winter fruit


My mother died in June, and mostly I'm doing okay.  I miss her, but am happy she's no longer suffering.  And I feel strongly, in so many ways, that she's still with me.  When I encounter a dilemma, her voice emerges in my head offering sound suggestions.  Or I notice I'm doing something in a particular way, and remember that she is the one who taught me.

But there are hard days, too.

My mother loved fruit.  She always had a small container stashed in her bag full of grapes, watermelon cubes, an apple, an orange, a persimmon or bosc pear... These were her favorite snacks and she ate with great pleasure.  But no matter how much she relished every bite, she always offered to share...

Certain types of fruit are available all year round while others are available only for a few months during a particular season. One my mother's favorite fruits which first appeared in stores a few years ago was sumo-citrus -- a hybrid of satsuma tangerines and navel oranges.  The first year they appeared, this type of citrus could only be found in March + April; but now that the orchards have matured, sumos are available from January-May.  When they came back in season each year and I first spotted them, I would call my mother and tell her the happy news -- "they're back!" And so a few weeks ago, when sumos first appeared again, I reached for my phone...

There are stars up above,
so far away we only see their light
long, long after the star itself is gone.
And so it is with people that we loved --
their memories keep shining ever brightly
though their time with us is done.
But the stars that light up the darkest night,
these are the lights that guide us.
As we live our days, these are the ways we remember.

-- Hanah Senesh (translation by Jeffrey Klepper)


a new year

Hello! It's January 22rd, and I am finally managing to write a new year's post.  Every day I tell myself I will have time to sit down and write this post, but... you know... life.  Then there's the quandary.  Given the (ahem) fantastic time we've had here in the US in 2017, can I, with deepest sincerity, announce "Happy New Year"?  My inner Eeyore says, "nope."  The evil pestilence which has settled on this country doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.  Midterm elections are coming up, and that may help mediate the situation, but my inner Eeyore is still feeling skeptical.  

Meanwhile, as balm for our souls, I greet you with a photo of Turkish Delight.  This is not Turkish Delight courtesy of the White Witch of Narnia... no!  It's from Miette, and the next time you're in San Francisco, I highly recommend you go there and buy some Turkish Delight for yourself (and caramels and sour grapefruit jellies and sweet little berry flavored lozenges from Italy... because that's what we bought). 

What else have we been up to since last we spoke?  The Winter Fairies! Have I not told you about the Winter Fairies?  When my older son was 3, he started a yearly winter solstice tradition of decorating the house with paper snowflakes, writing a note to the fairies, and setting it on the table with a plate of cookies, flowers and a candle.  In return, the fairies brought foil wrapped chocolates in the shape of ladybugs and a small toy.  When he was 10, my older son stopped writing notes to the fairies, but happily, at that point my younger son was ready to take up the task of welcoming the fairies into our home.  In years past, the fairies brought gifts such as carved wooden toys, books (about fairies, of course), and music boxes, but this year they outdid themselves -- they brought a magic wand which chimes when you tap it.  If the fairies didn't bring you a wand this year, don't fret because you can buy them HERE at Bella Luna Toys.


What else? I made a new years resolution which might interest you.  A few years ago I gave up making resolutions which fall into the category of self-improvement and resolved to watch more TV.  Really. I hardly watch TV at all, but was curious about particular shows on PBS and HBO, and that turned out to be a great resolution.  This year I resolved to become acquainted with and start using Instagram -- so there you go.  I've spent the past few days figuring out how it works, and think I'm finally ready to invite you to follow me (if you're inclined).  You can search for me by name (Margaret Bloom) or by my blog name (webloomhere).

And finally, hyacinths.  They are lined up along my kitchen window sill and my house smells sweet.

How has 2018 been so far for you?  Are you well?  I hope so. Maybe I will see you around Instagram.  Until next time... xo