Thursday, December 20, 2012

Only a week to go

That realization hit me today and gave me a little jolt of panic for a minute or two, but I took a deep breath and remembered my"sweet and simple" plan for this Christmas. It will be OK. I have lost most of this month to medical stuff and most recently an ear infection that has left me exhausted and lethargic and almost totally deaf—temporarily, I hope. It is terribly frustrating, but in some ways a relief from all the noise and so much talk, talk, talk.  Two shooting tragedies in a week and everyone is analyzing and preaching and pontificating. What I think we all need right now is more quiet. I know how much I have cried in the past week and I'm sure each of you has too. We don't need to know how everyone on Facebook feels,  how they think we should feel, or what they think oughta' be done. We all know. We all feel it.

Ray has done most of the decorating, and it is properly festive around here, no thanks to me. Can you tell this is a fake tree? I can't believe it. We bought a fake tree after all the many lovely trips to the mountains and to the tree farms and yes, occasionally to the Boy Scout lot at Albertson's parking lot, in order to have an honest-to-god Oregon Christmas tree, redolent of that sappy, spicy, nothing-quite-like-it piney, fir-y, balsam-y perfume. We put up with the dropped needles and the impossible messy stand and all that for years, but the final decision to go fake, was how allergic we both seem to be to the real trees and it seems to get worse year by year. It's a good fake tree. It sounded grossly expensive until we did the math and figured, what with the price of real trees, this baby would pay for itself in a few years. I cut some branches from a real tree to decorate the mantel and add a little tree smell. We'll see how much of that our sinuses will tolerate.

I looked out our back window today and noticed something puzzling. Ray recently cut a tree against our back fence and now we see more of what is beyond that fence. It looked like one of our neighbors has decorated a little tree in their backyard for the holidays.

They have hung many orange ornaments. No, wait. Can that really be? Why orange? Why in the backyard? OK, I had to figure this out, so I dug out the big binoculars. I had an unsettling mental image of myself, standing at the back window, spying on my neighbors! I believe they are persimmons—not the neighbors—the orange ornaments. You don't see many persimmon trees in these parts, so it was about the last thing that would have sprung to my mind. Persimmons. Aren't they pretty? I'm glad I know what they are and I don't have to wonder if the neighbors just have an odd idea about tree decorating.

The limit of my camera zoom. My view through the binoculars was better.


  1. Gosh, I hope you are feeling better each day. It seems the older I get the harder it is to get over colds and flu and stuff. I think your persimmons are Fuyus, but I can't tell for sure. They have a flat shape and you eat them like an apple, when they are hard. They can be eaten when they get very ripe and soften, but hard is best. The Hachiya persimmons are shaped more like a top with a point on the end and they must be eaten when they are very, very soft. That is the kind one uses to make pudding. See my blog post for 12-18-12.

  2. Have you ever eaten a persimmon? I tasted one two weeks ago in my Master Gardener class. Unlike what I'd heard, it did NOT pucker my lips. It has a mango-peach-banana flavor. I purchased one at Publix for a whopping $1.29 and allowed it to ripen in a brown paper bag. Heavenly, if expensive, treat!

  3. I kind of like the idea of having persimmons as neighbors - definitely an improvement on some of the nuts I've had next door.

  4. Terry, hope you're feeling better by Christmas. Never tried persimmons, but I'm rethinking that now.

  5. Oh how I hope your persimmons are fuyu. They are my very favorite fruit and should be eaten while still firm. Are your neighbors Japanese? This time of year they sometimes hang persimmons to dry although I can't imagine that would work in your weather. Maybe they just love the color as I do.
    Peace, and a lot of quiet is the answer for the time being. There is just too much sad filler that passes for news. The 24-hour news cycle has caused us to lose a lot of our decency and humanity.
    I hope you feel much better soon and wish you a lovely, sweet, Christmas.

  6. Persimmons hanging on a bare tree during the holidays is a fond memory of Northern California. I love the color of persimmons. I used to make persimmon pudding - yum. Hope you are feeling better for the holidays. I am hanging in there. So far I have not gotten my annual head cold.

  7. I think being really quiet for a few days would be very soothing right now. I still have two days of work left in 2012 and then my Pajama Vacation begins. Lots and lots of quiet. And reading. No television. No news. Perhaps underwear. Take care.

  8. Not another deafening ear infection! Crud begone!

    We have a fuyu persimmon tree around the corner. For several years, the fruit went begging, so I helped myself to a few. But the house was sold and the new owners turned the lawn into a (mostly) edible garden, so they're obviously being put to good use now. Not MY use, but that's okay. I'm thinking of planting one of my own in the spring.

    I sometimes wonder whether persimmon trees in the winter weren't the inspiration for hanging ornaments in the first place.