The mention of "Florida" has a galvanizing effect on people in the North Country, I've found. It stirs wistful memories of vacation or possibly a short-tempered bit of envy regarding sunburns and seashores. And for some, it breeds up a raw contempt for the thin-blooded nambie-pambies who choose to live under the easy sun. "Oh," the voice on the telephone said, "You're in Florida, huh? Well, your trees are ready." Click.
"Where you headed?" the nurseryman asked.
I told him, and he considered it a moment before pronouncing judgement: "Clay soil there." True fact, but I explained about the mitigating gravel-bank and the former dairy barn. He nodded a few times and then gave me what I take as a seal of approval: "You put the trees on the driver's side of your truck-bed, keep them shaded until they get into the dirt."
Well, okay, then.
I didn't mention that I was going to put the trees into my sister's cellar until we* had finished digging the 40+ holes. Or that I didn't actually know where the trees were going to go. It's one thing to be flaunting my non-sub-zero winters. Quite another to be playing loose and fast with the trees.
*By "we" of course I mean "Mr. Linton." He decided against renting a power-auger, based on the rocks that are the pride of the farm.
Shoveling by hand: it was good enough for pre-Industrial folks, so why not us? –– I mean, him?
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