in which our plucky heroine grasps at equanimity with open hands...
I've been listening to this song for a long long time. Decades. Every time I hear it, I hear it differently, stepping into the same river again and again, and always new. Just heard this version and it lights up my heart. This is one of the songs that always does take me home, one of the canon of Sunday morning come back down songs from my younger days, that rocks my spirit as kindly as ever my mother rocked me as a babe in arms...
Wednesday started out with a real treat: I was getting ready to go to the bus to my morning appointment, when E phoned me that they were coming through Portland on the way to Oregon Country Fair, and they could stop and visit... when I explained I had an appointment, they offered to drive me there, so instead of an hour+ on the bus, I got social time with M and his family, plus got to see older daughter W who is awesome and I rarely see her. I definitely got an abundance of hugs, which I shall store up for the days when there is no tactile component at all.
Also when I couldn't figure out how to easily get into their van, M asked if it was okay, and then just picked me up carefully and lifted me in. Doesn't sounds like something as cared for as it made me feel. It is so funny that every time he sees me he remarks (kindly) on how he forgets how tiny I am... (M is 6'8") A girl my size does not often get *literally* picked up! Indeed cannot remember it in decades and decades, was a rather odd but good feeling and they all were so happy to see me, which did my heart good... Then when I was headed out to catch the bus home, I accidentally saw them again on the street, so we had another short visit.
With minor trepidation, loppers and cutters in hand, our plucky heroine approached the overgrown backyard tree which is laden with young apples... Over the course of the last three days, I have removed the "water sprouts" growing straight up from the branches, as well as the "crossing sprouts", and most bravely headed back the branches growing too tall or in weird directions. There are two branches I would like to cut, but they have several apples still on them, so I will do as the book suggests and mark them with ribbon.
As I understand it summer pruning is good for shaping and limiting tree growth, and winter/dormant pruning is good for encouraging growth (rather like pinching back a smaller plant to get it to sprout new leaves) Since reading "Grow A Little Fruit Tree", my terror about pruning seems to have abated. The concept of keeping fruit trees small enough to reach has always seemed theoretically sensible, but the experienced folks I knew believed otherwise. Plus pruning seemed so esoteric, and the decisions so permanent.
Hopefully the opening out of the tree center to allow more sunlight, and the shortening overall, will prove helpful to me and not harmful to the tree. If I can reach all the branches, then next year I can barrier the fruit to help avoid the ubiquitous codling moths and apple maggots, and maybe get some non-wormy apples!
The rest of the week was a lot less stellar, with medical discouragement and an excess of OHP paperwork do-overs that entailed spending literally hours on hold. Hopefully and eventually that will be sorted out and I can maintain insurance coverage, my cranky knees will heal, and I can continue to live in the bright world a good long while, but for the meantime our plucky heroine will imagine herself floating on the affections of the people who love me for who I am, since my wealth is not in the bank, but in the care and kindness of my friends and family...