I went out to fill up the birdbath and took a look at the garden and, lo and behold, there was asparagus! Three of 'em. I picked 'em and we're going to eat 'em, tout de suite. Each spring when I pick this asparagus I think of Dad driving along country roads with a shovel and a bucket or bushel basket in his trunk stopping to dig up bird-planted asparagus plants from around fence posts. That's where these came from, you know. Dad was great at scoping out hidden berry patches or cozying up to old farmers for a load of "chicken bappie" for garden fertilizer. That reminds me, one year one of his old farmers delivered a trailer load of henhouse sweepings that Dad spread all over the yard because the clay soil wasn't high on nutrients. It was aged so it didn't smell but for days when the slightest breeze blew there would be a swirl of white chicken feathers around our house. It was sooo embarrassing. I was 12.
As I bent down to pick the asparagus the wind blew an amazing fragrance over me. The lilacs are blooming. This is when we need smell-o-vision on computers. It's an intoxicating aroma. I will be cutting some to take to work tomorrow.
The bleeding heart is blooming and the lilies of the valley are this close. Those lilies are another plant that transports me to a memory. My Grandma and Grandpa Stephan (Babe and Hack, cool nicknames, right?) planted a spruce tree too close to the corner of their new house so Grandpa had to move it but by then there was a permanent triangular void in the branches where the house had been. Grandpa planted lilies of the valley in there so in the spring there were all these bright green leaves and what seemed to me like hundreds of stems of tiny white bells that smelled so sweet they were like heaven. That's more than enough nostalgia for today.
In the "Good for What Ails You" department, I made a big pot of chicken vegetable soup yesterday. We even had enough fortitude to let it age overnight to reach the peak of its deliciousness. Mm, there's nothing like a steaming bowl of homemade chicken veggie soup on a gray and chilly day, especially for two people so recently on the sick list.
May 10--Tino Hammid, Tahitian Gray Pearls. The pearls looked like droplets of mercury splashed across the floor of the jewelry store. Broken glass from the display cases crunched under Celia's feet as she crossed to go through the black curtain over the door to the workroom in back. Somewhere in the back of her mind a voice told her to turn around, not touch a thing, and call the police from the sidewalk but she had to see everything before the police and the rest of the town got involved. The sound of her footsteps and the cries of the gulls at the seafront made her realize that the alarm wasn't blaring. Why wasn't it deafening her? The alarm would have brought the police, she was sure of it. There were always revelers at Karel's Beach Bar across the street on Friday nights and someone on one of the sailboats moored nearby would surely complain of the noise going on and on. She was certain she had set the alarm as she closed up last night. "Everyone all right in here?" called a deep voice from the shop door behind her.
Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there, aunties and sisters and grannies too. Enjoy your day and let someone else cook.