Today we went to Columbus to celebrate a belated Thanksgiving with my Mom and brother Chris. Such are the compromises you make when you've got two sets of relatives to juggle and keep happy. Today was also Monkey Girl's 14th birthday, which Lisa so eloquently covered in her preceding post. Visiting Columbus is always bittersweet for me, because it drives home the fact that my happy childhood memories have been supplanted by family conflict. The old homestead has been neglected as an outgrowth of this, and while Chris does his best to fix and maintain what he can, it's more than one person (or really, several people) can handle. The fact that he lives in Waco and I live in New Braunfels doesn't help matters any. Today, he and I took a walk in the sprawling back yard, figuring out out to protect the fig trees (which I'd planted for Mom last year) from deer, and what to do with some of the old outbuildings that have fallen into serious disrepair. As we walked under the pecan trees our Dad had planted 40-something years before, I stopped occasionally to pick up a pecan. Most were bad, infected with pecan scab disease. I could tell by whether they'd separated from the husk, and also by weight. Rotten pecans are very light. Almost all the hybrid pecans Dad had planted were bad, vulnerable to the disease without regular spraying. The one native in the back yard, though, had produced many, many good nuts. The downside was these nuts were quite small compared to the others. I did find a few good hybrids, but many more natives. I thought back to our days as kids, picking up so many pecans we couldn't carry them all, so many big nuts that even the dogs would happily crunch the shells to eat the sweet meat inside. It made me think about how life is a series of trade-offs, be it fat delicate nuts or small, hardy ones; or happy childhood memories contrasted to melancholy adult reality. The sum of these trade-offs, for good or ill, equals the human condition.
Lens: Canon EF 100mm 2.8 macro
Lisa On Location Photography