“That’s it for the porch supports,” said Sowbug. “All checked, all but one in all the houses are in fine shape, and the problems with the porch on the back house have been fixed. I can deal with that last support tomorrow. It’s not in bad shape.”
“Sounds good,” said Lois. “Dandelion and I have completed roof checks and we’ve found no leaks or broken spots. I don’t think that we’ll need new roofing on any of the buildings for a couple of years.”
“All foundations have been checked,” said Earthworm. “No cracks or poor drainage found. Sorrel spotted a place which we thought might develop a problem and patched it prophylactically.”
“Hey, has anyone seen Sal or Dan recently?” Mo asked.
“I’ve seen them both at dinner,” Sorrel said. “I’ve also heard rumors that Dan has been sighted in the stands. Under the zucchini I think.”
“Yeah, I don’t think anyone knows what Sal is up to these days,” Dandelion said. “I’m sorry. I like both of them but I think we’ve done better without them.”
Sowbug sighed. “I think that you’re right. But what do we do now? We seem to have run out of maintenance projects.”
“Yeah,” said Earthworm. “I think that we’ve fixed everything that needed to be fixed. So, now what?”
“Don’t worry,” said Lois. “I think that we’ll be getting more work soon.”
“What do you mean?” asked Dandelion.
“Remember when we all agreed at the commune meeting that we’d get two new ovens?” Lois said. “I think that we’re the ones that are going to need to figure out where to put them.”
The next day, in the kitchen, the crew was trying to stay out of the way of the cooks and bakers while checking out the structural situation.
“Alright,” said Dandelion as Darren ran by, “I have no idea where we’re going to put two ovens in this crowded kitchen.”
“I think it’s obvious,” said Lois as she avoided bumping Zelda. “We need to expand this kitchen. Build it out.”
“Build it out where?” asked Earthworm, who took a moment to sniff a pie that Nancy was carrying by. “There’s nowhere to build it to. This kitchen is completely surrounded by other rooms.”
Mo moved herself around Candy who was trying out a new cookie recipe. “What about the back hallway? We could extend it and then build an annex outside the house.”
“That sounds do-able,” said Sorrel as she walked past Will who was taking a load of loaves over to the bakery stand. “But we should get working on it right away. The new ovens will be here in a couple of days.”
Sowbug looked around the room and spent a moment watching Marge organize dinner before saying, “I think we can find someplace to store the ovens while we work on building the annex. I suggest we plan to start on the construction first thing tomorrow. Right now I can’t really think about it.”
“Why?” asked Earthworm as Darren barely avoided a disastrous collision with Lois. “Is something wrong?”
“No,” said Sowbug, surveying the situation and sniffing the air. “For some reason all I can think about right now is food.”