I know Robert and Mary Jo because years ago, Robert was my boss at a long-gone plant nursery on the outskirts of Portland (Oregon). I only worked there one summer, and only part of that ’cause I headed back to Michigan to attend KayakWoman’s wedding to the GG, held in the sunshine on the beach near Brimley. Because I went to KW’s wedding, I missed R&MJ’s.
That fall I continued to work for Robert, planting trees on a sloping field a few miles from the nursery. That time is a blur, for the most part, but I remember working bent over in misty rain, knees embedded in soft, dark brown, slightly moist soil, hands in gloves, placing bare-root trees in their new homes.