By the time Toby arrived in his bib overalls with his white hair brushed and looking much more awake Jack had the round plastic covered kitchen table set with plates, glasses and the necessary hardware.
“I found a couple of baked potatoes so I made them into hash browns,” Jack announced as Toby found his chair at the table.
“Smells like you found the bacon too.”
I did,” Jack answered while scooping some scrambled eggs onto his and Toby’s plates. “Scrambled okay?”
“This is great,” and very little more was said other than pass this or pass that until most of the meal had disappeared. At this point Toby steered the conversation and started filling Jack in on how things would start the following morning and what Jack was expected to do. At one point he drew a map of the fields on a paper napkin and numbered the sections, “We’ll start here and work our way back around.” Toby talked until the napkin was just a mess of pencil lines and Jack started wondering how he would remember all these things. “But I’ll be right there,” Toby added seeing the glazed look in Jack’s eyes. “Come and walk with me,” Toby said and leaving the dishes on the table they started a walk through the blue stocks with Toby talking non-stop and Jack trying to keep up both with the information and with the pace of Toby’s steps. The day progressed and Jack knew much more about the production of grain then he would need to know in order to watch custom harvesters who already knew their jobs well. Toby talked about water cycles and pump repair and problems with rodents. Sometimes he sounded like a father giving his son last minute instructions before sending him off to college, other times the farm took the part of the child and he spoke of protection and providing needs. Jack stopped trying to remember everything and just listen to the love Toby had for his fields of grain. The middle of the day found them at the back of the barn standing in the shade of the silo.