And when the silver habit of the clouds
Comes down upon the autumn sun, and with
A sobered gladness the old year takes up
His bright inheritance of golden fruits,
A pomp and pageant fills the splendid scene.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The October sun is playing peek-a-boo, from behind clouds. A gentle rain this morning was a beautiful sight to see and most welcome. Of course, anything beats a blank, but that small amount was hardly enough to quench the earth's thirst.
The folks in the little blue house at the end of the road heard the music of the furnace this morning. That was just a warm-up for the long hum-drum concert to come.
I was not feeling my best last week. Some of the fitness temporarily left my fiddle.
I can't put my finger on what was wrong, but I followed the time honored words of my late father.
When we felt poorly or sought extra attention, "Shake it off", was first words that came out of his mouth.
He was right, all of those years so long ago. I find that if I take time out to hit the couch and shut my eyes to what bothers me, I feel worse when I get up.
I have been harvesting again. This week the persimmons in the pasture are gaining my attention.
The trees that bear the incredibly edible sugar-sweet fruit are tall, close to 30 or 40 feet now. This year conditions were favorable for the persimmon tree to produce sizable orange well-filled out berries, some almost two inches in diameter.
Some people cringe when I talk about persimmons, no doubt ,due to a bad experience with the seasonal fruit.
If the berry is not fully ripened your lips will feel that and your tongue will be temporarily numb. They are extremely astringent.
Shaking them from the tree is not a good move either. I catch them when they fall naturally. Sometimes the wind sends down loaded twigs. More than likely the fruit is unripe.
The persimmon tree belongs to the ebony family and yields a heavy close-grained wood.
One fell last winter and sprawled across the path. Paul will cut the remaining sections into short lengths in the next few days and I will split it into firewood.
A note of interest, persimmon wood has been used for shuttles and bobbins in the textile industry and for golf club heads and other sports equipment.
It is a little early to be overwhelmed with the 2010 harvest to date. The pleasurable work in progress is messy too.
While preparing the fruit and straining the pulp through the colander, keep your hands off of your aprons and protect your hand towels and dishrags, you will quickly become reminded of the family the persimmon kids belong to, because everything you touch that is absorbent picks up a black stain, before you can say, "Where did that come from?"
I made some delicious cake-like, old fashioned persimmon cookies, mainly for the sweet lover in the house.
Just like the last cookies that I baked and previous batches of other kinds, over the last 53 years, each is always the best.
How could a girl go wrong with that? Simple, he knows how to work the system. Paul Baby fears that his personal baker will cut out his cookies, and pies.
Friday, my sister, Sandra Gallardo, and her husband, Gilbert, treated me to a buffet lunch at China's Best Buffet. The food there is delicious.
The first time that I experienced Chinese food was in 1958. I was living in San Diego nearby the Naval Training Center, Paul's duty station.
One evening I agreed to baby sit an active little boy that lived in my building, while his mother and her boyfriend worked their shift at the Top Hat Night Club.
After midnight, the happy-go-lucky couple returned to pick up the sleepy handful.
Darlene staggered up to the door and immediately announced that she could not pay me. "NO MON HON!"
The old story that the boss shorted the pay check was not what I wanted to hear. I was days short of allotment and money was tight.
Then her boyfriend waltzed up to my door and handed me three white cardboard containers from the club's kitchen.
The hot food smelled so good. I was very pregnant and always hungry. I looked inside the bailed boxes.
I eyeballed the contents, intently. Skinny little pheasant legs sticking out of out of thick cherry sauce, chow mein and fried noodles.
Bartering was not new to me.
A frazzled child care provider handed over the dancer's little sleepy offspring, grabbed the food, deemed the trade fair, the debt paid and shut the door.
I sat down at the table alone and partook of my good fortune. The food was, as good as it looked and I was hooked.
I went to bed with more than a full stomach that night. The baby and I slept well.
Would I accept food at midnight from two drunks acting weird, today? Of course not. Well, maybe I would--Chinese!
I can be reached by phone at 446-4852 or by email at email@example.com.