Potted evergreen Lion befuddles dropped Dyson vacuum

Mid-May has arrived in Santa Barbara. (In fact, it’s arrived everywhere on the planet.) It was an agonizingly warm 101° F (38° C) when we returned. “Who asked for that?” I thought as I opened the windows. Our home was very stuffy. But..

...our trip to New England and
Canada had been fun and enjoyable. We visited Nazy’s relatives in Montreal which is a very pretty city (when it’s not winter). We were treated like royalty with parties, city strolling and dinner at a truly elegant restaurant named Milos. We saw my sisters in Boston as well.

It had been a very snowy and cold winter in the Northeast. But, the first warm temperatures of 2014 appeared simultaneously with our arrival. (Coincidence? I think not.) As we drove to Hanover, we noticed that the trees were devoid of leaves. There were a few exceptions:

Now I see why they call them evergreens, Nazy.” I began.

“Excuse me?”

“In California,
all trees are evergreen - not just the conifers like pine, spruce, balsam, cedar.”

“Some of the California trees are
brown and dead, Dan. We haven’t had much rain.”

“Most of the trees here look dead.” I replied. “
But,” I thought, “When spring does come, tree leaves show up as rapidly as a lightening bolt hitting a man wearing an aluminum foil hat in a thunderstorm.

We were lucky to arrive at the exact time the rapid change took place. A tulip poplar at Firozeh’s house went from bud to bloom during the three days we were there. The forests that were ‘dead’ during the drive through Vermont were now green and bursting with life.

Darius (now in Iran) has become interested in ancestry studies. He traced part of our family to Francis Martin of Goffstown, NH (born 1792). Darius suggested a stop in Goffstown to see this historic family town. I can report that Goffstown is historic. (Nothing has changed since1792.)

Darius will have a good time: This photo is from our trip to Isfahan in 1974

blue mosque in Isafahan 1974_edited-1

Flashback: Update

Background: Readers of last week’s issue of The Weekly Letter are undoubtedly aware of the dramatic loss of my hand-cast sterling silver lion ring and the equally dramatic discovery that the silversmith who constructed the ring almost 20 years ago is still working in the same place (Pearce Jewelers). He had retained the wax mold that was used to make the original ring. Naturally, we ordered a replacement.

Recall that I told Nazy that a wood sprite and a warlock had stolen the ring that I had carefully taken off
before transplanting the outdoor orchids. She responded to my forthright and clear explanation with barely controlled disdain. (Well, uncontrolled disdain.)

“Your ring is not in the house, Dan. You did
not take it off before you planted the orchids. So, you need to empty the orchids you planted. You carelessly let your ring - the ring that the kids and I had made especially for you - slide off your finger while you were up to your elbows in potting soil and bark mulch.”

“I distinctly remember removing my ring
prior to digging in dirt. I am, my dear, like an unemployed court jester: nobody’s fool.”

You should check the orchids. Empty the pots, examine the soil and you’ll find the ring.”

“Do not be absurd. The ring is not there.” Showing backbone and confidence in the correctness of my position, I did not touch the orchids.

End Flashback Update

As I drove home after my morning swim, I saw Nazy crouched on the patio. She was armed with a bag of potting soil, a bag of bark and a trowel. I parked the car.

“I told you that was unnecessary and totally inappropriate!” I exclaimed, laughing. “You will not find anything in the orchid soil...”

Nazy pointed. I saw a silver something covered with dirt.

“I knew
you wouldn’t look, so I dug up the orchids. There’s your ring! So much for warlocks.”

best dirty lion ring

“Well done, my dear.” I replied. “I wonder if she found it in the house and moved it here? Or, bought it back from the warlock?” I thought. “You are very competent, my dear.” I continued.

“It’s important that
someone in the family demonstrate competence.”

“But now what are we going to do with the new ring?” I asked. Nazy shot me a cutting look. “Never mind,” I mumbled.

Before leaving for the northeast, I conveyed very detailed instructions to Melika about the timing of the forthcoming birth.

“You’re going to make me a grandfather for the first time, Melika. So don’t do it while I am 3000 miles away. Wait. Patiently wait until we return.”

Then I called Tom to reaffirm the message: “If things start too soon, consul patience and delay.”

However: the
baby dropped while we were in Canada. Luckily, it didn’t drop far enough. We made it back before becoming grandparents. Today, while I was exercising, I heard an announcement over the loud speaker.

Will Dan Martin immediately come to the front desk for an urgent message?”

This is it!” I thought. However, the front desk was looking for Stan Nardon.

Our California home, closed during our visit to New England, was stuffy in the unbearable heat that greeted our return. Weather like this is discouraged in Santa Barbara. (Environmentally friendly, we don’t ‘do; air conditioning.) Luckily..

“.... we have a fan in
THE STORAGE,” Nazy claimed. “We ‘just’ have to go and get it.”

“That fan is dusty, grime-speckled and hidden behind a huge wall formed by boxes of books,” I replied, unenthusiastically. “We bought it during a power outage in Houston.”

“I can’t sleep without a fan.”

“I know, Nazy. That’s why we are going to Best Buy to get a good fan.”

“I want one of those Dyson fans,” Nazy agreed. “One with no rotating blades.”

“Really? How does it move air?”

“I don’t know, but it won’t get dirty. And I like our Dyson vacuum.”

Unfortunately, Best Buy was fan-less. For some reason (101° F) other people had been there first. I placed a Dyson fan order on Amazon.com and collected our grungy fan at
THE STORAGE. Nazy planned to use the ‘amazing’ Dyson (bag-less) vacuum to clean the crud-encrusted fan. However, the Dyson vacuum didn’t suck.

“It’s clogged,” Nazy noted - assuming that I’d know what to do. “
You have to empty it.”

“No problem,” I replied. Unfortunately, I did not remember the results of the last time I dealt with a clogged Dyson. In fact, I had mentally blocked the miserable experience that involved dust-slides and debris fields. “I’ll just push the red
button,” I said.

READER ALERT: In fact, you should push the silver button. If you push the red button first, a subsequent push of the silver button will cause explosive ejection of sucked up debris.

“The instructions,” Nazy said (too late), “suggest care when opening the... What did you do?”

I wonder what the catch will be with the Dyson fan?” I thought. I fully realized that I looked like a coal miner after a hard day at work. When I finished vacuuming the mess (which, of course, (re)clogged the machine) I went outside to (re)empty the Dyson. “Lots of empty experiences,” I thought. “SILVER BUTTON FIRST!” I thought.

Photos of our trip to the Northeast are available

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