Wednesday, May 27, 2015

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
            The Guiding Light: While weather in Havre continues to be erratic, after weeks of Mazatlan perfection, Summer arrived. Each day is hot. Mucho calor. My little apartment stays reasonable with a flow of breeze most days. Summer suggests I limit my walking to early morning and late evening. Of course, at times necessity dictates I deviate from that rigid schedule. I walk home drenched in sweat. Click.

            Dark Shadows: Long ago at a rodeo in Roundup, I suffered a mild sun stroke. Even today if I get too much sun I get sick. I carefully stay in the shade as much as possible and keep most of my body covered. Despite this, after enjoying pool time with cousin Nancie last week, my upper arms erupted in tiny watery blisters. They finally broke. Ewww! Yesterday I peeled enough skin to paper my bathroom. How is that possible? Click.

            General Hospital: Each doctor, masseuse, and medical person with whom I’ve talked, including a pharmacist, has told me to walk in the sunshine each day, preferably in beach sand. The beach vendors stay covered head to toe. What do they know that we don’t know? Click.

            The Edge of Night: While I try to moderate sun time, my friend Kathy took a royal whopping from her Irish dermatologist who wants her to wear a burka, day and night. (She said.) Kathy lives on an island in British Columbia where the sun seldom shines and the rain often reigns. God Bless the Queen. Click.

            Search for Tomorrow: Last evening I had my first complete all-Spanish conversation. Granted, it was a short conversation, with Sara, a clerk at the local Farmacia, perhaps ten sentences each. I’m sure most of my “sentences” were not grammatically correct, but they were understandable. My English language brain is learning to not go immediately to “blank” when asked a question in Espanol. When I grasp a word or two, I might be able to cobble together the intention if not the entire meaning. It’s a heady feeling when words begin to make sense. Click.

            The Secret Storm: Soon a storm of mangoes will bombard me from the two trees in my back patio. The “rain” began this week. The trees are tall, the fruit out of reach. When nearly ripe, the mangoes drop to the ground. I scout the patio often, to beat out the ants, whose voracious appetites can hollow a mango in two hours, leaving the skin with the seed inside. The ants appeared this week. Timely, eh? Next week I will gorge on the sweet mangoes. A month from now I will give away most of my harvest, over-indulged. Click.

            The Young and The Restless: My dove eggs are due to hatch next week. I hope this batch survives the grackle attacks.   But if they don’t, I am determined to harden my heart and clear the nest from my planter, maybe, just maybe, in time to save my lovely plant, so dry and pitiful. If the babies survive, I lose the plant. I’m resigned to wait and watch. I console myself with my newest garden “babies”. I slipped sweet potatoes and planted the slips last week. They are thriving.  I planted too many and will, no doubt, harden my questionable heart to weed out all but one or two of the strongest. But let’s not think about that. Click.

            All My Children: My oldest girl’s oldest girl, Jessica, is scheduled to grant me a great-grandchild (How did I get this old?), June 23, just two days after Jess’s summer solstice birthday. In a few short weeks I’ll fly north, hold Baby Harper in my arms, spoil her rotten, my heart soft and gushy. Click.

            Days of Our Lives: I nailed the guava pie! I made a crust of crushed cinnamon cookies. Covered the bottom with chopped guava fruit. Then I poured in the rich filling. Topped that with more guava fruit and chopped pecans. Once the pie set up I drizzled the top with cajeta, a caramel-like syrup. I ate the first slice early that evening. The next slice I had with coffee the next morning. Later that day I gave Arturo, my physical therapist, a generous slice—he’s a growing boy of twenty-seven. Then I gave the remainder of the pie to Reuben, Sylvia and Marie at the Luncheria at the corner. Such a rich treat needs to stay special. Guava pie is not an everyday dessert.

            A pregnant pause. Cameras zoom in for a close up. Music builds to a dramatic pitch. Cut to commercial. Tide. Or Dreft. Or Cheer. Or Duz. Or Ivory Flakes. Or Oxydol.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door.

May 21, 2015

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