Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Laughing in the rain

I was wearing my souvenir T-shirt from Oregon.

"Nice shirt," the clerk said as I walked up to the counter.

"Thank you," I said, just as a deeper, male voice behind me said, "Thank you."

"Oh, yours is nice, too," she said, flustered.

I turned around to find a rather muscular young man wearing a U.S. Army T-shirt. I grinned.

"Looks like we're both wearing shirts that show where we've been," I chuckled.

He grinned.

"But I bet I had more fun," I added as the clerk sacked up my purchase.

We all laughed.

"I hear it's beautiful," he called as I turned away.

"It is," I called back. "Hope you can make it a destination sometime."


It's been a funny spring. We've never, ever planted in early March. I waited till almost April, but sure enough, neighbors and friends already have squash, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, spinach--some have green beans flowering. In May!

The fruit trees are loaded. Peaches missed that last, late spring freeze that sometimes comes. Right now, we are in abundance. Just got another inch of rain over the weekend, though it's slowing down. Although I watered, the pecan tree in my back yard lost its crown this year. Foliage only on the lower branches, so it will come down. We are still sawing down the trees that died last summer and will lose more, the experts tell us. My sweet gum lost several branches on the west side but is regenerating branches.

It may be as hot this summer as last, though it is doubtful. The water makes all the difference. There was almost no local produce last summer. The town Farmer's Market had packed up by July because the heat and lack of rain burned everything. Produce we did have came from hundreds of miles away. Priced correspondingly. In the fall, we had some, but in a miserably hot summer, we had no bounty, no juice. We didn't really suffer physically. We had enough. Just no bounty. No extra gifts of the fruits of summer. It wore on us.

Townships around here are still regulating water usage. We need to. We have to.

I've gotten my first cherry tomatoes with three other bushes, all different varieties, making fruit. I've planted Anaheim and New Mexico chiles. Parsley, sweet basil, Thai basil, oregano. It is a fine start. This year, I've been fascinated with the varieties of basil. I could plant a whole garden of nothing but basil if I wanted.

I caught Gracie in the middle of the raised bed this morning, despite the fence. I knew she could jump it; I just thought it would inconvenience her, which it does. "Gracie!" I hollered. She waited a sweet, 'you're not the boss of me' moment, and jumped out, hurrying across the yard. She knew. Tsk, tsk.

We've had mostly a kind of Oregon summer--warm for Oregon, with lows in the low 60s, highs in the 80s. Soon we will get to the Texas summer. Here it comes.

Parts of Texas are still subject to wildfires. We won't forget so soon. Some caution will stay in place.

But my granddaughter's strawberry patch is producing berries, and I hear the blueberries are making this year. A friend offered me some of her tiny but sweet plums yesterday.

It's shaping up to be a fine summer.

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