Cerezas delicioso

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my stash, in the fridge

I live in the suburbs in Silicon Valley.  But before this was Silicon Valley, it was called Valley of the Heart’s Delight and was solid orchards pretty much as far as you could see.  Well, I’m guessing.  It sounds good, right?  I know that when I moved here in 1981 there were still a bunch of orchards around and I even used to walk through one on my way to elementary school. 

Now there are just a very few teeny places left.  The ones I know of are boxed in by freeways but still beautiful, especially in the spring when they are all flowery and tender green.  About a mile from my house on a main busy road there is a huge old farmhouse.  I think in the five miles around here there are maybe two like it, and I’m sure that they were likely the only two homes around for a long time and that my street was once part of the orchard.  The house near mine sits back off the road behind a wrought iron fence and between the fence and the house are hundreds of antiques.  Old gas pumps, ancient farm equipment, old nickel Coca Cola vending machines, tin signs, fire hydrants.  Fruit trees, too, and a lovely garden with peppers and tomatoes and beans and squash.

So as it happens, SG’s parents are good friends of the couple who live in the house and last fall they invited us to come over and pick some vegetables.  I’m not sure how old Mel and Gloria are, but he’s got the best collection of antique motorcycles and cars I’ve ever seen, including a sweet luxury car that was owned by a president that I want to say was FDR but I’m not the most reliable person about stuff like that.  Could have been Truman.  Anyway, the other day SG’s dad left some cherries on our front porch that he picked from Mel and Gloria’s trees, and they are the very best cherries I have ever eaten.  And I am eating them all, hoping that the kids won’t catch on because I’m really not super interested in sharing.  I’d like to think that these cherries are from trees that are really old – from back when Santa Clara County was all ranchers and farmers and green and flowers.  One of those, They just don’t make em like that anymore things, you know?  I guess because SG and I watched East of Eden a little while back, I’ve been thinking of them as James Dean cherries.  Dude.  Now that I’ve written that down, it sounds kinda dumb, but who am I to deny SG something to tease me about?

So here is another happy thing: My favorite camera lens (favorite=cost more than the camera itself) started to malfunction awhile back.  The auto focus broke, and unless I had it on manual, when I went to take a photo I’d get a clickclickclickclick and constant movement and adjusting and never any focusing.  So I took it off and put the stock lens back on and switched between that and my 50mm.  Not that I’m against manual focusing, but I usually take photos of my kids and they move around a lot.  So, the lens I loved so much sat on top of my bookshelf in front of a framed photo of Billie Holliday, waiting for me to have some extra cash to justify taking it in to the shop. 

This is my favorite time of the year, I think, the time when the light at 7 p.m. is so pretty and warm and the little bugs buzzing around are lit up and the leaves on the trees are backlit and the whole world looks warm and golden.  It’s my favorite time to take photos and so yesterday I put the lens back on my camera, just to see, and what do you know?  It’s 100% back to autofocusing normal. 

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my bike makes me so freaking happy

Summer starts at 12:15 p.m. tomorrow when the school bell rings.  My baby is graduating from first grade, which is a little too much for me to even think about.  Nate is finished with elementary school.  Lex is getting ready for his last year of jr high and he’s nearly fourteen, and that makes me nearly forty, and holy crap those old people were not kidding when they said that everything goes by so very quickly.  That whole “at least you have your health” is spot on as well, by the way.

SG is taking some time off in the morning to come see Nate graduate 5th grade.  Nate’s wearing the suit that I got for Lex when he finished 5th grade a couple of years ago.  And I’ll just be sure that my feet are firmly on the ground, because it feels lately like the earth is spinning so fast that I’ll surely be thrown off.   

4 thoughts on “Cerezas delicioso

  1. marian

    Hey stranger… I’m still out here reading you but haven’t commented in what… twenty years? Just wanted to say hi and that I still love reading you and am so happy for your happiness. xoxo

  2. Dale Phelps

    Jenijen thank-you for sharing your Mel and Gloria story, those orchards were a shortcut for decades, and their stand on the corner of Camden and Branham a landmark memory that brought a wonderful smile. Thank-you thank-you thank-you


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