For Gerty, everyday it was ‘up and at it’ prior to first light. Then toiling until well after dark. Gerty was a ‘get er done’ kind of gal. When running a nursery especially she did not ‘let grass grow under her feet’.
Yesterday her delivery of mushroom compost arrived. Tomorrow she expected bone meal, sulfur and a shipment of 10 cm pots to arrive. Of course covering that cost would depend on Zachary showing up this morning and paying her back as he promised. Otherwise sales today would have to be really awesome…..
Yesterday, when picking up her order, Gerty kindly covered the C.O.D. charges on the A-Z Brother’s delivery. It was a big chunk of change for Gerty but she expected to be reimbursed by whichever brother picked up the order. Since Alfred was unfailingly punctual she guessed it would be Zachary on his way. Captain McCray was grateful as he wanted to keep his schedule and didn’t want to lug that heavy box of hardware back.
Shortly after the boat left Zachary arrived, pulling a “What? There was money owing on the hardware ?” He of course claimed poverty he could only produce $50 of the $200. He was ever so grateful though. Of course he promised to stop by on his way to the workshop the following morning to repay her….” And BTW Thanks Gerty you are a star” Zachary added.
Spring was always hectic. It was all about timing. All sowing. All transplanting. All dividing, pruning and feeding had it’s appointed time. Delays were costly. After a winter of living off her earnings from last year her coffers were dry. And start ups costs each spring just kept going up. ‘Yup, hopefully business would be fruitful today’ she thought aloud..
Gerty always liked to keep busy so this life suited her fine. Even though the nursery had only opened for the season just this last week, she had worked tirelessly the four months previous to get everything ready for this point.
She puttered about preening and watering the planters. Even selling out of these today would not be enough to cover the cost tomorrow’s order. Her early vegetables, the radishes and snowpeas, needed another couple of weeks before she could start picking them. The real money for Gerty was in landscaping. However, the work from that has been slow coming in this year too……
Gerty knew by the timing of her first visitors it had to be just past 8 am. Sabastienne and Roy had just come from Mavis’ and would likely head down to the docks after leaving here.”mewlmewlmewl” they both cried up to Gerty as they wound round her feet. She lugged the great big jug of milk provided fresh from her cow Juniper first thing this morning.
They never stayed long. Just long enough to have a drink and chase away any mice or moles which may have squeaked in through the night.
Snowball stopped by for water not long after the boys left. He too was making his rounds. As Gerty grabbed the water jug she checked the time, it was almost 9 am. She thought Zachary should have been here by now if he was dropping off her money on his way to the workshop.
Snowball was a thirsty boy this morning and was ever so grateful for a drink. From here he would head to the park and keep on the look out for any sign of trouble.
With a cooler evening in the forecast Gerty expected Snowball would likely be back later to seek a spot by her fireplace. For now he hung around for both the water and friendly welcome she offered…..
Maryanne and Annemarie, sisters new to Curioville, stopped by to shop for a flowering planter.
“How are you settling in?” Gerty asked as the girls considered their choices. She was only just getting to know them as were new to Curioville.
“Great,” they both agreed.
“I like our new home and can’t wait to invite some of the neighbours over for a craft night, hope I can interest you in coming.” Maryanne mentioned.
Gerty hesitated in a reply. She had so much work this time of year….
“Mavis has also invited us to her next kitchen party. I hope you will be going”Annemarie added.
“Sounds like fun but I likely won’t have time til my workload eases a bit.” said Gerty “But I am glad you are settling in.”
“Look Annemarie, I think we should pick that one. It will look lovely by the back porch,”Maryanne pointed to the planter she liked after some consideration.
“Well you would like that one, ” retorted Annemarie who had been paying more attention to Snowball “I was thinking that I like that one.”she pointed to another one beside the first ” I think it would look nice by the front walkway.”
“Well since I am paying for the planter it will be my choice. Besides you were playing with the dog and not even looking at the choices.” Maryanne’s word was final in this matter..
