sharron & joyce have been friends for nearly 40 years. since i met joyce a couple of years ago, she's been telling me about her friend sharron. we've talked of having an art retreat together, but it took until this week for that to happen. it's okay. it was worth the wait.
it was love at first sight with sharron. i always fall for the quiet types. joyce had told me about the legendary sunday dinners sharron makes for her family. they gather around the huge wooden table in her old orchard farmhouse. my imagination was off and running when i heard that and i conjured up a story about sharron that wasn't far from the truth. i spun out an entire novella in my mind and had been adding chapters piecemeal.
but when we pulled off the road and down a lane shaded by the avocado groves. as we drove deeper and deeper into the tall trees of the orchard. as shards of sunlight lit the path. as it began to remind me of a southern gothic novel. i changed the setting of my own novella.
we sat at the table. the scene of the sunday suppers. and ate joyce's acai sorbet, fruit stand fruit, homemade granola. heaven in a bowl.
look, a widow's walk! this orchard and house has been in sharron's family for generations. californians. early settlers in carpinteria. they once owned land from the mountains to the sea with family members spread across the valley. and this is the original homestead parcel.
i kept thinking about our dearly departed huell howser of california's gold, and how much he would have loved this tour and time with sharron and joyce. history + california + stories = huell howser.
sharron's daughter has studied the lost art of gilding. her work is golden perfection.
i have studied the art of staring at things hungrily until they are offered to me. i'm not above resorting to theft if the situation calls for it. which is why i just finished a piece of toast with blackberry jam from sharron's kitchen, but not in sharron's kitchen. here at moss cottage. of course i didn't steal it, but i did lunge for the jar when she offered.
the blackberry vines are rambling on an old fence behind the back kitchen door.
hmmmm...time to decide on my favorite chair. where i might sit and think and add another chapter to my novella cum novel. then later in the afternoon i will get my basket and go pick blackberries and figs. pull down a recipe book and make a batch of jam. by the time i finish i'll be ready to light my lantern, don my velvet cape, and go for an early evening orchard stroll. maybe i'll see a litter of bobcats or a fox or a coyote or a werewolf. i might.
oh wait. i forgot to tell you about the dinners sharron's family have in the orchard among the trees! on old quilts! on the ground!
and i forgot about her journals! piles and piles of them.
talk amongst yourselves till i return. no fighting over those journals!