Monday, February 5, 2007

Monday Memory: The Greenhouse

February 5, 2007

The greenhouse is a good place to be on a bone-chilling day in February. Because my father worked as a research scientist at Cornell University's Agricultural Experiment Station, we spent many, many cold winter days in the greenhouse. This my brother Stephen and me. You can tell by my outfit that this is in the 1970s. I am about 7 and Stephen is 9 (I am standing on the cart; he is not a midget). Sometimes my father gave us jobs to do, like counting apple seeds, but usually we just played around while he did...well, stuff that research scientists do. Give shots of fireblight to apple trees and such. I really have no idea what he was doing. But there were these big sheets of gray substance that smelled like rotten eggs, and bins full of the most luscious brown dirt. Automatic sprinklers would go on and off, and the cement floors were perfect for racing Matchbox cars. We usually only accompanied my father on weekends, so the greenhouses were quiet except for the buzz of lights and the drip-drip-dripping of leaky faucets. Often my mother would come, too, and she would record data for my dad while Stephen and I wandered from greenhouse to greenhouse, breathing in the good warm smells of water and earth.

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