Teaching Kids How To Scratch In The Dirt

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 11, 2012

“What are you doing?” On hands and knees in the dirt, the question from behind caught me off guard.
The little girls from next door couldn’t figure out why I was scratching in the soil with a wagonload of iris bulbs by my side.
Transferring irises, I told them. Want some?
In fact, they did. I showed them how to uncover enough soil to make room for the tubers and cover them gently.
Every tuber I gave them was one more I didn’t have to replant. By thinning my choked beds, the remaining irises should bloom better next spring.
“It’s a win-win,” one of them said.
Indeed, it is.
Much of Saturday was spent planting irises, including some violet beauties a Turkey Foot reader gave me last spring.
I also bought some fancy designer bulbs with names like “Beverly Sills.” Next spring holds great promise.
Digging in dirt attracted little boys too. The Robertson grandsons were in town and all too eager to wield the shovel in spite of my fears for little fingers and toes.
They helped replant day lilies but were quickly distracted by earthworms.
“Can I hold it?” young Whit asked.
I dropped the wiggler into his hand, and the flowers were abandoned for something much more interesting.
We had spent a recent weekend with two granddaughters before having the three grandsons arrive. After both, Elizabeth and I have been left exhausted. Grandparenting is not for sissies.
Early Sunday morning when I was the only one awake, I heard little feet pattering down the hall. Sam, not yet 2, had climbed out of the crib. He joined me on the sofa as I read the newspaper and sipped coffee — the two of us blinking away the haze of sleep.
“Bopa,” he calls me.

Bill Foster

The news circulated like wildfire around Mocksville on Tuesday. One of the town lions, Bill Foster, had died unexpectedly. He served multiple terms as both county commissioner and Mocksville town board member. Voters trusted his good sense.
He got things done quietly, without grand standing or seeking personal glory. His contribution has been tremendous …