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weekend encounters, treasures

I had a lovely time with sartorias this past weekend, a consequence of which is that I haven't been online much at all, and may only slowly catch up with people's entries.

sartorias brought me cactus candy--and cactus honey--and cactus marmalade! All delicious. I AM HAPPY TO EAT CACTUS!

And she taught me some yoga, and it was so right and good, it made me cry a little.

When I took her to the bus, I ran into an acquaintance I hadn't seen in a long time, someone I'd hung around with on the sidelines of kiddie soccer games and bumped into when we picked up kids from daycare. She'd fallen on hard, hard times, but was pulling out of them now.

"You were always nice to me, so when I saw you here, I wanted to say hi," she said, and only after the fact was I able to put into words what I was feeling, which was No, no, no. I just liked you. I liked you, is all. You were fun to talk to.

Being nice to someone is something you are when you don't want to interact with them, when it's trying in some way. But her, I just enjoyed her company.

I hope things continue to get better.

I walked through the woods to the center of town, and on my way I ran into a high school aged boy and girl walking the other direction though the woods. He had curling red-brown hair; she had straight blondish hair with pink at the tips. We were all somewhat surprised to meet each other--it's not that you never meet anyone on the trails, but just that it's rare--but they both smiled and said hi, and I did too. Further on in my walk, when I was on roads instead of trails, I picked up two small horse chestnuts (so shiny, they seem wet), and then two more, even larger, and I moved them in orbit around each other as if they were worry beads until I got where I was going.

On my way back, the boy and the girl were still in the woods--they were sitting on the bridge that the snowmobile association put over the tiny stream, legs dangling over the edge, talking.

"Hello again," I said, and they said hi too, and then, since I had four horse chestnuts, I suddenly thought to give them each one. "Just don't eat them," I said.

"But I thought they were edible," the boy said.

"Regular chestnuts are--the ones with the little beards on their chins, like you can get from the chestnut grove down there" (and I pointed to across the railroad tracks and down, where there's a tiny chestnut grove) "but not these ones."

"But the squirrels eat them," the boy said.

"Yeah, but animals eat poison ivy," I began, and before I could get to the "but we can't" part, he said, "Yeah, that's true--my goat eats poison ivy."

"Yeah, that's a great thing about goats; they'll keep down poison ivy," I agreed.

And we talked some more, and then I went on my way, and it was good, very good.

It was sunset by then--the sky had been the brightest gold, and then pink, and when I was coming near my house, the moon was big and almost full in the early evening sky.

Some treasures: in the pocket of my sweater are silvery mica and white marble from my walk in Holland Glen, back on Saturday. And on the dashboard of the car is a milkweed pod, spilling milkweed seeds--ballet dancers in long white skirts, like in Fantasia--a Swan Lake corps de ballet. More anon. Work calls--not to mention everyone's blogs! I'll get there, friends.


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2014 12:59 pm (UTC)
"You were always nice to me" can also mean a friendly face and an accepting voice when one is troubled, and aware of feeling ruffled. I wasn't part of that conversation, but I could hear in her tone the sincerity of her appreciation and gratitude.

That was so, so lovely--thank you again! From the beauty to the busy, the pretty to the city . . . I landed running, but it all worked out and has been immensely fun! (Except a nasty blister on my toe from the smart new shoes I bought for the party, sigh. Ow, ow, ow!)
Oct. 7th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC)
That's a good point about what "you were always nice to me" can mean ... gah, it's bringing a lump to my throat.

So glad you survived the subway and got to E&D's house, and then to the party! I'm eager to hear all about how newsboyhat was (at your leisure--right now I'm working, anyway, so...)
Oct. 7th, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
This is all lovely to hear about -- thank you! :)
Oct. 7th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC)
My pleasure!

(And your journal is one I'm several entries behind on, but will be catching up, slowly...)
Oct. 7th, 2014 11:59 pm (UTC)
:D Take your time! I've been unusually prolific this past week, what with the NFE, and then redsnake05 over on DW lured me into posting three happy things for three days in a row.
Oct. 7th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
Kids here still collect horse chestnuts (which are very common in our county along with the sweet chestnut) in order to be able to play 'conkers'. :o)
Oct. 7th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
I was wondering if the phrase "conked out" comes from the game of conkers...
Oct. 8th, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
That had never occurred to me! Could well be.
Oct. 7th, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
On my commute home Thursday or Friday last week a jeep-like vehicle passed me with a bumper sticker that said "I eat weeds." I laughed and thought of you. I love all the great reasons I have to think of you. Thanks for sharing your encounter. I owe you a couple of things. Crazy busy here. Miss you. Thanks for spending my morning with me.
Oct. 7th, 2014 06:04 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, that's great! I love that you thought of me--I would definitely have given the driver a wave and a thumbs up if I saw that bumper sticker.

