The Power of One Writer
Back Yards, Ethiopia and Children's Books

Dallas and dirt

To be fair, those two things aren’t really linked, except in my headline.  The rain in Lawrence is making my yard smell…well…I guess I wrote it best in RAIN ROMP.  The whole world smells like dark, wet dirt. 

So I’m thinking about dirt while I pack my bags for Dallas, where I’ll be signing at a B&N in Plano at 3:00 on Sunday and a Borders in Allen at 7:00 on Sunday and at the American Girl store on Monday afternoon.

I’ve always been fond of dirt, since my dad plucked a potato from his garden in Ethiopia, rubbed most of the dirt off, and cut a slice for me with his pocket knife.  My siblings and I grew up spending most of our days outside in Maji, Ethiopia, where our parents took the attitude, “What’s a little dirt?” 

That attitude seems to have gotten passed on to our children and now grandchildren.  I have quite a collection of pictures that I’ve been sticking in my Power Point presentations to illustrate the power of lovely, compelling, to-be-celebrated…dirt.

To also be fair, it was my editor who alerted me to the fact that there’s such a thing as state dirt.   As Lanie and Aunt Hannah are digging for their first garden, Aunt Hannah asks, “Did you know that Massachusetts has a state soil to go with its state flower and state bird?”

Lanie thinks that she knows the state flower (mayflower) and state bird (black-capped chicadee) and even state reptile (garter snake).  “But a state soil?  ‘I didn’t even know soil had names,’ I said.”

Can you name the Massachusetts state soil?  Or the Texas state soil?  Or, for that matter, the Kansas state soil?


4 thoughts on “Dallas and dirt”

  1. Dear Jane,

    My good buddy, Dian (without an E) sent me a note just now telling me about your book signing over in Allen. Our daughter lives there and I’ll be in the area at a ball game watching our 14-year-old pitch on his ball team. If there is anyway possible way, I will try to be at Borders to grab your book. Congratulations on such a delightful trip waiting for you and for such a special read.

    Diane Roberts

  2. Hurray! You’re blogging.
    Dirt is lovely.
    I didn’t know there were state soils. I also like digging in the dirt. I have an urge to plant. Something. Anything. I also have an urge to weed. (Being an expat living in capital cities translates to no garden for me.)
    See you in Vermont in July, I hope.


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