My Poor Trees

Last fall I planted three six-foot greengage plum trees that were advertised as orchard-size so they could potentially have blossoms the first year, but only one of them seems to be doing okay. The other two are still alive, though most of the branches are dry and brittle. The growth is coming from the bottom of the trees. It’s surprising to me that the tree that got the most moisture during the winter is the one that seems to be having the most trouble. It’s next to the sidewalk that extends from the house to the garage, so when I shoveled the snow, I dumped it around the base of the tree. That tree actually doesn’t matter so much — it was an extra tree I bought for a gift and then the giftee decided he didn’t want it because he was going to move, so I planted the extra tree in my yard. The only place to put it wasn’t a good location from my standpoint because if the tree ever grew fruit, the fruit would make a mess of my sidewalk. Still, it does show signs of life, so that’s something.

The other tree that’s not doing well is where I really wanted a tree, toward the back of the property. It too is showing signs of life, though also only toward the base. I’d purposely bought the biggest trees I thought I could handle because I didn’t want to go through those first six or seven years of growing a tree from the ground up, though it looks like that’s going to happen after all. Oh, well. I did everything I could, followed all the directions (which isn’t something I normally do — I have a terrible habit of just winging it), so there’s no use worrying about it.

I’ll just wait and see what happens. If necessary, I’ll try getting another tree, maybe a smaller one. Or not. I just checked the website, and they are sold out of all sizes.

Now, if the trees had been crossed with dandelions, I could have kept them alive. One of the few things I seem to be able to grow is dandelions.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Winging It

Yesterday was my last night of being homed. Today I start my odyssey as a homeless woman. I could rent an apartment (that is, I could if they didn’t do a credit check — I have no credit, never having borrowed any money, mortgaged a house, or bought anything on time), but I can’t force myself to do that. It just seems so terribly sad to settle down without Jeff. And then there is the problem of incipient stagnation. At first, I’m sure, I’d do things, but gradually entropy would set in, and there I would be . . . the crazy catless lady.

That scenario is not entirely accurate, but it feels accurate, and that’s all I have to go on . . . feelings. And my feeling is to wing it for a while. “Wing it” meaning to do something extemporaneously. “Wing it” meaning to improvise. “Wing it” meaning to fly.

And oh, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive
And oh, I can fly, I can fly, I can fly
And oh, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive
And I’m loving every second, minute, hour, bigger, better, stronger power

(Chorus from #thatPOWER sung and written in part by Justin Beiber.)

The most complicated aspect of this homelessness is that at the moment I am also carless. My vintage VW is in the shop being prettified (it’s one thing to be homeless, another to look like it). I have also promised to stay in the area until after May so I can perform in a dance program at the local college. We will be performing two of my favorite numbers, a trio of Tahitian Apurimas and a powerful rendition of Hawaiian War Chant, so the promise wasn’t hard to make.

People are being very kind to me in offering to house me for a few days (and even longer), which is especially generous because my situation is of my own making. As I said, I could probably find a place to live, and my carlessness isn’t due to an emergency. (It’s like trying to get sympathy for a hospital stay when the surgery is strictly cosmetic.) On the other hand, maybe it is necessary. These visits will help ease my way out into the world.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. I’ll try to continue to blog every day (or most days, anyway), but don’t get concerned if I disappear for a few days. Ah’ll be bock. (That’s supposed to be a phonetic rendering of The Terminator’s infinitely imitated accent.)

Thank you for your support during these past five exhausting, angst ridden, grief stricken, terrible and wonderful years. Wish me well as I start this new phase of my journey.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.