CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FORTY-THREE
“Wha-ter-you doin’ wid dis lot?” Trevor, one of the equipment drivers, asked.
Trevor had a long career as an alcoholic. He’d lost all of his teeth by the time he had cleaned up enough to get a job at Lipson Construction. In the years he’d worked there, he’d never replaced his front teeth. He said it reminded him of where he didn’t want to go back to.
“Glad you asked,” Val said. “We’re going to build an infant care facility. We just submitted a set of plans to build the infant care facility and expand the school through the city. Due to Covid, they are understandably behind. So, we’ll see what we need to do.”
“Why do we need more space at the school?” a woman’s voice came from the back.
“We need to manage Covid social distancing,” Valerie said. “Plus, we’re growing so fast that we will need more space soon anyway. While the kids aren’t here, we thought we’d get something going.”
Everyone nodded. The Marlowe School was daycare and school for all Lipson Employees. It was a perk that led to employee loyalty. Lately, the Marlowe School had been winning awards for excellence in education. People who had had their kids in private school had moved them into the Marlowe School.
“Until we’re able to get the school sorted out, we can’t let kids back,” Jacob said.
“Are we close?” the same woman asked.
“Yes,” Jacob said. “The HVAC guys started work last week. They’ve got another week. We’re building out new classrooms and working on plans for the new addition for classrooms.”
“Basically, all of this land will either be school or gardens,” Valerie said.
“Remember, Dad had Covid,” Jacob said. “If Big Sam can get it, any of us can. So keep your distance. The plumbers will be here in a few minutes. They’ll set up a mobile handwashing station. We have extra masks if anyone needs them.”
When no one said anything, Jacob looked at his father.
“Let’s get to work,” Sam croaked.
Everyone cheered and got to work. They unloaded the large equipment. The drivers turned on the machines and went out to join the other workers who were listening to Valerie lay out the field. Valerie had a map of what they thought might give them the most gardening space.
The rest was almost anticlimactic. The large equipment cleared the field. The Lipson Construction employees got to work with their shovels. Two of the women began building the frame for the raised beds. Within a half hour, a crowd began to grow. Lipson Construction employees passed out facemasks and shovels. Soon, raised beds were popping up all over the once empty field.
Then the plumbers arrived. They took two employees and some of the neighbors to dig trenches. Water pipes were laid across the field from the Marlowe school. By the time the water was flowing, all of the raised beds were built.
In order to comply with the city, Jacob’s team of carpenters made quick work of building a fence around the new gardens.
“Tomorrow, we plant,” Valerie said with a grin.
“And run a lottery for half of these spots,” Jacob said.
“Did you put up the flyers?” Valerie asked.
Jacob gestured to Charlie and Tink who were running toward them.
“Good,” Valerie said with a grin.
With that, they packed up and left the site.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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