2.025 Perilla, drive, talk

Sunday 12/27/2020

The usual Sunday morning stuff: read the paper, water the plants, do the NYT crossword. But a couple of things to mention.

One was that since last summer, I have been hosting an extremely large and boisterous purple plant. Wait, I still have the label… Perilla. Huh, wish I’d looked at that Wiki page before, it’s more interesting than I knew. Edible! Herbal! I picked this thing up on impulse the last time I went to Summerwinds Nursery. It really likes my Eastern exposure and it just grew madly. A couple of weeks ago it flowered, modest little curved stalks lined with tiny lavendar blooms. These have now dried up and today I noticed, although it was not lacking water (last summer it would suck up all its water and start wilting in 48 hours) a lot of leaves had fallen off and a couple of stalks looked dead.

OK, I said to it, you get the cut-back treatment. And I whacked off all its stems. I expect it will come booming back in a few weeks. Or maybe not.

It is almost time to do that to the dragon-wing begonias. I did it last year, just as Marian used to do. When the last blossoms fell off she would ruthlessly whack these waist-high bushes back to short sticks and stubs. I would get very consternated, but she was right. Every year they come back to thick, lush, waist-high bushes by early spring. There are a couple of flower clusters hanging on each, but any day now it will be time to do the deed.

Oh, and the Daphne I bought last summer (day 1.233)? I have been tending it carefully, again following Marian’s instructions: never water it until it is fully dry, “it doesn’t like wet feet”, and it is responding the best way: with lots of flower buds. Soon I will have the perfume of the daphne to sniff.

That done I decided to go for a drive. I buzzed up 101, crossed on 380 to 280, out John Daly boulevard and then around the lakes and onto Sunset boulevard. I was thinking I would look for a lucky parking space in Golden Gate Park, maybe take a short walk, but just ran out of motivation and started back. So, a 2-hour drive with no walking. I did take a 2-mile walk just before sundown.

In the afternoon a resident, Dr. Larry Basso — a relative of Dennis’s first wife — gave a talk on the technology of the vaccines. He is very optimistic that, as soon as everyone at CH has had both shots (and over 300 people have turned in their consent forms), life can start getting back to normal inside our walls. He thinks resident Lily Loh is correct, that we can celebrate Chinese New Year 2012 in our Dining Room. That would be February 12. I think he’s just a bit optimistic on that.

But something occurred to me as I was trying to decide where to go for a nice walk: that after mid-February, I can stop worrying about parking places at the Baylands etc. Because, vaccinated, I can go back to using Lyft again! That’s the way to do it; get a Lyft up to the trailhead for the Dish walk or wherever.

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