It's May now, and rainy weather turns to sunny weather.
The neighbor's yard is looking good. The Sordino yard is not.
It's Saturday, so Mom is at Effert's and Dad is snoozing.
Melinda spends an hour raking years of leaves out from under their bushes. She has uncovered little plant shoots, eager now to meet the sun.
Dad comes out and talks to Melinda, but she doesn't say anything. He seems pleased with the work she's done, and he starts listing other things he needs to take care of around the house. Melinda's afraid she's created a monster.
Dad invites Melinda to go to the hardware store with him. Melinda imagines the crowded, bright, noisy hardware store on a Saturday morning and declines.
Before Dad leaves, Melinda clears her throat and asks Dad to pick up some flower seeds for her.