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July 30, 2006


apricots ripening, yes; photo taken july 21 2006

We're having our first visitor from a foreign country--Tamra from the USA! She arrived yesterday. In a jet airplane. I'd been buying booze all week in anticipation of her arrival: slivovice, absinthe, French Chardonnay, beer... You know, all the things you might need for a welcoming party. The only thing is she doesn't drink much. I guess I knew that all along. Regardless, I don't think any of it will go to waste. Well, believe it or not, there are other things to do here besides drink. We took a little tour and chased a flock of birds out of a pear tree. A flock will eat all the fruit off a tree in just a day. Jarda says the only way to discourage them is to hang a dead one from a branch. We've seen his method in action. Does it work? Hard to say. It was hot so we took a dip in his little aboveground pool. We made a maelstrom. He invited us to pick some summer apples and pointed out the tree with the biggest fruit. We filled a beach towel and Tamra resolved to make apple sauce. After that it was craft time in the shade of the walnut trees in our backyard. Sarah put finishing touches on her Chicago Transit Authority el station art installation proposal, Tamra typed interesting words and cut them into strips, and I made a collage out of an inflight magazine and delighted in the way a spiral scissored from a page (pictured here) wafted on the breeze like one of Davinci's flying machines. At night we brought apple sauce to Jarda's where his wife Jarka had decorated their zen garden with candles most beautifully. They joked the apple sauce was babyfood and said it would make good filling for strudel. We sipped the dutyfree whisky Tamra had brought and talked about what might lie beyond the universe. I saw some shooting stars and made some wishes--one of which was to see more shooting stars. And I did! Saying goodnight at their gate (what's come to be a little ritual), Jarda mentioned that druhy zari (Sep 2) there will be an opening ceremony for the village's new roads, complete with Parliamentarians, majorettes, and--most importantly--FREE BEER. Looks like another wish is about to come true...