Small gifts
Thursday September 23rd 2021, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Garden,Life

Wednesday is my tree watering day.

My last Indian Free peach fell into its protective clam shell about two weeks ago and I thought oh okay that one’s definitely ripe. I searched through the leaves and found no more, and figured, well, if there is one, the squirrels and jays will find it.

My routine has changed from four minutes per tree with the hose–you get deeper watering than you do with a drip system, I’m told, so I do–to three last year, to two this year plus an extra minute the next week if I see leaves going yellow, which a few have done. Maybe this winter we’ll get more rain.

It was nearly sunset by the time I got to the Indian Free, the late-season peach I’d planted so it would grow over the fence towards the neighbors where the wife has dementia to give her a place of fruit and restfulness and her husband a break. Earlier in her disease she had wished for there to be one that grew over to them so I’d bought another tree and made it happen.

Standing underneath it and looking up I couldn’t believe it. I ran inside to get my phone for the camera, came back outside, couldn’t find it–oh there it is!

I tried. I debated seeing if Richard could reach it, and then simply ran for the fruit picker.

It fell gently right into it. It was quite small, but it smelled like only a fresh-picked peach can.

Now, that particular variety isn’t supposed to get leaf curl disease but the tree nearest it did this past spring and it got a mild case, too. I had read that it not only damages the leaves, it can ruin the fruit.

Every peach from that tree but one this year, no matter how ripe it smelled or looked, was brown and starting to rot around the pit. We had our biggest, least-squirreled crop, except, we didn’t, and I was glad Andy’s farm was still here if I couldn’t enjoy my own.

So.

The day after offering Jim and his wife (not the dementia patient) peaches from Andy’s and hearing back that they had plenty, thanks, hours after the surprise at suddenly losing Jim, against all odds and long after the tree was supposedly done for the year–holding that hose and suddenly looking up, there was this one small, perfect little peach. From above and then into my surprised hands.

It felt like a gift from Jim, and I could just feel him smiling.

I want to share it with her. I’m afraid the center will be a disappointment, and I can disappoint me but I sure can’t do that to her right now.

She had told me they had enough for now. She’d had no idea what the morrow would bring.

Maybe the story will be comfort enough. Maybe I should take it to her and risk it. I just don’t know.

I put it in the fridge. It’s still there.



Jim
Wednesday September 22nd 2021, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

When we moved in with small children not yet in school, theirs were in college and graduated. We were the first young family in a generation in almost the entire square block and they delighted in being the adopted grandparents.

Saturday they and several other couples were to be honored for their longtime humanitarian works and service to the community. We’d gotten an invite a month ago–although a card came in the mail last week saying that due to Delta, it was to be held by Zoom now. I read that and thought, that’s much safer for the elderly, good call.

Habitat for Humanity, I knew about, quite a few other things they’d done I didn’t until there they were on the town paper’s front page last Friday. I quietly saved my copy for their kids.

This morning, shortly after the weekly trash and recycling crews came through, there were a fire engine and two cop cars, lights flashing, one car blocking our end of the street for quite some time.

With people working from home, the bins put out to the curb Tuesday night are usually all back out of sight at house after house by about 9:00 the next morning.

Not this time.

I think there was this shared sense of letting people be, of not intruding in their space even visually much less with the noise of moving those bins, and certainly not while those emergency vehicles were there. Absolutely nobody needs a gawker in their worst moments.

Yesterday, thinking of them and how much they’d enjoyed them in the past I emailed an offer of some peaches from Andy’s Orchard. I got back a nice, Thank you, but we have peaches.

Late this afternoon there was a second note: she needed me to know Jim had died this morning.

There was nothing for me to do, she said, just, she’d needed me to know. Loved ones were gathering, but not for the reason they’d planned.

I stepped outside to get the mail and saw their son’s car in the driveway. He must have dropped everything and booked it.

I’m so glad he’s with her.



The plane people
Sunday September 19th 2021, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

Today, it turns out, was the day David was giving a talk in our ward. The mask resister guy. I got a quick heads-up early this morning and so we stayed home and watched by Zoom.

This time he was fully on board with wearing one and wearing it correctly, other than when he took it off to speak. Maybe it helped that his parents were visiting and in the audience and in their 80s, but whatever, all my hopes for him to prove to be a good man and worthy of the bishop’s longtime friendship were fully realized as he spoke. It was such a relief.

He talked about living in New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy, and of the goodness of their neighbors who’d helped them out when they’d had no power for eight days and had been flooded out.