Thank YOU so much for dropping by even though you're so busy. We're with each other in spirit if not in person ♥
Oct. 7th, 2014 06:15 pm (UTC)
Always and I am so fortunate that is the case. You are solace to my soul and a balm to my heart when I need it most.
Oct. 7th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
We used to have chestnuts at my childhood home. Nice memories.

Milkweed - Mild WEED - I know it can be a fabric but on our farm we battle with these wonders on a regular basis.
Oct. 7th, 2014 06:05 pm (UTC)
Aren't chestnuts great--they're something that gives a sense of bounty and richness, and they're there in the wild, just waiting for you to pick them up.

Yeah, it's easy for me to love milkweed--I don't have to maintain a productive meadow! But that's what makes a weed, right? Something growing where you don't want it. Timothy grass is a weed if it's in your rose garden, but perfect for your pasture, etc.
Oct. 7th, 2014 03:07 pm (UTC)
What a lovely walk through the woods. Is this where you took the photos you posted?

Oct. 7th, 2014 06:06 pm (UTC)
No, the walk in the woods was right by my house, and the one in the photos is a bike ride (or short car drive) away--still near, but not quite in easy walking distance.
Oct. 7th, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
I wish I was there!
Oct. 7th, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
I wish so too--SO BAD! It would have been awesome. You would have loved my dad, and I would have loved to sit around munching muffins with cactus honey and hearing you tell stories about LA and about writing.

One day!
Oct. 7th, 2014 08:09 pm (UTC)
So, what does cactus taste like? Is cactus honey just bee honey made from honey made from cactus flowers or something different?
Oct. 8th, 2014 03:26 am (UTC)
I think what I'm tasting is the fruit of the cactus, whereas I think you can also eat the fleshy "leaf" bits. I'd like to try those, grilled, one day. In the marmalade, though, I think it's the fruit, and it has a sort of sharp, citrus-y flavor... but different. The honey I'm imagining is made by collecting the honey of bees who've fed largely on the pollen of cactus flowers--I know that's what apple blossom honey is.
Oct. 8th, 2014 07:43 am (UTC)
Interesting, thanks!
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 8th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
Re: Fantasia!
Exactly: it makes the woods look so....
Oct. 8th, 2014 12:36 am (UTC)
Do you have any pictures of the cactus candy? I've heard of it, but only obliquely, on The Simpsons.

There are some cool birds at the wildlife center: a screech owl, a gannet.
Oct. 8th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
I ate one sort all up, but the other is a lollypop in the shape of a cactus--I could take a picture of that.

I love the title of your current post--I've got it open in another window. Hoping to get over there.
Oct. 8th, 2014 02:03 am (UTC)
Wow -- you've got real, wild chestnuts? I thought they only survived up in the UP of Michigan. The Chestnut Blight killed all the great chestnuts of the main part of the country generations ago.
Oct. 8th, 2014 03:09 am (UTC)
They're a hybrid, Manchurian-American cross--they're from a grove planted well after the blight. In the woods around here, though, you can find lots of 100 percent American chestnut--just, they never get beyond a young sapling stage :(

I hear that now they've developed an American chestnut that's immune to the blight. I'd love to plant that. I'd also love to go back in time and see these hills when chestnuts made up 1/4 of all the trees.....
Oct. 8th, 2014 02:14 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm glad you had fun. Also that you ate cactus. I would like to try grilled cactus sometime. Also grasshopper tacos.

Goats are useful critters. d|p made friends with one over the summer at the farm she painted (pretty much the whole farm, in fact).
Oct. 8th, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
Evil LJ just ate my comment.

To recap! The cactus was pretty highly processed, but as such, very delicious. I'd like to try it grilled one day too, though.

Pretty cool that d|p got to paint a whole farm! You must really get to know a place when you're painting all the buildings. It takes time, and you get to see the place in all the different sunlights.
Oct. 11th, 2014 12:59 pm (UTC)
What an absolutely lovely account of an afternoon's adventures! I loved the descriptions of the interactions with the people.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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