Oddments

In search of story


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August 22.19

Breathes there the gardener with soul so dead

who never to a friend has said,

“I grew these glorious slices of red!”

 

I’ve been gone, dear reader. Time travel. My dear old high school friends, Donna and Bill, have been visiting, and we had our own private tomato fest. Tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, served with a heaping helping of boast: I GREW THESE! I believe this is my third gardening year not killing tomatoes, and I’ve not one shred of modesty about them.

The tomatoes were highly seasoned with reminiscing, laughing, and reflecting. To be with friends we’ve known since high school is a real privilege at this age, and rightly savored with summer’s bounty. We returned to gardens, tomatoes, and roadside farmers’ stands of the past, as we slathered butter on the hot corn of the present.

It is fitting to pull out the old family heirloom dishes and other eating finery no matter how casual we are. Eating together is a celebration, and a pretty plate seems the only way to go. Besides, what better way to wear a tomato?

Now comes the time of catch-up. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

 

Apologies also to Sir Walter Scott.


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August 8.19

Going along usually

means we are resignedly

used to certain monotony

knowing what we’re going to see.

But the gods of serendipity

with powers deft and wizardly

bestow upon us mercifully

an occasional jolt of jollity

and make us say with energy

that of all a city’s jewelry

the best is nonconformingly

that thing with personality.

 

Thanks yet again to photographer S.W. Berg.

 


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August 4.19

Sometimes

if summer is old enough

and the leaves heavy with heat,

continuo of cicada

tricks me, and,

for so brief an instant,

I am back

in the time of bikes, grass prickles,

summer sleighbells of the ice cream man,

clothespin dolls,

clover braids,

a time when we had not yet heard of

mass shootings.

But it — that time — knew of nooses

of word and of rope.

To go back is to ask —

how could a country of lynchings

not become a country of mass shootings?

There is no perfect then.

 

 


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July 31.19

Saturday I fell. It was a lovely, slow-motion Swan-Lake-type gardener’s fall, complete with watering can, with a perfect three-point landing: one knee and two hands. Except one hand was clutching a rather full and therefore heavy watering can. My knee landed on the sidewalk, where I left a bit of my DNA.  My hands landed in the soft dirt of the garden, so that was lucky. It was the weight of the watering can that caused mischief.

It couldn’t have happened in the back yard where only the rabbit would have pointed and laughed. Nope. The front yard. I regained my composure best I could and took inventory of my person. All told, very little damage. You know, of course, that the effects were felt later. Not bad, though. Just enough to advise me not to do that again.

Then Monday the refrigerator came. Late. There were moderate problems. The delivery guys were great. So far I can’t get the drawers to work right. There is mysterious goo seeping out of a hinge.

The painters, long delayed because of our soggy spring and sorry summer, started yesterday on the exterior trim and discovered wood rot so bad that I had to call a contractor. I await his return call.

Meanwhile, the daily goes on.  Do we want to know how much time we spend on hold? Is there any way to exact revenge for those recordings? And I’m sneezing my head off. (No loss, you say?) Old age brings allergies?

So when this guy cast his red eye on me and announced himself as the bluebird of happiness I wasn’t buying it. I did, however, hand him a menu featuring hassenpfeffer.