Saturday, August 21, 2010

Coming home

I wish all returns home were like this past Tuesday, when I drove in after two weeks away for work.

On my way back from New York, I stopped in Detroit for a night to visit an old friend and her partner. They recently purchased a house and quickly made it a home, already with a garden and chickens this first season. Upon my departure, they loaded me up with some jars of jam she made from foraged fruit around Detroit. Among the blueberry-raspberry and straight blueberry jam, I am saving for myself the peach and crab apple; the apples foraged from a neglected tree on one of Ford's old auto plants.

When I pulled up into my driveway, my neighbor saw me and waved. I went over to say hello and he mused that it was hot while I was gone, and it was good for his tomatoes. He started picking some, and asked if I had a bag. I held open the bag holding the jams. He gave me some cucumbers and two sweet onions in addition. I always feel like a leech when he shares his mastery of the garden, because I rarely have anything to offer in return. Finally, this time, I reached into the bag and gave him one of my friend's jams in exchange. Paul, in curt and sincere Midwestern fashion said, "Thanks", and off we went our separate directions. I was still holding my duffel bag from the trip. I walked inside, set all my bags down and smiled this huge dopey grin I am glad no one else saw. I love moments like this.

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