Dear Tom, this morning’s harvest~


Garlic. Purple potatoes. A couple leftover spring onions.

Yesterday I harvested asparagus, three bunches of celery, and a big bunch of broccoli. Now that the garlic is out of the ground I’ve got to get the clover-stuff out of the bed. Last year I purchased plants from a new nursery and unfortunately contaminated one entire bed with this yellow clover-ish weed. You can see some with the garlic.

My four baby robins fledged! Now a pair of mockingbirds have moved into the robin’s nest. They spend all their spare time begging for worms (making sounds like a puppy) and attacking Jake. Unlike the great horned owl, he can safely ignore them.

Yesterday we went to a beautiful beach. Jake had a wonderful time. He ran around like a maniac, then he and Oscar took a three mile hike. Unfortunately my climbing days are over until I’ve had surgery and rehabbed, so I walked along the shore and collected semi-precious stones. Then we drove over the Golden Gate into San Francisco to meet our youngest and her boyfriend for coffee. He lives at the very top of one of those hellacious hills and yes, I drove. Driving up the hills scares me to death. I always feel as if my car is going to flip upside down. Down doesn’t bother me. But believe me, I’d rather be driving than sitting in the passenger seat. I remember the first time I rode in the passenger seat up one of those hills – I was nineteen years old. I insisted the driver stop and let me out. I walked up the hill.

Last night we got lost in the mountains outside of Lafayette, looking for a retirement dinner. One of my husband’s managers is retiring after 40 years. The event was held in the middle of the wilderness (not kidding) at the end of a single-track road after we’d wound our way through a maze of country roads. Reminded me of the roads in Scotland but without the necessary turnouts. We had a hill on one side and a cliff on the other. We somehow managed to make it there without encountering another car (3 miles). The way home was another matter. All I can say is at least we were on the hill side, not the cliff side.

I only mention this retirement dinner because it made me sad. This woman has dedicated her life to her job. She’s married but has no children and only one sister. Her co-workers are both her family and her closest friends and now she’s leaving them.

There was a photo retrospective running on a loop on a big screen television.

Oscar’s co-worker is a happy healthy 70 year old woman. She radiates warmth and intelligence. But I experienced this weird disconnect as I watched the slide show. I’ve only known her for a couple years and I know little of her history. I was, to be frank, stunned. She was a glamorous young thing. She had model looks, kind of a combination of Bridgette Bardot and Twiggy. I had this completely inappropriate thought – If anyone ever makes one of these retrospectives of me I’ll come back from the grave and kill them. I think it’s kind of the same reason movie stars don’t watch their old movies. We’re young and then one day we get old. It ain’t always pretty.

Time does fly, doesn’t it?

XOXO! Julia



15 thoughts on “Dear Tom, this morning’s harvest~

  1. Greta van der Rol

    You know that old saw about looking into a mirror and wondering who that old bag is? Yeah, that. This is why I hate having my photo taken.
    I hope you’re looking after yourself so you xan take those long walks with Jake again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Greta- LOL! I’ve always hated photos so nothing has changed for me. I have knee surgery on June 22nd. Three month rehab – 2 years for full healing. But I should be walking pretty well after 6 months. Thanks!


      1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        Be well. I know how much walking means to you – hope the rehab does its trick.

        I’m trying to persuade a couple of muscles to work. It seems to me they are gobsmack in the middle of the path to my walking. We’ll see, but right now they hurt, which may mean I’m getting to them.

        I’m seeing another orthopedist in July. I’m trying not to pre-judge, but the thought of at least twice as long as a normal person to recover from any surgery, and a pain-storm last time of epic proportions, makes me skittish. I’d rather do it myself, if at all possible.

        I’m sure Jake misses those walks with you, too.

        The black things are potatoes, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. juliabarrett Post author

        Oh, purple potatoes, Alicia. Love purple potatoes. Jake gets his walks – it’s just that he gets 2 miles on the flat at a slow pace. Grateful for that much, let me tell you!
        Good luck with your own issues- I know it’s a struggle for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        Hanging in here – you know that.

        I’m nothing if not stubborn.

        If we didn’t think we were getting somewhere with these things, we’d be seeking strategies to end them other ways. But I’m hoping we can get through them and beyond.

        Pray for my experiments with muscles to work – that would be the greatest gift.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      It does fly by, Ray. I was never one of those kids who was in a hurry to grow up. Still not in a hurry to grow up! Happy birthday!!! Hugs!


  2. Roberta

    So. Am I the only person here who does not mind aging? I will be the big seven zero next month. Still healthy, despite a small, mild stroke in January, and still look younger than 70. Or so everyone tells me. I know for sure I do not act it!!!!!!!!!

    So now I want to climb SF hills with you, cook, laugh and have fun with you and my other friends.

    Love your veggies, and stories about Jake. Keep bringing it on, Julia. Bring it on. 🙂


  3. Marylin Warner

    Julia, this post makes me smile. It’s a conversational sharing of your garden, the walk on the beach, the drive, the retirement; it’s a touching “thinking of you, Tom, and missing you” post, a beautiful way to share your life with a missing part of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jaye

    It’s not the face in the mirror that bugs me so much, it’s the noises. The creaks, pops, internal grumbles, the little grunts and groans I make unconsciously when I get out of bed in the morning. Ah well, aging beats the alternative.

    I’m starting to think, though, that so many object to aging because once you pass the window of dying as a beautiful corpse what’s left is being interesting. Interesting is a lot harder to achieve than beauty.

    I want some of those purple potatoes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Interesting is beautiful, Jaye! Without a doubt! But I could tell from her actions and attitude- and the way this woman studiously avoided the streaming slideshow, that she hated it altogether. She was a real fashion plate or icon in her day. Coulda been a Bond Girl! And now she had turned 70 and she didn’t like it a bit. One of those people who is still 20 on the inside. I get that.
      We’re harvesting the potatoes next weekend. I may send you a box!



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