That there in the foreground is “Saintly Syrup,” pure maple syrup made (so I gather) as a fundraiser for a church in the upper midwest. It arrived last week in a Big Box O’ Stuff, including the unsaintly (but equally welcome, and equally midwestern) Bloody Mary Mix you see behind.
So cool! I knew my correspondent had been spending his snowy spring weekends maple sugaring — but I had no idea he was doing it for a charitable cause. And though he’d hinted I might see a little of the bounty, I was never expecting a precious quart. That’s a lot of maple syrup — especially now that I know how much of my friend’s work went into producing it.
Thank you, Friend-Who-Prefers-Not-to-Be-Named!
Thursday was hectic. I’ve got a big house project looming — the kind where it’s way, way, way too much for me to do myself, and in fact so complicated that a teardown may be wiser than a rebuild. I’m in the process of finding out.
I’ve been having weeks of trouble trying to get contractors out here. Of course, they’re crazy-busy this time of year. Three weeks — not much of nothin’. Then, between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. I suddenly had more phone calls than I usually get in a month plus a multitude of contractors and potential sub-contractors showed up — sometimes unannounced and sometimes repeatedly. Plus a couple of delivery men and a neighbor. This hermit is feeling like she’s taken up residence in Grand Central Station.
In the midst of all this, the guy who mows my lawn pulls into the driveway even though it’s not that time yet. “What now?” I’m grumbling.
Then he comes to the door and says, “I was mowing a lawn down the way and a cop I know stopped to warm me that there’s a thief on the loose. The guy was last seen coming up your street.” He described the thief in detail (having himself encountered the guy earlier in the week). “His MO is to come up to you and be really friendly while he’s actually scoping out your property. I thought I should warn you.”
I never did encounter the thief. If he came near here I’d hope the noisy dogs (at every house) would deter him (not to mention the “Forget the dog; beware of owner” sign in my window). Still, it was a wonderfully neighborly thought.
Fred, the wonderful man who decided to spend the last months of his life doing good deeds, died a week ago today.
His wife asked me, for privacy’s sake, not to reprint his obituary or link to it here, but it’s wonderful. It made me wish more than ever that I’d known Fred in person. Fred was many things that freedomistas aspire to be, and above all, he was a great soul.
In lieu of flowers or contributions, he requests that all who remember him perpetrate “random acts of kindness” to celebrate his life.