Sorry for any let down, but it is, in fact, just what the title says it is: roses and citrus.
We brought them home with us from the desert: three bulging bags of citrus – grapefruit, lemons, oranges – and a bunch of rosebuds. They are the tangible reminder that our little house is waiting for us down there, nestled under the palm trees, basking in the California sunshine as we slip and slide and shovel our way through the snows and inversions of a Montana winter.
The roses – multi-colored and sweetly scented. They were at their best all over Christmas and New Year and now a week has passed since I went into the garden as the sun rose over the desert and snipped all the buds I could find, wrapped a soaking wet paper towel around them, placed them in a plastic bag with some more water, and found a spot in the car where I hoped they wouldn’t get squashed. They are beginning to fade now, and a few petals have dropped onto the table, but a faint scent remains.
The citrus – a golden bounty of vitamin C. Sweet pink grapefruit and slightly tart oranges from our neighbor’s trees that hang heavy on our side of the fence – she likes us to pick them so that they don’t fall to the ground and attract unwelcome 4-footed visitors, and we are happy to oblige! The lemons, some almost as big as the grapefruit, are from our own tree that sits in front of our house for our neighbors to help themselves when we are not there.
We’ve been eating the grapefruit for breakfast and I’ve been looking up marmalade recipes for the oranges; some of the lemons are going to friends, and I know I’ll be making a lemon pound cake next time our son comes home. Yesterday I cut up one of the larger lemons and put the pieces into a couple of mason jars along with some grated fresh ginger and honey – I’ll take spoonfuls of honey and add it to some hot water to help soothe the colds and sore throats that are sure to come our way before winter is over.
Roses and Citrus: come to think of it, that could be be a pretty good metaphor for the way we divide our live between our two homes!