Finally settled in my new home in San Dimas, CA. I finished hanging all but one piece of art and family photos this morning. In addition I discovered a new rose bush I had previously not noticed since it is among the constantly blooming oleanders. This makes rose bush no. 25 I think. What I thought was a lime tree is a lemon–now that some are turning the color of lemons. What others said was an apple tree is a pear tree. One tree is pomegranate and full. As to when to harvest, I remain clueless. Supposedly, another tree is mandarin orange but not sure yet. Flowers in bloom everywhere make my heart sing.
Because this area is not right next to the mountains, I thought probably no pumas or bears around. While we walked around the large lake in Bonelli Regional Park on Thursday, my neighbor informed me that both are here and related a story about a bear on the golf course–the back of my house adjoins a golf course, and someone watching a puma chase a bunch of coyotes. I have heard the coyotes sing more here than where I lived out in the country in Texas. The weather has been such that I have not used the heat or the AC yet. Next task is to learn the names of the birds I see here all the time. I know the raptors I have seen but not the little ones rapidly consuming something in the grass nearly every morning. Another change from the Panhandle of Texas is the absolute lack of wind. Right now no wind at all and when it is windy, it is like ten miles an hour or so basically a nice little breeze.
All the beautiful flowers I see today, Mother’s Day 2017, make me think of my mother. She loved flowers, especially roses, horses, music, beauty. When I think of her, I also think of unconditional love. Even when young and I sometimes thought she expected too much of me, I still knew she loved me no matter what the circumstances and always would. For this I feel unending gratitude. As a teacher, it has become very clear to me that many children do not experience the kind of love my mother gave me. She died suddenly many years ago. Her love will never leave me. Thank you, Mom, wherever you are!!
For the last month DJ Knopick-Barrett, the Production Manager for Amarillo Opera, has stayed with me–her third time to do so. When she was last here, in early summer, she took hikes with my dog Isabella. I had no idea she had also photographed her. Isabella died not long before DJ arrived this time.
DJ said her goodbyes this morning and I left for work. She had a late morning flight. When I returned home from work today, I was touched nearly to the point of tears. DJ not only had photographed Isabella, she had enlarged the photo and framed it.
On my way home from work today, I stopped by a friend’s house to get some Black Eyed Susans. She and her husband run a bed and breakfast with a spectacular garden in the back. Iris of every color are blooming, yellow, lavender and white, peach, every shade of purple, and one a combination of colors I have never seen before. The lavender and white combined in one flower I gave her in the fall of 2012. They rebloom and spread rather rapidly. Because of that and the fact that I cannot bear to throw any away, I have them by the barn and here and there. Some do better than others–a lot of the soil here is either clay or caliche or a combination, not very conducive to anything but the toughest. She has a rose bush taller than I am which means it must be about 5’6″ or 7″. Another deep red rose was already blooming. She gives me flowers and I wait and see how they do or if the deer or bunnies will eat them.
Today’s weather brought perfection, a rare treat of just the right temperature, sunshine, and no wind. When I arrived, her husband was napping in the garden in a lawn chaise. He got up, we all walked around the garden, looked in the koi pond, and commented what flowers seemed to flourish more readily than others. Many flowers which do well in town either die out here in the country only twelve miles away or fail to thrive. They just sit there and do nothing. She and I have shared flowers for years, flowers and conversation and wine. We all decided to sit town and share some wine and cheeses and crackers and visit. They travel widely and always have tales to tell. He is from Jordan so we discuss world events. Part of today’s conversation centered on Boko Haram and the differences between Shia and Sunni. He is Sunni and I used to be married to a Shiite. Often we discuss extremism and how it harms everyone, regardless of religion. None of us understand the hatred some people seem to feel toward others who are different from them either my race or religion or ethnicity or gender.
As soon as I returned home and changed into gardening clothes, I fed Rosie, and planted the Black Eyed Susans with a big dose of water and root stimulator. Who knows if they will make it. I will wait and see. If they do, they will contrast nicely with the purple of the catmint and the white, tiny, native Blackfoot Daisies growing wild among the other plants in my little garden. What more can a person wish for than spending time with good friends among the flowers. And a little wine never hurts.