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Mother's Day and Miscellaneous

May 10-14
Written May 14+
Dear Diary and Friends and Family,

It's Monday.  May 14.  It seems like I should be doing "work", or at least what passes for it in retirement - these diaries.  For almost twenty years now, we have been sharing our lives with family and friends, at first in emails and a couple years after on "trotter.ws".  This process has been a constant when our  life path was anything but constant, so I continue the work. As always, it is more for our memories than others, but anyone can peek.

d180510_02_steakhouse.jpgNowadays, our real "job" has been hanging around with Marianne's mom Magdalena, aka Mamo.  At 98, she still lives by herself - with help from daughters, sons-in-law, and a three-times-a-week caregiver.  Ruben sets out breakfast almost every morning, dinners are split between the caregiver, Marianne's sister, and us.  For our part, we seem to rotate between hosting her at our house, bringing food to her place, or, like last Thursday, dining out.  Every week Marianne or Ruben drive Mamo to doctors, banks, and shopping.
d180513_04_served.jpgOn Mother's Day, Marianne set a nice brunch table and then took her mom to church, a special sort of Mother's Day gift.  They came back and we all enjoyed the meal.
d180513_06_gardentour.jpgAfter eating and chatting, Mamo was taken on a tour of the tomato garden and Marianne's art hut. 
That evening, we returned to Mamo's house and shared a light meal - and champagne.  A memorable Mother's Day all around.

Another weekend event was a trip to the local farmer's market.  This particular market is 100% local farmers and vendors and, with the start of May, we are starting to see a wider selection of offerings.
d180512_04_peachman.jpgEarly peaches and apricots are a bit hard, but tasty enough.   I'm not sure how blueberries are showing up so early, but they are.
d180512_06_produceguy.jpgVeggies are showing up now too.  I'm not sure if these are greenhouse or not, but they are colorful, local, organic, and tasty.  We bought a small roast from "Roots Farm".  Their specialty is Hungarian pork, reportedly the finest of pigs.  No comment.

Back on Cambridge Avenue, there was an Estate Sale at the home of a couple that had passed after having lived in their grand old home for years.  We had met them once or twice, but they had shared the street with other neighbors for decades.  Those neighbors had said they would not go to the estate sale and, after being curious myself, I could understand why.  Much of what was on offer had clearly been collected over ages, yet, at the end, the next generation had no interest and the treasures and mementos would be snapped up by bargain-hunting strangers.  A harbinger for all of us, I suppose.

d180512_70_satdinner.jpgd180512_74_watching.jpgFor Saturday dinner, we turned to our weekend "brotzeit" tradition.  In Germany we had chosen a meal of local cheeses, breads, and prepared meats as one of our standards.   It was always best served on the patio and, for that, Fresno is no different, although the cheese, etc. may not have lived up to Old Country standards.  Not, bad, and the setting was good, but not the same.  (Meanwhile, one of the backyard hawks looked down on us.  Hungry?)

d180513_10_sink.jpgd180513_12_drying.jpgd180513_14_notes.jpgMarianne's art continues to take up much of the time not devoted to Mamo, shopping, cooking, cleaning, exercising, etc., etc.  She is in an abstract-painting phase currently, driven by an on-line course she and a friend in Carson City are taking.  Lots of work.  Fun too.

d180513_40_yard.jpgMy art?  Just photos and, for now, mostly just backyard shots.  For us, these serve as markers of the season.  We can note the state of the garden, trees, and flowers.  Meaningful for us, but for others?  Who knows?

Stay tuned.

John and Marianne

Neighbor's giant pine, little fishes, overgrown porch light.

Flowers, a bit tattered by sun and bugs, but still my favorite photo subject. Plus a little wildlife.


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