CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FORTY-FIVE
“Will there be water?” an elderly man asked. “I can’t bring it from my apartment.”
“Yes,” Valerie said. “I just. . .”
“I’ll go remind Jake,” Delphie said. “You get these people some land to plant on.”
“Can you put numbers by everyone’s names?” Valerie asked.
“Sure,” Noelle said and got to work.
While Noelle worked, Valerie told everyone that they needed to follow the rules, help each other out, and the usual mix of “Everyone’s success depends on everyone’s actions.” Noelle gave her the clipboard.
“Okay,” Valerie said. “I’m going to get a random number from this site. . .”
Valerie poked around on her phone before Noelle took the phone from her. Together, they found the random number site and began giving people garden beds. There were people cheering for their win. When they were done, there were only a few disappointed people left.
“We are building a community bed,” Valerie said. “We’ll supply the plants and we can all share it. Would you like that?”
“Now, if you’d like to get seeds, we’ll have them here,” Valerie said. “Right now, just hang out until we finish the rest of the beds.”
“Make sure to see our medical crew if you haven’t yet,” Noelle said.
The flood of people moved away from Valerie and Noelle.
“That was fun,” Noelle said.
“We were hoping that you would paint a mural on the shed,” Valerie said.
“Did they build the shed yet?” Noelle asked.
Valerie turned around to look.
“They’re just starting,” Valerie said.
“Great,” Noelle said. “I’ll get my paints.”
Noelle gave a little clap.
“Mooooommmm!” Noelle screamed and ran to find Sandy. “I need my paints!”
Valerie chuckled to herself. Feeling movement near her, she looked up to see Troy Olivas, one of Alex Hargreaves’ team, standing near her.
“You okay?” Troy asked.
“A little tired,” Valerie said.
“We’re setting up over there,” Troy said. “Why don’t you go sit down? Everything is happening. It’s. . .”
“Amazing,” Valerie said.
“It’s hope in action,” Troy said.
Valerie smiled. They walked over to where they’d laid grass mats over the dirt and set up folding chairs. Valerie took a seat under a shade umbrella. A few minutes later, Delphie sat down in a chair next to Valerie. Valerie reached over to hold Delphie’s hands.
“This is really beautiful,” Valerie said.
“You know what?” Delphie asked. “It really is.”
Dionne came over to sit next to Delphie and Yvonne followed. As the day warmed, they sat under the umbrella, talked, laughed, and watched it all happen.
By the end of the day, all of the plants were in. Seeds were planted.
They went home exhausted and deeply satisfied to have added a tiny bit of green hope into everyone’s lives.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...
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