Giving and taking

Summer is the season where gardeners strive to give away zucchini and tomatoes because they’ve got more than they can humanly eat. In winter, this phenomenon is downsized: fewer people around here have citrus trees. Anne’s been giving oranges away every time I see her, neatly packaged, 4 to a blue Mercury News plastic baggie. Since I’ve seen her three times this week, I’ve got a lot of oranges!
The other winter phenomenon is getting preserved home-grown produce. Marcella usually gives me selection of jam and pickles for Christmas. Joe’s dad gives us the lion’s share of dried chilies and jujubes (Chinese dates) for us to pass them on and forward.

I dropped off some dried chilies at my client’s office in Santa Rosa earlier this week. Fortunately there’s two people there who really like spicy food.

Then I had arranged to give Ellen a ride yesterday to dental surgery in Palo Alto and back. ‘Oh goody,’ I thought. I can give her some oranges from Anne: they’ll keep until her teeth allow her to eat them. And since I’m out there, I can drop off the dried jujubes to my uncle in Menlo Park while Ellen’s in the patient’s chair. (Under doctor’s orders, he’s eats 10 a day for his condition.)

I pick up Ellen, who hands me a mesh bag of avocados. “I bought one too many by mistake, so why don’t you take this.”

Later in the day, Anne and I are biking and we stop to check out a nifty little art museum in Belmont. The receptionist/docent is very effusive and explains about the exhibits in great detail. On our way out, she stops us. ‘You can’t leave without taking one of these,’ pointing to a basket of lemons.

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