The nursery used to be out in the country, but over six decades the city grew and surrounded it. But even still—it felt like country when we showed up to find where our booth would be at their annual Art Fair. The sturdy man pointed out a lovely front and central section in the main greenhouse  for our Whitewash and Co booth.

Would we be needing one gardener’s table or two?  One.

He gestured to his grandson to climb off the second table. The little guy was so intent on climbing and unclimbing–we watched as he lowered his bucket of water first to the handcart nearby. But it didn’t work out so well and he was quickly caught akimbo.

“Some people like to get off the table first and then take their  bucket down, “his grandfather casually mentioned.

The little boy, fresh hair-cut and round, blue eyes stopped in mid-kimbo. He considered the notion, freckled forehead in wrinkled calculation. And when he decided that might be a better idea, up came the bucket and down went his feet. And off his grandpa went to help another artist, calling over his shoulder to go ahead and leave the payment with Michael.

Michael’s eyes grew rounder. We surveyed our plot, and Michael loaded up his handcart with his bucket of water. Did we know he’d be working in the food booth tomorrow beneath the apple trees? And did we know he’d be eight tomorrow, on his birthday? And did we know the best part of working with his grandfather was being in charge of the water bucket?

 We think the trees, bursting yellow, have been waiting for us to show. Inside the old nursery, the sturdy man stokes a grand wood stove and the scent of autumn swirls around us. Outside he and Michael have been popping popcorn in large kettles–for tomorrow’s Art Show. The sky is blue, the pumpkins have been thumped and found ripe.  Someone in the upper terraced garden is wrapping corn stalks with twine. Tomorrow is a new start for us. We go home to sleep.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

28 responses to “leap

  1. I love this. Yellow. Michael. Apples, pumpkins, popcorn. And, of course, the Leap!

    • redmitten

      it’s been crazy since, so i am late to respond. but that michael! when we were closing up on the last day he happened to see that we had spilled some of our polished pebbles. he came running to help. boy who stole my heart.

  2. I am trying to visualize mid-kimbo. Sounds interesting. Every art fair needs either a seven-year-old or young herding dog or both, to keep things lively. Glad the kid made it off the table without incident. I think I like this kid and I really like your description of him.

    • redmitten

      laurie- how did you know michael had a black/brown bordie collie at his heels for those 3 days? yes.

      • Because he needed one to keep him in order.

      • redmitten

        ha! exactly so. the morning of the show before the doors were open for the public, my daughter and i had just walked out of our greenhouse to spend some time in the orchard. michael was up the hill raking leaves with his grandfather. there was the dog. and michael glanced down at us and without missing a stroke on his rake, he hollered (kindly) “don’t him out” just as the dog raced to herd us. 🙂

  3. LOVE your description of the grandfather nonchalantly saying how some people carry the water buckets. also – the pumpkins have been thumped – wow!!!

    every time i start to read one of your pieces, i can’t not continue…..you are sooo good at the ice cube in the frying pan (a robert frost reference, i think).

  4. This is so nice. So specific and true that it captures this time of year perfectly and makes me want to wallow in it. Thank you.

  5. Hope you have a great show…sounds like a lovely place to show your wares!

  6. warm and earthy. always real. and i LOVE the bee poem. love love love it. i guess i’m mad about bees too. x j

    • redmitten

      janelle- so good to hear from you and to hear you love the bee poem. i have rarely written about my mom, but this poem is for her, about her and about how much we all care for her.

  7. kmerrifi

    Mmmm, a peaceful moment with which to begin my day. I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to have a grandfather. Now I have an idea.

    • redmitten

      karla- michael is lucky to have him. and i was lucky to have my g-pa for so many years. he called me whistlebritches and taught me how to fish.

  8. wuffda

    oh to be Michael on that day.

    • redmitten

      rox- his parents ran the food shop and so michael delivered food to each booth. knew whose was who but when he asked his mom about what would happen to the tip jar she said “you talk too much.”

  9. Katy

    So how did it go?? 🙂

    • redmitten

      katy- super! almost too super. we were approached by several galleries and venues and as a result we have had more shows to prepare for and one gallery bought out 1/2 of our inventory. but i am missing this place (and writing) so in about 7 days things will slow down and i can find my words again. thanks for asking!

  10. Even before the show started, success. I love Michael and the clear sense you create of being there. So happy to read of your being discovered – and bought – with invitations from other venues. Hooray. xo

    • redmitten

      marylinn- thank you. when the show ended, my daughter was pouring our polished river pebbles into a large ziplock and spilled. Michael was nearby and immediately ran over. “Looks like you need help” he said–in the very voice of his grandfather.

  11. Been doing art shows for years…and it feels like I attended another. Lovely.

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