yes, i used to sit in the backseat and sing off-key soprano accompaniment to my father’s off-key baritone:
caviar comes from the virgin sturgeon.
the virgin sturgeon’s a very fine fish.
the virgin sturgeon is no urchin,
that’s why caviar is my dish.
my father appreciated expensive things, which he often bought, although he couldn’t often afford them. and he appreciated nonsense verse, which i will always love him for. so, papa, here’s some expensive saffron for you. it comes from the hocus-pocus crocus. i hope you’re doing a lot of laughing at nonsense wherever you are.
wild crocus (not crocus sativus however)
orb river, languedoc, france
i’m trying to remember just how casual i was about picking these dense, fragrant herbs from my husband’s little herb garden against a sun-drenched south-facing stone wall of our terrace in autignac. i was certainly much too casual, because right now they look like apparitions from another world, and i would give almost anything to have a fistful of them held up to my nose right now. and it’s gonna be a long time before anything like this will be growing in shoreview mn. ok, time to go shovel the front stoop. catch you later.
kitchen garden herbs: parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, hyssop
imagine a time lapse photo of the growth of these wild teasel. wouldn’t their stems look just like the trajectory of a volley of fireworks, rising along a wandering path into the night sky, and then exploding simultaneously? or is it just very late, and i am being fanciful? nope. tan fireworks. totally.
we had a little “what do you miss about france” conversation tonight. steve and joe both blurted out, “oysters.” then both blurted out again, “moules marinières.” almost in tandem. if i had managed to blurt faster than my two boys, i would have blurted that i miss uninterrupted, unfragmented, unspoken-for, unquestioned, unshared, unstructured, unscheduled, and, since our return, unimaginable hours of creative play. i miss my dining room table converted to an art table, while podcasts play and i sip tea and arrange pieces of paper on other pieces of paper. in related news, today i called center point energy, healthpartners insurance network, allstate insurance, the piano tuner, our handyman, and the city of minneapolis utility billing departement. om…
etang de thau, languedoc, france
dense thickets of wild blackberry line all the roads and ditches of southern france, and border most of the patchworked parcels of grape vines. they are impenetrable. and if you spend any time, any time at all, in the open spaces surrounding the villages, you will soon find your shins and calves covered in a fine cross hatching of scrapes and scabs. i bitch about them constantly when i am in the languedoc. and now, here i am, only one week returned to the land of lobed leaves and smooth bark, and i am already nostalgic for these damned lethal beauties. it’s like being nostalgic for wood ticks. it makes no sense at all. but nostalgia doesn’t play fair.
wild blackberry canes