“Well you can carry it all the way home all by yourself then.” Annemarie shouted, visibly steamed as she stormed out. Gerty noted how shrill they had become with one another. She had seen all this before…..
“I could carry that to your home if you would like.”Gerty offered to lock up the nursery to carry the planter. This way she could see if Zachary had arrived at the workshop. Perhaps collect the money.
“No,” replied Maryanne”but thanks for offering. I could use your help getting my garden going though. I just don’t know where to start.”
“Sure,”replied Gerty”I will be happy to help you get started.” Gerty suspected Maryanne was seeking out a freebie so didn’t want to commit more time than a morning “But won’t your sister help you?”
“We would just end up fighting and not get any work done. Seems if I ask her to rake leaves she’ll find holes to dig….or if I ask her to help me weed the flower beds she will run off to chase butterflies.”Maryanne’s hands buoyantly expressed her point.
“I am free Monday morning,”offered Gerty. Business was usually quiet on Mondays and Tuesdays so she tried to get landscaping jobs done then.
“Thank you, I appreciate it.” Maryanne was grateful Gerty agreed to help her. She left feeling somewhat appeased after dealing with Annemarie’s outburst.
Gerty once again noted the time. Both brothers would be at the shop by now. Hopefully he would stop by during lunch break.
While Gerty’s life was grounded in a life of toil, her next customer believed herself too pretty for work. Nobody had ever argued her out of this view either.
“Time to spruce up my front patio” Gloria announced as she breezed in. “What do you have that is ‘on trend’.”
Gerty looked behind Gloria for an entourage…..Nobody followed ‘hmph’ Gerty thought it was odd that Gloria would not have brought helpers to carry out this task for her. She wasn’t sure what Gloria was on about with ‘on trend’, she grew flowers this year just the same as she did every year.
Gloria critiqued a flowering pot Gerty had for sale. “This was more ‘on trend ‘ last year. Shabby chic is on the way out.”
Gerty bristled at that comment,’ what did she mean shabby.’
“What do you have that is a little more cutting edge?”Gloria asked again. She was starting to get on Gerty’s nerves.
Gerty looked to her tool bench.’Lots of cutting edge over there…’ She thought to herself but said nothing……
“How about you knock 10% off this tea cup planter and I will take this off your hands.” in Gloria’s own way she felt she was doing a favour.
Gerty agreed. If for nothing else to get her out quicker. It was no accident Gloria had as much money as she did. She knew how to hang on to it.
“I need retail therapy today. My dresser set was suppose to be ready yesterday afternoon. When I arrived for pre-delivery inspection, I was appalled. Absolutely appalled by the shoddy workmanship! And at that Alfred’s nerve at demanding his money! His nerve!” Gloria’s eye’s blazed. She even stomped her foot a little.
“I said to Alfred, this is not suitable! I expected a price adjustment for my inconvenience and I told Alfred I would be back to see if it meets MY standards Thursday morning!” Gloria ranted. This did not leave Gerty any confidence in getting her money today. She moved in to grab the flowering cup for Gloria.
Gloria asked Gerty to stop by and help her ‘tweak her garden’. Gerty knew that meant she was asking her for a full landscape job. Gloria hands and soil did not mix. Gerty also knew Gloria’s exacting standards meant she would be sweating for every cent that Gloria was willing to pay her.
When the morning activity slowed she took the opportunity to rake the dirt floor smooth…….Still no Zachary and no money. She did have a better idea why she had not seen him as he had promised.
‘You were fool enough to trust him…..” Gerty thought she heard someone from the back of the nursery say.
What did you say?”Gerty called back. “Did someone say something?”
No answer. Gerty decided she imagined it. In this case she conceded, her imagination was right.
Later, she would close up early to stop by the workshop in order to collect the money from Zachary. It was no secret how high maintenance Gloria could be. That, however, did not change the fact that Gerty needed that money before tomorrow and she aimed to collect it!