Wednesday, July 04, 2007


This year I missed the "hoods", the best local strawberries, so didn't get to make my favorite jam. We still have a bunch of raspberry and blackberry leftover from last year. So I bought apricots and cherries and a few raspberries and made 16 jars of jam: eight cherry, and eight apricot-raspberry, which is outstanding. The cherry is bland. It was an experiment, and like anything with cherries, more effort than not. I'm learning to adjust the amount of sugar based on the tartness of the fruit. I'll bet pie cherries would make great jam. Bings, not so much.

It is Independence day, and our freedom seems artificial, the price too high for comfort. As a nation, we are whistling past the graveyard, keeping the spooks at bay with the memory of what we once were. It is a thin cloth, which they will see though any day now and they will take us apart with little effort because we are weak and self-indulgent. They are probably already here, but perhaps, with luck, they will forget their God, become enamored of slack, and lose the drive to conquer.

Probly not.

Okay. On a lighter note (it is so easy to turn away from these things) we rode bikes this morning, my love and I, and stopped for coffee (see above) at a funky new coffee shop further down the street. We rode the Springwater Corridor to Sellwood, which isn't very far, but as far as I can go with effort.

It is good to not be at work. With two admissions back to back, it was a busy week. But the mean girls are gone at last, and life is returning to some form of happy on the unit. There was laughter and dancing and walks in the garden. As the days slowed and afternoon naps were over, they began the evening's wander. And because I am not usually there in the evening, they gravitated to the humanity of my office, little zombie hordes in search of normal. The new lady picks up rocks outside, "For a path," she says. Heaven knows she needs one. And in the last place they moved her out of, she had hundreds of pounds of small stones, collected day after day until she did have enough to build a pathway. Her daugher had to get a wagon to haul them out, load after load. I hope I'm like that one day. Rock collector to the end. My sister Peggy used to gather rocks. She brought them home, little red-headed handfuls, certain they had value beyond her small dreams. My sister is strung out on methadone and I haven't seen her in years and years now. I could, but don't. Too hard. Too many dead siblings for me.

And on that note, my cousin Linda died friday. She drank too much for too long and it got the better of her. When we were on the run, my son and I, from his father, we landed in Coosbay at one point, and she took us in and we lived with her for a long time. I don't remember how long, or when exactly. Most of those memories are in a file long lost to time and over-indulgence, but I know that I owed a debt of gratitude to her that I was unable to repay.

We leave for our vacation in 7 days. We will begin it with a potluck funeral at the coast. A potluck funeral. Sounds good to me.

1 comment:

msb said...

I'm homesick. My little fling with Ashland last week was just not enough. Thank you Judy and L. for sharing of Oregon.