He can lay the groundwork for a practical joke knowing full well that it might take months to bring it to fruition, but that's part of the fun for him. When we gather as a family, he always figures out some oddball challenge to keep us busy and entertained (like the recent wife-carry race or blow-dart competition). He sometimes says about himself, "If I had more money, I'd admit to being eccentric," but he's living proof that wealth has nothing to do with eccentricity.
And he loves to put his own words to well-known music. As he did the other morning when I gathered a big bundle of parsley that had survived the winter, but bolted early. As I brought the bundle into the kitchen to wash and chop, he started singing, "And some parsley in a pear tree..." to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas, adding other words and phrases throughout the day. Because he sang it every time he walked into the kitchen, and because I couldn't get the tune out of my head, I decided to make it reality.
|"And some pars-le-e-e in a pear tree."|
|The ground is so dry under this tree that we've been hauling water to it|
in hope that it 's enough to keep the pears growing.
The first summer we owned Le Rustique, we got a bumper crop of pears from this tree. The previous owners took some, we gave a few boxes away, I made a lot of pear pies (sometimes with onions, sometimes with ginger), and I froze bags of them to use in smoothies all winter long. Last year the tree was even heavier with fruit, but the week before we were going to harvest the pears, someone stole every last pear off the tree. This tree was nearly forty-feet high, loaded from top to bottom (except where the deer could reach in the middle of the night), and suddenly there wasn't a single pear left on it.
After I got over being furious that someone would do that - and could do it out in the open and so close to our house without being caught - I wanted to cry, but I'm too pragmatic for that. Instead, we took advantage of there being no fruit on the tree to give it a long-overdue haircut.
|By the time I ran to get my camera, this guy was nearly done giving |
the pear tree a good thinning and topping off.
Linking to Rural Thursday, where the stories and photos from rural folk everywhere are worth a look.