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The fruit trees are all beset with water sprouts and branches reaching where they shouldn't. My lack of fall spraying means that they have come through (or into, in the case of the apples) a fruiting season with more burdens on them than they really need. Aphids and whiteflies have left sooty residue, cutting down on light transmission. I'm sure they haven't gotten the water they need, and yet they have been generous. Their shapes aren't quite right.

Time to get out the clippers and hack off some growth! Maybe the end of summer is why the whole family has had some version of this urge.

Although I'm not really expert at it, I find pruning enjoyable. The plants respond with renewed vigor, even if they wait for a distant season to show it. Should they bear again, I will also be able to reach the fruit! Short trees for real people, that should be my rallying cry.

One of the reasons I haven't done the garden work I need to is that my energy has been focused on a couple of other things. The old posts from my other blog are now live on this one. They can be accessed through the calendar list on the sidebar. Seeing the kids go from little larvae to big people was kind of shocking as I moved them.

The big mental energy expense has been the upcoming trip to the Youth Conference Championship for USAUltimate.

Sarafina was on the winning team last year, and this year both she and Ellie will be on the U19 team. They aren't as competitive, they think, but it should be a fantastic experience.

We'll see how the cross-country drive goes.

I used to worry when I crossed the San Mateo Bridge with the kids because it's a long bridge, right on the water of the Bay, and it was so easy, really so so easy, to imagine one second that would change everything.

Just one car braking the wrong way, or a tire popping, and I felt, almost, the van bouncing off a car on our left and scraping along the K-rail until the forward motion is translated into flight and we roll, gracefully, over the barrier and down into the water so close below.

When I would have these worries, I would imagine me shouting (I shout so much, really) at the older ones to unbuckle as I frantically made my way to the backwards-facing car seat and the forward-facing toddler seat to grab my babies who couldn't swim yet. I imagined us all in the bubble of air as the van tipped, and trying to get them out and realizing even as I did it, that there was no way, no way at all, that I could do it.

I wouldn't be able to save them all. There were too many, and they were too young, and even the older ones wouldn't be able to make it long in that cold water even if they could kick their way up to the air. I wouldn't be able to hold a baby and a big toddler or young child. I would, really, lose some, if not all of them. Worse, I might have to choose which ones to try to save. Imagining that was enough to send me the long way 'round the Peninsula.

As they got older and out of the carseats, the fear faded some. They are older, and more competent, and repetition helps. I still drive as far away from the water's edge as I can, though.

Why, now, why am I revisiting this old fear, this scenario that still speeds my heart rate up as I write it?

Well, I'm not the only one driving all the way to Minnesota.


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