About people looking out for the kids of those who lost parents on 9/11.

My sister-in-law was a schoolteacher in that state on that day and many of her kids lost one or both. Her school was put on information lockdown from above: no TVs on, no radio, no kids were to be told anything until the end of the school day, when the ones whose parents worked at the World Trade Centers were to be gathered and told then. They were trying to give the kids one last normal school day in their lives. My SIL had issues with not informing them when they had a right to know.

I wondered if she and he knew anyone in common.

He talked about all kinds of ways people come together and how much it means and how important it is to each of us to actively be a part of that, and also to be willing to receive that goodwill and effort from each other.

He did make one mention in an aside of the pandemic’s passing (Delta? Hello?) that had me rolling my eyes: he’s still got some perseveration on his favorite blind spot, but the rest of his talk had me forgiving him and so very grateful and relieved to be able to get to see this other side of him. I’d so wanted him to be like this in the rest of his life.

And I wanted more of how that felt. So this afternoon I curled up with my newly arrived, updated copy of “The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland.” The author, Jim DeFede, interviewed the townsfolk and the passengers at length in the months after that day and then simply told their stories.

I’m hoping I’ll find an epilogue saying that that cute couple that met there among the thousands of stranded passengers got married, but we’ll see. (No spoilers!)

A book about people being their best to each other in the worst of circumstances.

That couple met because one new friend said to another woman who was the only single in their immediate group, We need to set you up with someone. She stood up, pointed to another plane person dining across the room, made lasso motions at him because she was from Texas so of course she did and told him and her new friend to introduce themselves to each other.

So of course they did. And of course yes he did turn out to be single, too.

So far it’s working out really well! Okay, back to my book.

And the young girl from the town who was staring at probably the only black woman she’d ever seen in her life, to the woman’s serious discomfort. The girl’s mom told her to go ahead, so she did: she went up to the woman and blew her away by asking in great hope, Can I have your autograph?

Making her feel like she was the most special person in the room and looked up to rather than the so out of place foreigner she’d been feeling like up to that second.

So many people who went so out of their way for complete strangers–that’s a very healing book. Thank you, Canada. I highly recommend it.



Maxwell’s smart
Monday September 13th 2021, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Garden

Note to self: Saturday is when I planted the four Rainier cherry pits a friend’s kid had saved for me because they were so good, along with two of my five Anya kernels. Yes that’s out of season, but they had chilled long enough to stratify and I think I needed to make a declaration of hope towards the future against the twentieth anniversary of 9/11–and I so want to be able to give that twelve-year-old a cherry seedling of his own in thanks for his wishing I could have cherries that good all the time.

There’s also a possibility that his family will move away in the next year, so I knew I needed to hurry. They’re the ones who polished off my favorite apricots at my request because we were leaving town to see grandkids for the week, and they saved the kernels so I could plant some more.

But those cherries from Andy’s farm! He had to save their pits for me, too, even if his mom wasn’t so sure–and so it was just the four.

Coming winter light levels are why I only experimented with two apricots to see if I could get a jump in growth on next year, but the cherries? Every one.

I have this secret ingredient for after the Root Riot plugs help them sprout…

I mentioned to Michelle that the Anya apricot grown in lobster compost from Maine totally skunked the other seedlings in height and growth after I’d tried different soil types. Five and a half inches (oh but it tried), 24″, and then 43″ for the Maine event. Such a stunning result.

My child for whom evolutionary biology was her favorite undergrad class cocked her head a bit, looked me in the eye, and cracked, I *assure* you they did not evolve in the same environment! (Wikipedia link to the Fergana Valley along the Silk Road.)

Well, no. But it just goes to prove that everything goes better when you’re serving lobster. The stone fruits are just the cherries on top.



Just the right colors
Sunday September 12th 2021, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

The teacher in Relief Society asked, How has some small act of kindness made a difference to you?

Heather raised her hand and said, When we were changing the ward boundaries, it was a two year process and there was a lot of feedback and pushback from people who didn’t want any changes, because who does. But it had to happen.

I nodded, remembering that time a few years ago: one ward using the building had had a lot of people move out and was sparsely populated. The other one, situated where the housing was cheaper (that would be ours) had way more people than could fit in there comfortably and they just plain needed to be balanced out, along with the others in the stake. I didn’t know that she had been one of the ones having to deal with it. All I knew about her was that I’d once asked her after a biannual stake meeting where she’d been one of the speakers if by wild chance with that unusual last name she was related to one of my husband’s old college professors.

