Moonlight cast mullion shadows upon my bedroom floor. The Man in the Moon had sneaked up on me again.

Thirty-one years sleeping in the same place, I’ve learned lunar cycles from my southward view. Yet, somehow I’d lost track of the moon’s waxing and waning.

“No matter. All is well!” declared the Moon, high above our house, faithful and luminous.

Well rested, I replied, “Thanks for the reminder! I believe you’re right.”

For the previous day under the shade of our solitary crabapple tree, Mary Ellen and I knelt in my perennial island.

“Are you up to tackling these garlic chives again?” I asked.


“If these pests return next spring, I promise to incinerate them with one of those flame weeders. We have better things to do with our time,” I said.

“Sounds good to me!”

My neighbor, a man who loves his work but has none due to the present state of our nation, carried wood shelves to his truck just yards from us.

“Hello ladies. Looks like you’re having fun.”

“Yes we are, thank you. And it looks like you’re about to build something,” I said.

“Not this time. Cleaning out stuff I brought home from the shop.”

Every weekday he and his Chevy would leave his driveway at seven sharp and returned at six. He’s often said he’ll never retire.
His family moved in next door the same February weekend we did thirty-one years ago. I’ve watched their three girls grow up as mine left the nest.

“I don’t know what to think,” he said. “I’m afraid life will never be the same for my girls and grandkids.”

Mary Ellen, a grandmother of six, said, “That’s why we have to pray. God knows what’s going on and what we need.”

“I guess you’re right,” my neighbor said.

I held up my dandelion weeder. “We can’t let the masks get us down!”

But it’s easy for me to say. I’m not the breadwinner.

Later, Mary Ellen and I relaxed in the sun with a cup of lavender turmeric tea and a hefty “everything” cookie loaded with chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts.

Truly, my friend’s help is more of an excuse for companionship, but it’s also a bonus to have twice the work done when she waves goodbye and drives away.

My friend is of hardy Norwegian stock, dairy farmers, and saunas in sub-zero weather. My Scot-Irish ancestors dairy farmed in hair-curling Kentucky humidity.

When Mary Ellen first walked into my house, I had no clue of the farmer she disguised under her flowing dress and flawless coiffure. Yet, by the time I served dessert for the Mother’s Day Tea, she’d signed up for the following Weed & Tea listed on the farm’s schedule.

We’ve since weeded together for ten years. Don’t know what my gardens would do without her.

Dear Reader, God watched over Mary Ellen and me last night. Our neighborhood. County. State. Our beloved country.

And He will throughout all the moon cycles until Jesus returns.

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