might also like some strawberries. That was a good thing! So Chloe had to come dig up more strawberries. It was a good thing no one was paying her to dig strawberries! Poo! Akiva could have dug faster than that! Well, perhaps the slowness was due to the fact that Akiva was actually the one doing the digging. I don’t recall. But when the last strawberry was dug, I knew I’d run out of things to give her, and I believe I told her so.
“I don’t know how I’ll get you to come back,” I said.
“Well,” she said, “I’d like to.”
The days just seem to tumble one after the other and we haven’t really gotten to see her much, even tho she lives almost just around the corner.
Lucky for us, now and again we remember to visit. Or she does. I don’t have any photos of her, tho.
Here she took a walk with us into the woods to discover which patches of ice were frozen.
We found a few.