She was stunned. She was thrilled. She sought him out, badly needing to talk to him: her dad had been diagnosed with cancer two years after we’d moved away and had died of it fairly quickly, and since she’d moved to California and that had been something like thirty years now, she needed to know someone here who had known him, someone she could talk to about her father. She missed him so much. It was a great comfort to her, and I can’t tell you how glad I was that I’d asked.

Richard had had no idea his memorable old professor was gone.

So here we are a few years later and she blew me away by saying, And I was one of the people who had to do that change to a new-to-me ward. And I wasn’t sure how (basically, how she would be received.)

And then here comes Alison on my very first day here and she’s giving me a hand knit cowl to welcome me. (Me, thinking: I did? Yeah, sounds like me.) Heather described the multiple colors and how much they were her favorites, and at that point I remembered thinking that this matches what she’s wearing–it’s definitely for her.

Heather: And she knit a scarf for every woman in the ward!

I was suddenly doing a little bit of a cringe there, because well yes I did but it took me almost two years and then so many new people moved in at the end of one summer–it’s a college town, after all–that, being in the middle of a baby blanket project and then another, I felt like I could never catch up and gave it up. Plus by that point I was so, so bored of making cowls.

My wanting to is starting to come back to me now, though, and I think it was seeing the one in my hands and needles before the meeting started that sparked her memory of that winter-friendly warmth on this hot day.

She showed me a picture of the baby hat she’s knitting for one of her colleagues who’s expecting and a sweater she’s looking forward to finishing before the weather turns.

She’s one of ours. But then I found that out the day I gave her her cowl.



Lopard print
Tuesday September 07th 2021, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Friends,History

It’s a weird day when you lose a battle of strength with an iris leaf.

I have special skills like that.

I was walking away from the apple tree and didn’t realize fast enough that I’d caught my foot at the edge of the iris patch and that an unknown number of leaves–possibly even just one–had wrapped around my ankle and it was not giving way, no sir.

My brain flashed the warning from my doctor: hand bones heal faster than hips. I stopped trying to twist around to see what that was that was doing that and put my hands out front and center as I fell.

So as I try to ice all the everythings, with my brain acting a little sleepy and me telling it shut up and quit complaining that was nothing and you know it brain, let me just type real fast what a friend with an interest in linguistics made me laugh over: in the 16th century, Meg says, everybody in Europe knew what a giraffe was. France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, they all had close to the same word for it, essentially the Arabic word with the z changed to a g plus whatever word ending suited.

Except England.

Because come on. EVERYBODY knows those are, as they spelled it, Camelopards. What else could they be?!



C’mon, guy, it’s just not this hard to understand
Sunday September 05th 2021, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

That guy again. From the stake. The one who’s been openly contemptuous of the mask requirement. The one that I have to work so hard at forgiving while he keeps on doing what he needs to be forgiven for. He always has one on now because legally he has to, not to mention the very President of the Church has said to do so as well as the County, but it doesn’t do his chin much good.

He was going to be helping the young men in our ward with the Sacrament. They wore masks and gloves and I knew would be carrying around an extra tray: each small torn piece of bread was to be distributed in its own tiny paper cup rather than piled up in a heap so that no hands touched anybody else’s; each paper cup went into the second tray when done. No mingling. Same with the water in those tiny cups. Two trays, no cross contamination. What you take, only you have touched.

Even if one visiting adult thought this was overwrought nonsense.

I said quietly to Richard before the meeting as it hit me, “It’s September! They said he was going to give a talk in September, and they were going to warn me so I could stay home and watch on Zoom.” And then it hit me further that, wait?!–it was Fast Sunday. There were no set speakers. Huh.

I am guessing he must have heard me because he yanked his mask up over his nose for the few steps that he was walking past us, eyes straight ahead. Well, I’m glad he was willing to do that, at least. There is hope yet.

And then clearly it came right back down again. The bishop, who had just sat down on the stand, stood up and hurried past us.

And texted me an apologetic note: he was surprised, too, or he would have notified me per my request. He told me he’d asked the councilman to keep his mask fully on and that he was now doing so.

I would say, having that gentle of a soul (our bishop truly is) make a request of you when you know that renowned virologist will then be able to look you in the eye throughout the meeting to come has to have been the most benign earned comeuppance ever.

Maybe he’ll learn yet.



