It was lunch time. We were eating barbecue. We do that a lot, he and I.
He was telling me something about a friend he has back home. She’s a woman roughly his mother’s age, if I got the gist. He stopped for a moment and looked at me. (It was just the two of us at the table.)
“I have this habit of making friends with old people.”
Yep. That’s me — I don’t deny it: I am an old people.
Julia texted me from Kentucky with what I thought was a question.
She asked if I knew what color blood is when it’s in our arteries and veins. There’s the easy answer, and then there’s the question of blue-blooded veins. And seeing as how I didn’t really know the answer, I made our back-and-forth texting into a conversation about how one might go about designing an experiment to determine the answer.
But evidently she wasn’t asking a question. It seems she was testing me. And she was tickled that she had proven that I didn’t know.
Here’s the thing of it: why ask me? Why test me? I’m not a doctor. My brother is, and for all of this asking/testing, she might have texted him, instead. I’m not a nurse. Her aunt is, she might have texted her. Asking me a medical question is analogous to — what? — asking either of them about the Lagrange Planetary Equations or micro-service architectures. I suspect they’d field a question about them similarly to how I fielded and failed Julia’s blood trap.
I wonder why she texted this Cuzuncle. And I wonder how long until she comes around to Celestial Mechanics or Software Design. Might not be long.
This is what happens after a dinner of TexMex followed by an evenings of iTunes.
Forgive me, please. It’s Friday. Might you recover from the week you had!
… and enjoy the weekend!
Among the flowers making their appearance in the yard this spring are two clumps of
Blue-Eyed Grass. This was the first Texas wildflower I fell deeply in love with.
May spring bring happiness to you.
The Dogwoods and Redbuds are flowering in Kentucky, they told me.
“Did you know that Redbud blossoms are edible?” I asked.
There was silence on the phone, or perhaps it was hesitant mumbling.
“I haven’t tried it myself,” I said. “Our Texas Redbud doesn’t put out that many blossoms…”
“And the seed pods are supposed to be good, too,” I added.
“Hah!” they said, or perhaps it was “hmm”.
“I’ll try one,” I said.
I reached up and pulled a reddish-brown pod off our tree. I put it in my mouth.
It was fuzzy on the outside (as are the undersides of Texas Redbud leaves — the fuzziness being a xeric thing). I chewed, and I chewed, trying to get beyond the fuzziness.
“Well,” I said. “I can report that the pod itself is a little… stringy. But the peas in the pod taste like…”
And here I stumbled looking for a description of the taste.
It reminded me of a time long ago. It must have been fifth grade, because for some reason also Tim Parker occupies that slot in my hazy memory. We were on a field trip, and there was a… well, a field of peas growing nearby, and we got to pick and eat as much as we wanted. As I chewed on the Redbud pod, biting on the tiny seeds trying to get a taste of them, I was reminded of the taste of those peas in that field way back then.
“…they taste like peas,” I said.
But the taste didn’t last long, because the peas were so small.
The memory of years ago dissipated. So I took another seed pod off the tree, this one bigger than the first. I put it in my mouth and began to chew.
This one was not only bigger but was fuzzier and required more chewing. So I chewed. And I chewed. And I bit on the peas. But there was no taste of anything. There was no flashback to 1969. There was just fuzzy, pithy podness.
So I spit out the pulp (quietly, because I was still on the phone).
In conclusion, I can tell you this: Redbud pods might well be edible in some parts of the country. That is, Eastern Redbud seed pods might be good in a salad. But based on my recent experience, fuzzy Texas Redbud seed pods — not so much.
It’s been fifteen years. (How time passes when… time passes.) For our anniversary celebration yesterday, we hiked the long loop at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.
At first there were meadows with Hill Country vistas. There were wildflowers, yellow and purple, many of which we could identify and marveled at but some of which we had never seen before.
The trail descended from the hilltop into a valley where the vistas disappeared and Junipers and Oaks closed in around us. The ground was soft from the recent rains. The air was fresh. The breeze was cool. The water of the creek was clear with water bugs skimming across mirrored pools where the course turned and disappeared from view.
After we had begun our climb back out of the valley, we sat by the water fall, where the gentle stream spreads out on a broad limestone shelf before tumbling over the edge into a deep pool. There was emerald green moss. There were Maidenhair Ferns. There were Sycamores and American Elms. And there were frogs clicking from hidden places somewhere beyond the pond.
As we finished, the sun was slanting thru the trees sending golden streaks across the yellow and purple bedecked meadows. The stresses of the day had somehow melted away.
And this morning the two of us woke up and looked at each other with mild surprise. We had slept thru the night and not woken up once, something that was cause for minor celebration — that and the beginning of the next fifteen years.
The sun had set. The light was fading. In a rush, he stood at the curb and snapped a pano shot back towards their yard before there was no light left to see by.
There was an yellow Englemann Daisy and yellow Zexmenia. There was a purplish-pinkish blooming Iris and Spiderwort closed up for the night. There were pink Cone Flowers and Mealy Blue Sage. And there was a purple Prairie Verbena and orange Native Lantana.
It’s shame the Bluebonnets got cut off at the bottom, but by the time he noticed, night had arrived.