When life gives you lemons

The lemon trees in the back yard produce lemons as plump and juicy as grapefruits, their flesh nearly as sweet as oranges. The scent of their flowers warp speeds me to a land where merry-go-round horses are hand carved from solid wood and all have glass eyes and they’re always open and rides are free. Yeah, they’re that good.

One of our two trees was a graft. The lower part, the Meyer lemon, struggles valiantly against gravity as its magnificent offspring drag its slender branches toward the earth. The upper portion, though, was something else, something that grew straight and true, reaching toward the sky but vehemently refusing to bud. It stood armed with nasty thorns, each over an inch long, a biological nose-thumbing, if you will.

Needless to say, its snotty attitude left us unimpressed. Armed with our superior position on the food chain and a small hand saw, Rochi removed the offending menace. But in the process of being tossed into the jungle, the black-hearted knave saw an opening for revenge and plunged one of its thorns into Rochi’s thumb. We put some ice on it and tried to push aside the stories we’d heard about the plethora of bacteria and bugs and snails and rats and other threats great and small that lurk in the guise of paradise.

By the next morning, the thumb had swelled up to the size of Mauna Kea and a worrisome pink line was meandering along the inside of his arm toward his elbow. I consulted Dr. Google, who had nothing good to say about the situation, so we hopped into the car and headed for urgent care, where the doctor likewise had nothing good to say and told us to go to the hospital. We detoured back home for breakfast and coffee and I packed some PB and J sandwiches (I wasn’t a Girl Scout for nothing) and off we went.

In the interest of accuracy, it wasn’t peanut butter. It was cashew butter, made from raw organic cashews that I had roasted and ground myself. Cashew butter is peanut butter that has been sent to finishing school and now makes all other nut butters look like cheap knock-offs from China.

The Nut Butter Revue

The ER doc prescribed masses of antibiotics and that was an end to it. Feeling relieved but in need of a little pampering, I suggested that we treat ourselves to cheeseburgers but Rochi suggested it was well past 2:00 and too late for a heavy lunch.

“OK,” sez I. “Point well taken. How about we eat the PB&J in the car and then share a hot fudge sundae?”

So that’s what we did. And it was magnificent.


6 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons

  1. I’m glad the offensive branches are gone, but sheesh, why are the elements out there so nasty– and so intent on Rochi?? I miss the lemon tree that was behind my apartment complex in SoCal. I find it very difficult to spend $1 on a single lemon… and that is a mighty sundae.


    1. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? There’s no way to know at this point, but all of his problems may have started with snails. We have decided to make our peace with that, the price of paradise and all that. At least the little fire ants don’t bite him. They love me.

      I went back and forth about the sundae for about six months and finally decided the time was right. Honestly, I could eat them every day but the elastic in my shorts has limits.

      And you, my friend, have given me an idea for another post. We’ll see where it goes.


  2. So glad that turned out to be an easy fix. I have a bit of a love for pretty plants that have a dark side- my birth flower is the Morning Glory which is a pretty vine that likes to take over and is poisonous if ingested and I kind of love the duality. Those lemons sound just like the Capri lemons in Italy, they are so huge and sweet, likely similar soil with the volcanos nearby.


    1. Hey D. Nice to hear from you! You’re probably right about the soil. We were a little shocked at how little topsoil there is her, and even more shocked at how well some things grow despite the conditions. Hope you’re well!


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