Friday, June 11, 2010

A new baby, garden news, and anticipation

My nephew Russ and his wife Beth welcomed their third child yesterday--how could I have forgotten that in last night's blog? So far, the little boy has a middle name (his mom's maiden name) but no first name. He was ten days early and and on a breathing machine. It's not, Russ assures me, a serious problem, but little "no name yet" will stay in the hospital when Mom goes home tomorrow. (Both Mom and Dad in this case are physicians, so I take their word for it!) So we  rejoice in this addition to the family. John now has four grandchildren and is expecting a fifth in September--he's catching up to me! He said yesterday he never imagined himself having grandchildren and he couldn't be more delighted--and I couldn't be happier for him.
Greg ate the first fig of my bountiful crop today--I told him the first one was his--and said it was delicious and sweeet. He's going to start walking up every evening or so to check our harvest, so we can get them before the squirrels and birds do. Some really huge figs on the tree--previous years the yard man always trimmed the tree way back--Greg let it grow out into the yard so it got sun, and the result is this huge crop, many still small but the big ones grew a lot in a week. He also discovered a big stand of poke sallet growing behind my garage. I've eaten it--Aunt Reva (Charles' late wife) used to cook it, with the strong warning that it was poison and you had to boil it, drain it, and boil it again. I don't remember much about the taste, though since I like spinach I suppose I liked it. Greg says it has a bitter taste. His grandmother or someone used to boil it and then fry it, but I'm a bit leery. I did call Charles and tell him I had it, and he says I need to be brave and cook it. What I need is an good old elderly Texas cook. I doubt there are many around who remember cooking poke sallet.
Part of the pleasure of any happy event is anticipation, and I am filled with anticipation today for the arrival sometime this evening of the Houston Alters and the Frisco Alters, plus Jacob will be here at six. I am not planning dinner for any of the others--their arrival time is uncertain. I'd planned to cook casseroles, but the boys both said not to and they were right--I'd have ended up with a lot of leftover casserole I don't need, and I'd have spent the morning cooking. As it is, I cleaned the house (superficially, I admit, but all the linens are clean), did my yoga, and piddled. A most pleasant day.
Of course anticipation has its downside--it's the enemy of anxiety. It's not that you can't walk across that open space or drive on that highway, it's anticipating it that gets you. But I'm not thinking about that today. This is a happy day!

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