Lemons & Friendships

The lemon tree with some little avocado friends, (and the perfect lemon it produced.)

“You aren’t my mom. You are better,” the note arrived on Mother’s Day, along with a box containing a lemon tree.

She knows me and loves me, this dear friend from grad school. What a gift. I posted the note where I can see it daily and took the tree out of the box.

It stood about 2 feet tall and had large thorns on the branches. In Connecticut, could I grow lemons? Yes, she assured me, just put it outside, but bring it in in the winter.

Every morning after my swim, I have my coffee next to my lemon tree.

It’s grown quite a bit; there are a good 8-10 inches of new growth, brighter in color than the original. I turn it so it gets evenly sunned and yes, I talk to her as well.

The other day I looked twice. What was that inside the inner most branches? Could it be? A lemon? Here! In Connecticut!

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it growing. I thought I was more observant. How did that happen? Was it smaller? Was it green and blended in, then turned yellow quickly?

I reached in and plucked it out. I couldn’t believe it, but I texted the Giver and said, “Guess what?! I got a lemon from my tree.” She said they grow quickly and had hoped it would produce this year. She was right.

And it was the perfect lemon, so evenly round and with a nice nodule protruding from one end.

Will wonders ever cease?

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Storm Isaias hit our neighborhood and I was out of power for 4 days when Rebel knocked on my door. (Yes, that is really his name.)

“Hey, Doll! If you’re cleaning out your fridge, I’m going to the dump, so I’ll take your trash,” he offered.

His commanding presence in my doorway spoke volumes as a former Marine. He now keeps the neighborhood like it is his latest deployment.

“OK, give me a minute,” I hate throwing out food and I feel like I am admitting failure to do it. At the same time, I knew I couldn’t clean anything that was salvageable, so I packed a bag with produce that was edible. This included the prize lemon. I admit, I fondled it before tucking it into the sack.

“Here’s some stuff you and Denise might like,” I said holding the bag out towards Rebel. Without water, I couldn’t cook or clean, but he and his wife had a generator. We thanked each other and I felt grateful for his willingness and presence.

“You are getting the special lemon that grew on my tree, too,” I mentioned to him.

“Oh, OK,” he said, not at all impressed.

Three days later, we had our electricity restored and I was enjoying coffee by the tree when Rebel’s truck pulled up. “HEY! Denise asked me if you found that lemon she put in your tree the other day?”

What?! It didn’t grow there!?

NO, as a matter of fact, I gave it back to her, I informed him, thanks to Isaias.

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By Catstrav

Reindeer handler. NDT tech. Mother of four. Aspiring astronaut.

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