In Romania, it is now:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tomatoes, Poetry, and Sudden Storms

Lee is here! So good to be with someone who really knows me (and loves me anyway!) and to have a chance to show him some of my adopted country. We're having a good time in spite of extreme heat (in the 90s for three days with no ac), sudden violent storms that had us looking for funnels in the clouds, and a missing suitcase. What is it about the Reed luggage, anyway? I imagine a dialog that goes something like: "Reed, huh? OK, Vlad (Pierre/Juan/Marco), you know the routine. DO NOT put that one on the connecting flight. Just toss it in the corner and forget it for four (six/eight) days." *** Anyway, the weather has cooled to a delightful, breezy day with temps in the 70s, and the suitcase was retrieved last night at 10 during a storm when our landlady Ica drove us in a mad dash to rendezvous with the airport delivery man at a designated point between Cluj and Oradea. So I have copies of my new poetry book Of Root and Sky (Yay!) and my beloved purple peanut exercise ball, which I've missed greatly. And Lee no longer has to wear the sleeveless red t-shirt and clam-digger pants which were the only things that fit him at the local magazine (general store). I have pictures I've threatened to post on Facebook. ;-)****And it's tomato season! or at least the time in which tomatoes are preserved or made into sauce or juice. The whole process has been going on beneath my balcony for the past two days and I find it fascinating. I'll try to attach a link to my pictures at the end. Lee and I love the vine-ripened tomatoes and have been invited to help ourselves to what's in the garden. Here's a fine short poem that captures the essence: Cherry Tomatoes by Anne Higgins Suddenly it is August again, so hot, breathless heat. I sit on the ground in the garden of Carmel, picking ripe cherry tomatoes and eating them. They are so ripe that the skin is split, so warm and sweet from the attentions of the sun, the juice bursts in my mouth, an ecstatic taste, and I feel that I am in the mouth of summer, sloshing in the saliva of August. Hummingbirds halo me there, in the great green silence, and my own bursting heart splits me with life.

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