What a storm last week — The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. I looked out the window and saw that my redwood tree was toppled over, the pot in shards. All the other tall potted plants were on their side as well, but with their pots intact. Plastic chairs — upside down, scattered around. As I surveyed the scenery I resolved to plant the redwood tree in a wine barrel so this would not happen again (much to the consternation of the clay pot industry no doubt). My poor frail tree had already gone through too much with the recent move (and I don’t think redwoods are particularly inclined or fond of travel at 60 m.p.h. in the back of pickup trucks). He lost at least half of his needles, and then I had to trim out the brown dried needles that appeared soon after the move, leaving a skeletal tree. Mind you, I got him as a seedling in Muir Woods, and he is now taller than my middle brother. With great joy I saw fresh growth the week before last, after our first California fall rain. I had watered him every day before that. Now — with triple the amount of soil around the roots in a wine barrel, he should flourish. But I’m jumping ahead.
After the chair mess was cleaned up, and the other plants righted, I drove to a nearby hardware store to buy a half wine barrel — I remembered, that they had a few left on sale. The clerk loaded the barrel for me, as well as two bags of soil.
Arriving back at my apartment, I saw the kid who lives below me, playing with some friends in the back I had not seen before. As I carried the half wine barrel to the back, I was inundated with questions about the fallen tree, the wine barrel, the storm, and many more. I explained to them what my plan was, and all the kids got very excited and asked if they could help. Such enthusiasm! I let two of them (4 and 5 years old) carry a bag of soil from the car to the back struggling mightily, but determined. I had to chuckle at their excited faces. Then one of them held the tree straight, as the others poured soil around it, tapping it down. Then they added some mulch on top. I rewarded the kids with some Pepperidge Farm goldfish I found in the car. I deemed it wise to water the tree myself, as I know the possibilities of what can happen with a garden hose. Next I brought down my cat Calvin, who was greeted enthusiastically, and promptly vanished very quickly, underneath the shed.
Have a blessed and grateful Thanksgiving week, and count your blessings, if you can be with family