Roberts dissented
Wednesday September 01st 2021, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Life,Politics

Texas passed the intended death of Roe v. Wade and Trump’s appointees allowed it to stand today. Meaning it is now in effect, arguments and lawsuits to come or not, and every woman there who might ever need an abortion for any reason must have it done no more than two weeks after her period is late. And if you drive her to another state for it even a day later, anyone can sue you and collect a bounty.

And then there’s Katy.

Katy is a friend of mine of 34 years whose second, much-wanted, much-anticipated pregnancy years ago turned into a molar pregnancy: meaning, it stopped developing into a baby at all and started growing wildly, randomly, and at the speed of fetal cells was rapidly turning into what was going to be a cancer taking over her body. Her blood pressure skyrocketed.

She spent sixteen days in a coma. Having been a professional flutist, she had to relearn how to play. She had to relearn a lot of things. She had a major seizure as she was finally coming to, so she spent years on seizure meds, and that medical history in this state means being unable to drive. When they finally eased her off them many years later there was a risk of sparking another grand mal. But she lucked out and she finally got to feel like herself again.

She was devastated at losing the pregnancy but the doctors told her it had no longer been one and they had had no choice but to remove it to save her life–it had been a very very near thing as it was. It was not and could not ever have become a baby.

And now under the charming Governor Abbott and his collaborators, anyone, anyone at all, would have the right to violate HIPAA over the medical history of someone they don’t even know and to collect $10,000 from Katy’s husband for driving her to the hospital to save her life. Because, technically, since that mess was in her womb that was an abortion.

Had he not, their oldest would have grown up without his mom.

Had he not, the two children who came along later, giving great comfort to both of them, would never have come to be and let me tell you, the world would have been a lesser place without those great kids and their mom.

Biology is messy. Life is imperfect. You have to allow people to make choices you disagree with–and I am no great fan of abortion, let me be clear–in order to save those choices for those who would die without the right to make them.

To the men in Texas who think requiring a face mask is a violation of one’s rights but dictating medical and lifetime outcomes to women is not, we have a Constitution that protects all religions from the adherents of any other one, and as I understand it, under Jewish law, the life and health of the mother come first. And–here I’m less sure of myself, please correct me if I’m wrong–the spirit is thought to enter the body at the first breath of life. Before that it’s just parental happy anticipation.

Texas’s law cannot stand. It must not. The only thing it accomplishes is punishing women and those who love them for the sake of the political aspirations of a few men who don’t give a damn about anybody but themselves. They are the biblical Pharisees passing by on the other side of the road from the wounded, punishing any Good Samaritan in sight.



Post-op get-well basket
Sunday August 29th 2021, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends

The elementary-school-age son of friends had had to have his appendix out, they told us; he was home now.

This is the family I gave Anya apricots to just before we left town to see the Washington grands and they’d carefully saved all the seeds for me. At the insistence of one of the boys, the pits from the rare-variety cherries he’d eaten, too. I was charmed and quietly told the parents that when the dad finishes his PhD I’m hoping to send them off into the world with a potted cherry tree grown from their son’s thoughtful gesture.

I couldn’t make their younger son’s stitches heal faster but I know they love a good fruit, so I could at least distract him a bit. I offered peaches bought yesterday at Andy’s; they said, Yes please!

I put just a couple from my tree in there with them. I confess the ones I’d tasted so far were drops (so many drops) and they weren’t great, but I figure when it falls off the tree into your hands as you walk by then it’s pretty much trying to claim it’s as ripe as it’s going to get and I hoped those would live up to my memory of them. It’s been so dry and the smoke blocks the UV and interferes with the sweetening of the fruit.

Walking up the stairs to their apartment, box in one hand, cane in the other, I watched in dismay as an Andy’s slipped out and bounced down to a story below. I pointed that one out as needing to be eaten first.

They’d once brought over their orange Flemish Giant for us to pet, the easiest-going rabbit you could ever hope to meet. And big!

I did not know they had two bunnies. Nor had I ever heard of a Lionhead. It looked just like the cute little gray fluffball at the top of that page, with A. explaining that she’d just clipped its fur around its forehead so it could see. It was adorable.

It was willing to let me pet it for a little while but only a little while and it was not willing to accept a walnut from me yet. I was a stranger. It was going to take more than one in-person time. It did not believe in instantly trusting all big things like its housemate, and that’s okay.

As we adults were talking, the younger son slipped away to the other room, reappearing a few times with a bounce (man, I never looked that good after surgery. Kids are amazing. But he’s too young for the covid vaccines and I kept my mask on.) The twelve-year-old stuck around a bit longer.

