Saturday, April 04, 2009


My occasional traveling companion, Ed – he’s just not a big pruning guy. Cutting off live branches seems, to him, cutting off life. So imagine his three-acre farmette: home to every exuberant plant and all their kinfolk. (Except quack grass. Ed has a thing about quack grass.)

But in his small orchard, there is a peach tree. Deer have gnawed at the trunk, and still it keeps on chugging along. And so Ed has taken a special interest in preserving it and tending to its needs.

This week, he checked out a Hometime video from the library on pruning. It was a very dated video – where the woman was deferential and the guy was domineering. You don’t see videos these days where the guy bosses the little lady all hour long. (Art, typically, outpaces life.)

The video had a huge impact on Ed. (Not the part where the guy bosses the woman – he didn’t notice that.) Today, we drove to his farmette and he handed me three variously sized clippers.

We went to work.

Scaring the birds with our efforts.


In the late afternoon we take a break. For a tennis round or two at our secret court. And then we go back to pruning. The door has been opened. We hack away.


You may not think this was big deal day, but in pruning, I saw Ed step out of his element. So that by dinner, I decided to let him climb back to the world he knows and loves. (Cheap and simple.)

We drive slowly, watching the winter storm sky roll in. The sun is low but visible over a string of empty rail cars.


We buy frozen X and frozen Y at Trader Joe’s. And we watch tennis videos over this imperfect or very perfect meal (depending on whose shoes you're in).