So today, I think, is the day to do winter sowing. It’s light out, Eric’s got homework, it’s nearly February, let’s do this thing. I get out my containers: seven apple cider jugs, two half-gallon milk jugs, a huge plastic container of organic spinach from Costco, and a two-liter soda bottle (pomegranate 7-Up, I believe). I’ve been very forward-thinking: they’re already cut open, with slits and holes in the bottom for drainage; the bag of soil is in the corner of the kitchen, out of the freezing cold; and I cleaned up the kitchen from the bread-baking of yesterday so I have room to work. 

I’m supposed to fill each container with dirt, water it well, let the water drain out, plant seeds, put the containers outside. Easy. I get an old salsa container from the Tupperware cupboard and start dishing out the dirt. 

I put four gallon containers in the sink, fill them with dirt, and spray them with water. All’s well except for one, which doesn’t drain. I spray them again. Three are fine, one is becoming muddy soup. I pick it up. Maybe the holes are too small. I get out my trusty utility knife and punch into one of the holes and twist, and water comes out. There, I think, I just needed bigger holes. I enlarge more of the holes and set it down. 

The three other containers get switched out. The three new containers drain just fine. The first one is still soup. I stick my fingers into the muddy water and probe. There are, inexplicably, small rocks in the bottom; but they can’t be covering all the holes. Out comes the utility knife. The holes widen. Water comes out. I set it down and put more water in. The water level rises and stays up. 

I push my now-wet sleeves up my now-dirty arms. I switch out the three new containers. I enlarge the holes on these before I fill them, just in case. Everything’s fine except for the first container. I go back to it. I gouge new holes, big holes. Water pours out. I add more water and the water level rises and stays there. 

“I’m done with my homework,” Eric announces from the doorway behind me. “We were going to do our budget now, right?”

“Right,” I say and go with him. I’ll figure out which of my seeds I care about least and put them in this container. Later.

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