I said something to him about my Indian Free peaches not comparing to Andy’s and he looked at me steadily, munching away on one of mine, and pronounced, “It’s better.”

I don’t know if he was being sweet or if he just lucked out on a really good one but he most certainly made my day.



Raptor for Ronna
Friday August 20th 2021, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life,Wildlife

I posted yesterday before dinner, early for me.

About an hour later I got the news.

Ronna and her husband moved into town when Luke was a small child, and she was one of those people who is always looking out for everybody around her. Their family grew during the years they lived here and we hoped we would get to see their kids grow up.

But when the rent on their house hit close to four times our mortgage a few years ago, her husband took a job in Fresno and they moved to where they could buy their own house for the first time.

Eventually, he changed jobs again and they moved back. Sort of. Over near the beach about an hour away, and I wanted to figure out how to get together and catch up and see her kids bigger and all that–but for the pandemic.

Meantime, she’d taken up running.

Last I heard she was training for the big one, the Boston Marathon.

Two days ago, Luke was not just getting taller in pictures on Facebook, she was driving him to Utah for college; her folks live near there and she was going to get a visit in with them while getting him settled in for his freshman year.

Thirty minutes from arrival they were hit head-on by a drunk driver and rear-ended. By the injuries, it looks like she swerved hard to avoid the drunk, sparing Luke most of it and taking the brunt herself; he broke his shoulder. But they both lived. I have no idea about the drunk.

She has a long, long road ahead of her and the surgeries to try to save her leg have begun.

There are the covid restrictions on visitors.

Her brother works in the trauma hospital she was taken to, as do other people she knows.

Her sister-in-law’s brother was the first cop to arrive at the scene.

There is so much love surrounding her and her son right now, and someday when she comes home, man, we are going to celebrate!

I had wondered who I had bought this blank card for last year and why but in the moment I needed it it was perfect.

And then today, while thinking about Ronna and all she and her family are having to go through, and if anybody could handle it it would be her, but man–

–I happened to look up.

There was a Cooper’s hawk on the fence.

The nearest two tall trees they nested in are gone now and with an outbreak they’ve asked people not to keep their birdfeeders up. I hadn’t seen a Cooper’s but once in a quick pass-through in a year–but there it was, perched on the fence, then walking down it half the length of the yard, turning, pacing back, the late sun shining brilliantly against its long yellow legs.

When life is at its hardest and most intense, somehow, that’s when they come.

It stopped looking around for small birds and faced the sun, giving me a good look that it was an adult Cooper’s, and just chilled a moment there.

It let me move a few feet to my chair and my phone without being the least bit bothered by it. We took each other in.

I just let love for it, for thanks for the moment, for love for nature, just completely wash over me and out from me towards it. So grateful.

It fluffed its feathers out like it was glad to be home as I snapped pictures like old times, and stayed with me until it was done.



Life above stuff
Wednesday August 18th 2021, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

Yellow shadows from the windows, yellowed outside. So strange and by now so familiar. Reports that the fire near South Tahoe had burst ten-fold overnight.

I knew how lucky we have it–in places closer to the flames it’s all orange. All we have to deal with is the breathing.

My dyer friend Lisa Souza and her husband had had a pre-planned go bag ready by the door and today they were out of there. I try to imagine, if I had to put my whole life into our little car, what would I take? I can’t fathom it. But they had family they could go to and that is no small comfort.

I met her years ago with her yarns on display and her wheel steadily, peacefully whir whirring away inside a fairy ring of redwoods at Kings Mountain Art Fair and I knew I wanted to learn how to do that, too, and did.

She told me later, her colorway–I want to say Sky Drama? The colors of radiant blue sky and brightest sunrise–was a new thing and not her usual and she wasn’t sure her customers would like it until I showed up, exclaimed in delight, and made a beeline right for it and happily took it home. Well then.

So she dyed up more and it sold very well.

When her husband retired, they sold their house in the Bay Area and moved into the foothills where they had a small cottage built next to the house where they could take care of her mother. When her mother passed, Lisa’s dye work and shop moved in there.

I can only hold my breath and hope it’s all still in place when they come home. And that they can. And that so many others can.

Update: they’ve just arrested a woman they believe to have been the arsonist.



Sequoias
Wednesday August 11th 2021, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

This looks really cool. Let’s all go climb a redwood!

