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John's Weekend

March 8-10
written March 9 +
Dear Friends and Families,

Sometimes we make these diaries betting that something interesting will happen.  Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.  This weekend is a bit of both, but more toward "doesn't".

I am writing this by myself since Marianne is off having fun at her school reunion and, when she's gone,  I like to report what's going on back at home.  Ideally, I report on great fun and excitement -- not.
Reunion Snapshots
On Saturday, I planned two events and hoped for others.  The first planned event was the Fresno House and Garden Show at the local fairgrounds.  I got there at opening and was glad I did.  Parking was easy, the ticket line was short, and no one was grumpy.  It helped that it was an almost perfect temperature, not cool and not hot.  Nice.

Almost a dozen buildings were occupied this year, as well as outside food courts, play courts, and garden displays.  I compared all this with our usual Pommersfelden spring garden show and was struck with the Fresno commercial focus.  There were dozens of garden and house remodel contractors and suppliers and everything seemed to promise costs of thousands.  Our German displays were more of small artists and florists.  Different scale.  One thing that was similar enough was inclusion of food, in Germany it was brats and beer and here is Fresno the largest food display was "tri-tip" roast beef sandwiches, with side of roasted pork.  I like them all!

The other springtime Fresno attraction is the Blossom Trail. This area is one of the largest fruit tree farmlands in the world and in March there are thousands and thousands of blooming peach, apple, apricot, plum, and nectarine trees.  (Citrus tree bloom a bit later.)  I went east of Fresno (toward Sanger, for those with local knowledge) and really felt like the flowers had passed their peak.  I also thought the sunlight was not very interesting, but clouds were coming in so I needed to take shots of what I saw, when I saw it.

During the drive from orchard to orchard, I was impressed by the elaborate nature of commercial fruit farming.  Trees are all grown to let the sun shine evenly on the branches and to have the fruit easily reached in harvest.  Several fields had old trunks with new branches grafted on top, not the form we grew up drawing.  Blossoms, on the other hand, were are nature intended them.
Trees themselves reflected the elaborate work necessary for commercial fruit tree farming.
Blossoms, on the other hand, remain natural.
My last Saturday stop was intended to be a "truck" dinner at a local beer garden, but neighbors were gathering on a porch across the street and I interpreted that as an invitation to wine.  Correct interpretation.  An hour or so of chatting confirmed our earlier impression that Cambridge is indeed a friendly street.

We may end up liking it here.

Sunday, it was chores, inside and, mostly, in the garden.  I'm not sure we will ever have a day without to-do lists, but the inside tasks are more like maintenance than what we face outside.  First, I tried to make sense of our six-channels of automatic sprinklers and drip lines.  There are easily at least 30 sprinkler and drip heads and a fair fraction don't work right.  Some water the sidewalks more than the lawn, some are minor uncontrolled fountains, some water places where we have no plants and other plants get no water.  This all need fixing by summer, but I failed on Sunday to make much headway - the decades-old system is just too complex. 

The other yard chore was to start laying out the bocce court in the back yard.  This involved lots of digging and discovery of buried obstacles.  We will need to remove several of these "relics", but this too seems a bit overwhelming right now.  I need to remind myself that we have time, although finishing before the baking hot Fresno summer would be nice. 
Lots of digging, just to explore for buried treasures.
However, roses are thriving and other plants are coming to life.
Marianne comes back today, Monday, so I need to clean the house to make a good impression.  Have to go.



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