I fell asleep before 9:00 p.m. last night. Even after a 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. wakefulness, I still got a good night's sleep. I am almost over the little bug that has flitted its wings through my health.
We showered and hit the road fairly early today, because today and tomorrow are the one-weekend-a-year Heard Natural Science Museum Native Plant sale in the nearby rural town of Fairview. We always enjoy this plant sale, in which the oblong parking lot of the natural science center is converted into a huge sale of trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs, almost all native (and sometimes endemic) to Texas. The herbs
alone proved to be full of immigrants, who stood on the corner tables, looking vaguely accented. Hundreds of people, toting wagons and other plant conveyances, looked at many hundreds of containers and flats of plants.
We got bluebonnets and salvia, brown-eyed susan and gallardia, and a world of things whose names I don't recall but which looked healthy and had labels that said they would bloom. This is our third year to visit the Heard plant sale. Three years ago, I showed up on Sunday, when the sale was almost over, the plants were picked over, and all marked down to half price. I picked up a few woe-bedraggled leafs of native oregano, fennel and other similar herbaceous shrubs, in tiny containers. When I brought them home, my wife and our young neighbor/friend Tyler, then age 5, were working in our ten-centime front border. They planted the plants in the clay-thronged mud, and and each plant thrived and grew.
Two years ago, we picked up two small native trees, a Mexican buckeye and an eve's necklace. My theory is that front yards on the economy plan should not be served luxurious steak-size trees, but instead should be garnished with yard-appropriate ornamentals. The two trees, though, remained a bit too yard-appropriate, and only gained about a foot of height to five feet tall, while neighboring young live oaks tower up to ten feet or so. My wife and I now are debating whether they died this winter. You see, her theory relates to the leaves. Ours don't have theirs yet. Everyone else's does. This happened last year, but eventually our trees did leaf and the buckeye even bloomed. This year they are attractive bare sticks, suitable for stark admiration. I am an optimist, but I am afraid I may be replacing them soon. Who knows? I hate to give up on trees, but it might be fun to hit the half-price portion of the Heard sale, and pick up two new trees, late in the season though it be.
Next we went to downtown McKinney. McKinney is the town of 65,000 souls just to the north of Fairview and of our home town, Allen. McKinney has one of those quaint town squares with an old courthouse, as many Texas towns do. We stopped in an antique store where I bought a book on bird facts, written, appropriately, by Dr. Bird. I often wonder if Mr. Taylor feels a need to make suits and Mr. Smith misses the sound of things burning on the forge, but as my own name refers to gardening at a convent,
perhaps I can look into my own nonesuch conventions for the answer.
We then went to lunch at the Pantry, a really cool lunch place with a huge dining space, old-fashioned chairs, and an ever-changing menu of luncheon foods. I had a brisket which was "roast beef done right", while my wife had a kind of exotic quiche fit for a royal garden club member.
A quilt caught my wife's eye in the antique shop, so we made our way back, where the very helpful and conversational owner joined my wife in the celebrated religious ritual known as "open every quilt in the store and marvel at its solemn beauty", laced with the liturgy of time of manufacture, method of manufacture, awed uncertainty about the pattern, and general chitchat, a formula which has not changed since the 1923 edition of the Book of Common Prayer.
When they had finished, we were the proud owners of a vintage log cabin quilt, and of an English quilt that would be well-loved, but for the fact that it is in need of love. We did not fear, though, as we got both quilts at a very good price, and the second quilt came with detailed instructions from owner and next-door-proprietor-whom-owner-consulte
Today or tomorrow I must stop by the copy shop and pick up some documents I will need Tuesday. Monday I fly to Los Angeles. Tuesday morning I appear at the Los Angeles Court of Appeal, at which time I will argue not one but two appeals on a single morning. I like appellate matters, and this time I am the party who won in the court below on each appeal, which is slightly if only slightly, less stressful to argue, because one goes second and does not bear as much burden on appeal. Then I have a quick meeting in the San Fernando Valley before I head back home.
It's only three p.m., and I feel I've already had a grand Saturday. It's all a function of starting the morning in the morning.