This is also looks like a nope nope nope nope nope. Note those protective horizontal lines: they don’t go down to each step, rather, they’re assuming you don’t stumble, slip, and fall through those large gaps.

A friend of mine grew up in rural Humboldt County among the redwoods, and–stop me if you’ve heard this one before.



You play the hand you’re Delta
Saturday July 31st 2021, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden,Life

(Three feet.)

I drove through smoky skies yesterday, so much so that approaching the airport I could barely see the plane in the air much less make out whose it was by the coloring. When the sun glinted off it was when I was sure it was there.

At about that point on the way home, I was suddenly sneezing. This is not something you want to do at freeway speed and I got in the far right lane and tried to keep it as suppressed as possible, but it was one after another after another. I got home, got inside, it calmed down–and then my nose suddenly gushed.

For hours.

I just didn’t get it. I was perfectly healthy at noon.

By the time I went to bed it was just a bit of sniffle, so, yay for that, at least.

In the morning I was still stuffed up and so I reluctantly called dear friends whom we were going to be celebrating a birthday with tonight and bowed out. I was quite sorry but you never know. It was just not worth the risk nor the worry. Richard got to go, he’s fine, and Phyl got her peaches, at least.

Was it the smoke? Was it something that had been in someone’s house whose ashes made my lungs go nuts? Was I actually exposed to covid and had a short cloudburst of it? I’ll never know, but I’m almost over it already. Which makes me think it was either the smoke or my immune system yelling, Hey, I know you, get out of here! Because colds don’t do one-day stands.

I’m still going to do Zoom church in the morning. Friends don’t put friends at risk.



From Kat with love
Sunday July 25th 2021, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

My doorbell rang this afternoon, and when I opened it I stood there speechless.

If you remember when we and our neighbors finally got the city’s permission to cut down their redwood that had grown onto our property and after raising our shed a foot was threatening our foundation? The city finally caved after Chris, our longtime arborist, told them there was no question it had to go.

It was a massive all-day job, with a crane and several trucks involved.

Redwood is valuable, so I was dumbfounded when they started feeding it into the chipper–had I known, I would have looked up someone, anyone, to be ready to take it.

With that sound to go with the sight of the disappearing towering tree, the neighbor from behind, an old friend, walked over to bear witness to its leaving us and then another from down the street came, too. I said ‘him’ on Facebook, but checking my old blog post it was actually Kat who asked: her husband would love to work with that, would they be willing to save that last big bottom section for them? (It was too late on the rest.)

The crew was relieved and gratified at knowing someone would actually use the best of this and told her, Sure! It was loaded in two pieces onto a large dump truck and I never did see how they got them going lengthwise across her front yard–did they move the crane, too? But they got them there.

And there those big logs sat for a year, to cure, I’m guessing?

And then gradually one started getting shorter.

Then months later the other one was gone, with little sawdust piles left behind.

There was a new border to their garden. They added to their fence. And as far as I knew, that was that.

So here was Kat: holding out a two-foot slice of that tree, prepared, polished, and with a turquoise river running through where the wood had split, a thank you for sharing the tree and a memorial of it for us.

She had wanted me to have that for a long time and at last it was done. She didn’t know–she’d almost put hooks into it so we could hang it, and would be happy to, or maybe we’d want to make it into a coffee table…?

I didn’t notice her signature till later–alongside a rendition of that tree as it had been, with its base about seven feet across and with the boughs reaching towards our house to the right, becoming one with the wind.

I was speechless. I was emotional. I had badly wanted something from that redwood but I would never in a million years have asked, and I was completely blown away and couldn’t keep the catch out of my voice.

Which was exactly the reaction that matched the work and effort and goodwill she’d put into it and made it all worthwhile, and wow. We will treasure this the rest of our lives. We will treasure her the rest of our lives.

Table, now that I’ve had a few hours to think about it. Definitely. I have no idea how, but, table.



Red orange, purple white purple yellow orange
Friday July 23rd 2021, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Life

We ran out.

I checked before I left, and yes, please, she’d always, always love a case from there.

And so I came home from Andy’s with a big box of peaches for her family and one for us.

But when I went to deliver theirs she had a particular thank-you in mind: Satsuma plums from her tree, an orange zucchini, a yellow cucumber, a purple onion, white eggplants, all from her garden.

There’s got to be a colorway in merino out there to match.

I exclaimed over the bounty; she said well I’d driven all the way down there and back, and we both came away feeling like we got the better end of the deal. But best of all: we’d had a chance to connect and say thank you.

Thank you Andy for that.