When I purchased this tree from Home Depot in 2000, part of the appeal was that I could keep it stored and decorated year-round and just haul it out for the holidays. When I read that an artificial tree would only be considered environmentally friendly if it were used for at least 15 years (turns out it's 20), I was all in.
In 2014, when I moved from Maryland to California, the fully decorated tree came with me. When we arrived, my soon-to-be husband, who had never experienced the tree, said we didn’t have room for it in our apartment and should sell it. I said, no way. We unpacked it, and with only five glass ball ornaments broken, he agreed the tree should stay.
I’m really proud of this tree. It’s my favorite part of the whole Christmas deal. I hope you all have a similar talisman against the weirdness of the season.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace, friends. Sending love and hope for humanity, and this tree, in the new year.
His sweet and tender dotage - with Vic, with me, with Nell - eclipsed his crazed, marauding youth. He turned out to be the best companion, snuggler, bear sniffer, and Cheerio eater around. We miss him and will continue to keep him with us always.
Thank you to Didi Guse for illegally adopting him because she knew we belonged together in my apartment.
Thank you to the doctors who saved his life when he was two by removing a box of unused tampons from him stomach, describing the mass as the tangled innards of a melon-sized baseball, and asking me if I wanted to see it. Of course I did.
Thank you to Vic for repeatedly threatening to throw Bow against the wall or drop him off in a Walmart parking lot, but never doing so.
Thank you to Nate for adopting Bow as your own.
Thank you to everyone who let Bow lick your ears, or stare deeply into your eyes, or whack you with his tail in greeting.
Thank you Bow for imprinting on so many people's lives. Thank you Bow for loving Vic even when Pete was afraid to. Thank you Bow for saving me again and again by waking me up in the morning and telling me you needed me. Thank you Bow for taking me outside and keeping me there for hours at a time, listening, looking, smelling.
Thank you for sharing your life with us, Bow Bow.
My two year old daughter, Nell, says, "Bow Bow? Bow Bow, come!" I tell her, "Bow can't come. He's dead." and she cries. I don't think she knows what it means exactly, but maybe when the "sealed river rock" cremation package I purchased at the vet is delivered home (what was I thinking?), that will be a starting point to the conversation.
On the 4th of July I was stung by a wasp, a yellow jacket, while watching our town parade. I saw her crawl up my pant leg, but I waited to retrieve her, hoping she would turn around and find her way out on her own. Instead, as the fabric became tighter around my leg, she wedged herself and stung me. Ouch! The pain registered as a splinter jab and then bloomed into a prickling sensation that traveled across my leg and lingered for thirty minutes. Luckily, I'm not allergic to wasp stings, like so many people are, and that was the extent of the damage.
Yellow jackets are aggressive. They'll liquify just about anything to feed their young. Here is a photo of yellow jackets feeding on a sphinx moth in my neighbor's yard.
And building a new nest across the street.
Linked is some light reading on yellow jackets and other social wasps from California's IPM program. Yellow jackets beware, I'm keeping a sharp eye out and I won't hesitate to smack the next one of that lands on me!
At the high school where I teach, about 1% of the students and 7% of the faculty are reading Gar. Do we assign too much homework, or are adults really the backbone of the YA market? No conclusions can be drawn from this limited data set.
If you hear someone shouting in the halls, "Hey, kids! Forget about your homework. Read Gar!" It wasn't me.