Boomer Memoir

Sally, Sally, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Sally harvesting figs in her garden

Sally harvesting figs in her garden

Sally is a “bracelet friend.” If you know what that means, you are probably one, too. If I have given you a silver Caribbean Hook Bracelet at some point in the last in the last few years and you don’t know the significance, you should probably turn it in.

Sally knows the meaning. So, when I invited her to accompany me to a book-signing at the Santa Cruz Book Café. she had already made other plans, but enthusiastically exclaimed, “Come over to the house afterward, and stay a while. The guest room is all ready for you!”

I didn’t have to ask. Yes, I was seeking shelter for the night. When I saw that my favorite author, Christopher Moore, was presenting his new book, “Secondhand Souls,” on a Friday night in Santa Cruz, I was prepared to drive over-the-hill from Redwood City (where I am staying with friends) to attend the event. Driving home, in the dark, over treacherous highway 17 was a dreadful prospect. I would have done it, because Chris is worth it.

Sally and Lee, longtime friends, have just completed building a gorgeous new home in Sunny Soquel. I was looking forward to seeing all, including the new garden that sprawls over the extra-large ocean-view parcel. Mostly, I was looking forward to seeing my friends-who-are-like-family. From the moment I walked through the front door I felt at “home!”

If you have been following my Capers of late, you know that I am living under challenging circumstances at the moment. I am homefull, a term I use to describe how fortunate I am with friends housing me while I figure out how to survive with the limited resources at my disposal.

Much to my delight, the three of us, Lee, Sally, and I, visited in their kitchen, which is almost an exact replica of their previous kitchen with the exception of the garbage compactor. When I tried to toss my trash into the cupboard where the previous compactor lived, both Sally and Lee snickered and admitted to doing the same for months after they moved into the new digs. We sipped Chardonnay, and nibbled on snacks for hours catching up on each other’s lives.

The overnight visit expanded to include the entire weekend with lots and lots of laughs, re-hashing of adventures we have shared over the years. Sally showed me through her garden and for a moment, I felt like I was back in Costa Rica with all the fresh farm-to-table produce! It was magnificent. The joy on Sally’s face as she plucked two ripe figs from her tree was akin to a kid finding tooth-fairy money under the pillow. And, oh, the roses! Yes, I stopped to smell them – scintillating!

Sweet, delicious figs

Sweet, Delicious Figs

Fragrant Yellow Roses

Fragrant Yellow Roses

There were gorgeous tomatoes, copious zucchinis, beets, beans, pretty much you name it. As we were putting together an amazing lunch salad, Sally pouted, “Ooooh, I forgot the radish. I’m not walking all the way back down there for a radish.”

“I will. I will!” I said, as I adore radishes in a salad. “Just tell me where it is, and I’ll get it!”

Well, didn’t I feel like the bumbling Brooklyn girl when I could not find the radish? I thought I spotted it in the raised bed on the right where she said it would be. As I reached to pluck it, I realized it wasn’t a radish at all – it was a beet. I withdrew my arm from the thick of the leaves and it was covered in itty bitty ants. I started jumping up and down shaking them off my bare arm, hoping nobody was watching. By now, so much time had gone by, I thought Lee and Sally would be tapping their feet waiting for the lone radish to complete the meal. I ran up the winding maze of steps, burst into the kitchen and cried, “I couldn’t find the radish! I’m sorry.”

Sally gently said, “That’s alright. Everything’s ready; let’s eat. We’ll be fine without it.”

The next morning as I prepared for departure to San Francisco to have dinner with my son, Tyler and his wife, Colette, in walks Sally and with a megawatt smile and presents me with the beautiful radish! I harvested some goodies to carry to Tyler and Colette and carefully placed the radish in it’s own wrapping. When the time was right, I would unveil it. And savor it – as I savored the visit with cherished friends.

Tyler and Colette with the freshly picked goods!

Tyler and Colette with the freshly picked goods!

BTW – Check out Sally’s blog about our trip to the Flea Market:

4 thoughts on “Sally, Sally, How Does Your Garden Grow?

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