Thursday, November 5, 2009

Prince James

(The young prince, before the onslaught,
on my mother's lap.)

I didn't have a blog entry in mind today
until I received a phone call from my brother.
He's the oldest of us seven (and the only sibling
of the male persuasion), and twelve years
more senior than I am. (Or, I should just say that
he's a senior, because I most certainly am not.)

I went to war with him when I reached adolescence,
and it wasn't until I was in my twenties that I discovered
that he was really a nice guy. Imagine that!

The purpose of the call was to wish me a Happy BD,
a few days early. Get out the record books! Stop the
clocks! Retirement must be good for him. I don't
generally expect to hear from him this time of year,
but when his BD arrives a mere six days after mine,
I always sign my BD card to him:
from your sister who just had a birthday.....
This was indeed a momentous occasion.

I've often suspected that he views his six sisters
as a single organism; a cackling, shrill lump
of female cacophonous flesh. I took a good-natured
risk this morning and broached this subject,
and he vigorously agreed, without pause.
Ha! I must give him credit for being able to differentiate
enough between us to realize that we were indeed
born on different dates, in different years.

All in good fun, of course. I love getting him to laugh,
and this morning his all-out, deep-throated galumph-
of-a-laugh nearly caused my phone to vibrate.
Whoa there Nelly!

He's gleefully retired on an apple orchard
in Yakima, and this morning the conversation
centered on apple varieties: yellow banana, gala,
golden supreme. He told me about taking a walk
last December through the trees and discovering
one still laden with red delicious apples that had
somehow been missed in the harvest. They were
massive and ridiculously sweet after having endured
several frosts. I love that image -- the surprise
of all that color in the winter landscape, the gravid
fruit hanging low to the ground, sugars simmering
just beneath the surface of the peel.


  1. Living with an apple orchard ... some people do live close to dreams.

  2. the gravid
    fruit hanging low to the ground

    I love that line.

    My brother is turning human again after 20 odd years of oddness. It's nice...

  3. t im trying to not be auntie anonymous the hummingbird is my icon

  4. How lovely. Happy Birthday when the day comes!!

  5. screamish -- thanks for stopping by!

    Shelandoah, nice name!