I dedicate this post to Jo Ann, who just by the simple act of commenting on my blog, asking about growing Simpson Lettuce, got me jump started again. (She left her comment on the previous post. Jo Ann, check this link.)
Amazing how little it takes. Of course my friend Francis has been sending me his special brand of healing energy too, which is called The Reconnection. So thanks, once again to friends I know and ones I don't know yet.. I thought my alley grazing and blogging were history. Turned out I was wrong
There is no way to calculate the way my Mom's death gut punched me into paralysis. I kept going to work but I didn't really care what happened. When a key person ceases to be in the familiar house, by the familiar phone where you can see her, call her... trade stories, annoy and amuse each other, it is like somebody moved the furniture around in my brain. I keep bumping into things. So now that my Mom is not in her house doing her thing, she seems to zoom around, showing up here, not where I can see her, just bringing the joy and deeply familiar feeling of connection. My friend Barb thinks she is living vicariously through me, getting to do things she would never do.
I even started alley grazing again. Some yellow chrysanthemums for a bouquet, ground picked plums from the alley behind my house. Some great apples along the bike path behind Super 1. Yum. Do you realize this town is covered with walnut trees, two different kinds? I never notice until fall, when the fruit looks like a deviant avocado. Not quite ready yet.
Of course this time of year is also a feast for the eyes with show stopping colors. And rainbows. I hope you all caught the rainbows last week during the peek a boo rain and sun.
Speaking of the leaf colors, my friends and I went to Hot Springs to soak at Rose's outdoor pool on two consecutive weekends. There is a mid size ornamental cherry tree (possibly a purple leaf sand cherry) that guards the pool. I have the exact tree in my front yard though mine looks like a dwarf next to Rose's. The leaves were vibrant, several shades from crimson to mauve in a dense canopy. Enough were sailing into the pool that I could scoop them out in handfuls.
A week later, that dense foliage had thinned to half. The remaining leaves like a transparent shirt, were revealing the tree's winter silouette of branches and twigs. In six days, the Purple Leaf Sand Plum's juicy leaves were transformed into paper shreds the color of leather, hanging on for dear life.
Two mornings ago, in Riverside Park, the wind had whipped up the waves on the river so that they appeared to be dashing along the concrete wall like writhing snakes, or a whiplash that exploded into the shore wall.
My dog Sam went totally bananas (technical term) when he saw that. He raced the uncoiling wave as it barreled along the lip of the wall. When the wave unloaded, like crack the whip, froth roiled up over the wall, and he got a faceful, which just made him redouble his efforts. I wish you could have seen it; in the predawn stillness, a blasting north wind, standing waves, and my dog zinging along the river edge, barking his head off.
I doubt if he has ever had the opportunity to chase sheep or cattle as his breeding dictates, but he can put the fear of God in seagulls, cats, cabbage moths, yellow jackets, elk, deer, squirrels, and the occasional cargo van or tractor trailer. There is also a terrible story about his previous owner, before I got him, adopting him out to a ranch. The ranch wife was doing dishes, looking out the kitchen window when she saw their horse galloping along with Sam at the end of his tail like a flag. Needless to say, he was returned to his former owner that day. Lucky for me. He was kind of a maniac until Karen Duty's doggie manners class tuned him up, or I should say, tuned up the dog owner.
But this 'wave runner' frenzy might have been his most inspired, Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler moment, barreling along the shoreline at Riverside Park, herding waves.