Rejoice, ’tis

Oh, in another year, I might have been bursting with April Fool’s hoaxes, jokes, and so on. But on this particular 1 April, I am most grateful for a general brightening of my spirits. I have been brooding, worrying and generally obsessing over physical decline. This awareness having come into sharper focus with summer travels just over the horizon. Which means going more places with fewer neuromuscular resources. Thus my life.

However, for reasons that are unclear, sober reality is settling in. And it feels okay. True, I will have to get from wheelchair to bed several times, safely, and on my own. But it has already occurred to me to phone key people who will be around, say, in London, use the speakerphone and narrate my wheelchair-to-bed progress. Yes, even late at night. Although admittedly we may have to negotiate this a bit. And it’s not even clear who the ‘we’ will be. It doesn’t matter. There will be people around or within electronic earshot.

Meanwhile, it’s the little things. Like my Swiss chard. Recently, it has had some very unpleasant mildew on it. A situation that has much to do with my habit of trying to grow things under glass. We have a genetically mutant race of super squirrels marauding about California these days. They will eat anything. Their life is a sort of botanical search-and-destroy mission. On the other hand, they seem to have departed on distant maneuvers. I suppose there are other things to eat. Perhaps in my neighbor’s garden. Anyway, this by way of explanation for growing certain things in the greenhouse. The squirrels simply can’t get into a potting shed. On the other hand, the chard can’t really get out. At least it can’t get out its best qualities. So, I took a chance on this, threw agricultural caution to the winds…and can report singular results.

As for the potatoes, currently in between harvests, my productivity is so high that one should be concerned about market impact. A government growing subsidy might be in order. Not quite sure what to do with so many potatoes. Anyone know how to make vodka? As for making tomatoes, give me time, I say. I have assembled some volunteers from last year, let them sprout here and there and gathered them into a starter bowl. Which has become three starter bowls. And because the tomatoes are now about a foot tall – and it’s only 1 April – the term ‘starter’ may be inappropriate. The question is what to do with all these fine seedlings. No. The question is what to do with all these fine young plants. Which isn’t really a question. At least not in San Francisco, where optimistically planting tomatoes on a sunny day will only lead you to the next day…with maritime winds and mist howling about your summer garden. Which seems about as tomato-friendly as a day on deck with Captain Ahab.

In short, the meteorological beat goes on. And more as it unfolds.

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