Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Cleaning

The Garden Team at B's school had some hard work to do this Saturday morning.
After receiving a grant from Wild Ones, we will be planting native wildflowers that will help attract native pollinators to all of the gardens planted around the school. Native plants are important to our ecosystem for three reasons:
1. They provide food for the bees, birds, and butterflies who are hard at work pollinating other plants.
2. They have deep roots which act as an early, natural water filtration system before runoff reaches our streams and rivers.
3. A lawn of native plants (instead of turf) reduces our carbon footprint. And it's just so much prettier!
Before your wildflowers can bloom, however, you have to prepare the ground. We were tasked with clearing a bed on the sunny, south side of the school. This was no easy task!
Aided by a volunteer team of eager middle schoolers, we worked for a few hours and finally had a clear bed to plant!
B looked for rocks. When she read this she informed me she is holding a doughnut hole. So not really helping at all.
Some of the roots we had to dig up were huge!
We dug up and bagged more than thirty bags of debris.
Little Guy's contribution was to eat 2 cookies and 7 doughnut holes and then play on the playground while the rest of us worked.
Finally seeing some progress! It's not quite beautiful yet, but the groundwork is laid.
Work hard, play hard. 
It's so satisfying to work hard at a project and actually see the fruits of your labor. Even more satisfying was working with this group of middle schoolers. It reminded me of how much I admire this age group. They are so optimistic and so powerful because they do not yet know their own limitations. Middle schoolers can change the world simply because they believe they can. I think this is why I write about them. And for them.

I'm doing quite a bit of spring cleaning on my writing, too. I've been incredibly privileged to have received invaluable feedback from two very talented friends who agreed to be early readers. Danielle, an incredible writer and an inspiration to me in many ways, provided specific and detailed critiques and encouragement. Martha, a copyediting master and designer extraordinaire, went over my manuscript with a magnifying glass. The results look a bit like this:
Not unlike the southside garden bed, I have a mess to clean up and many bags of refuse to pull out of this novel before it is ready to bloom into something beautiful. 
I am rolling up my sleeves.
I have my tools in hand.
I have a great team beside me.
I am ready for spring cleaning!

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