Dear Friends and Families,
March 29 - April 7
written April 2 +
This is another simple
story, just keeping our own record. Not sure you're interested,
but I know we will want to look back in a few years on even "normal"
It is a garden theme this time and we'll start with a garden
party. The local nursery (plant-type) hosts Friday and Saturday
evening beer garden and truck feeds. It's a pretty popular event,
now that it is a bit warmer. Ordering interesting things from the food
trucks and having the chance to eat, sip beer, and listen to
music, surrounded by roses, is a nice part of our neighborhood.
Of course the train noise is also there, but it too is part of our
Speaking of roses, our garden is doing quite well, if I do say so
myself. Earlier, we had given the plants a haircut like they had
not seen in years and we worried we would have killed some. Nope,
they came roaring back and promise us a summer of color and perfume.
Elsewhere in our yard, it's more of a construction scene. We have
a new orchard of five citrus trees, in memory of our 16-tree orchard in
Pommersfelden. This one is smaller, but I hope it thrives as
well. We are also starting to fill in some of the holes in the
front yard, or at least pounding in stakes where trees are SUPPOSED to
go. This demonstrates to the neighbors that we are trying.
Out back, our water system modifications are still pending, although I
did manage to locate the main water cut-off valve, buried eight inches
below ground. That only required digging up 15 feet of
trench! Our other project is Marianne's art studio, which is
getting a colorful paint treatment.
had plans for more yard and shed progress later in the week. The
first task was to find out where the existing sink drain in the shed
went. Unfortunately, it went about eight feet into the yard and
stopped. It looks like we'll need to run a new drain line, but
that's OK because I have so much trenching experience now.
Thursday evening, we joined the Cambridge Avenue bunch for a Mexican
dinner at a small dive a few miles from home. The food was
authentic and good, and the crowd noisy and fun. Marianne snapped a few candid moments.
The BIG BLOCK EVENT was Saturday's annual rummage sale. We
put out all sorts of things we should have left behind in Germany and
managed to have fun, make a few dollars and, most importantly, make room
in the garage. Maybe, someday, we will be able to park in there.
Katinka, Marianne's sister, joined our sale and offered her famous
home-made salsa. As usual, it was a hit and she sold every
After a hard day of selling junk, the neighborhood joined in a pot luck
supper. It seems like we don't need much of an excuse for good
food and wine.
was a Mamo day. We picked her up for breakfast at IHOP, one of
our local favorites, and then came home and just "hung out", one of her
favorite activities. I redid the path out to the colorful home
art venue so her walker could pass and Marianne and her mom spent a
good hour sitting under the orange tree, chatting, before we all
continued our normal activities: fixing Sunday dinner (M's job);
digging trenches preparing for Monday's plumber (J's job); enjoying the sunny table and bird songs (Mamo's job).
Now it's Monday, and after weeks of having the places filled with
trenches, we have made progress. Robert, the friendly plumber, made it
back and capped off the water feed to several of the old hose
bibs, including the one that would have been in the middle of the
(planned) boccie court. I can't tell you how much work this has
been -- for me, the trencher-and-concrete-post-anchor-remover.
Now, we can at least consider finishing the back yard, although it will
be bit by bit.
We needed a functioning
back yard before Gabby and the kids arrived after lunch, but that's
In any event, do stay in touch.
John and Marianne