5:30 AM. It is a struggle to get up today. The darkness outside this time of year fights my ambition. The house is cool but not cold and I wake up to stillness; no rumbling furnace. I'm thankful for that, both for a lower gas bill and for the impressive pile of gourds outside my back door. It seemed so innocent when I casually planted a handfull of seeds in the manure pile at the south border of the farm. The crop surprises me. We count nearly 90 birdhouse gourds as I snip the stem from the vines and we load them into the wagon. They need to get into the basement before they freeze. Jeanna mentions a show she watched on finishing them and I see characters emerge from the pile. They make it as far as the back door, and I take an armful downstairs every time I come in and out. I calculate how many times I will need to climb up and down to get them all stashed. Time to call in some help. I know the calendar is working against me.