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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
APR
17

Carlsbad Flower Fields and a Survey

This is one of those times that I quiet the inner voices of frustration and panic over how ridiculously expensive it is to live in San Diego County and consider that the financial premium is sometimes worth it. Because it's just so damn beautiful here. The ocean, the weather, and, more specifically, the Flower Fields in Carlsbad that bloom each spring.

For those of us who live here and take time to notice, we can see the evolution of the fields coming together over the entire year. I don't know much about flowers, BUT I do know it sure looks like the overall maintenance of the fields is a large undertaking. And there's nothing quite like seeing the fields in full bloom, which they were this weekend, looking nothing short of spectacular. If you're in the area, don't miss this. If you're planning a visit in the next few weeks, don't miss it either. If you're in any other category, put this on your bucket list for an April in your future.

Easter is a lovely time to reflect, not just about the religious significance if it holds that for you, but also about spring and re-birth in general, new paths or projects that can leave us refreshed. I'm continually working on myself and my own next steps, both small and large, and one of those is to continue plugging away at my newest writing project. If you're at all interested in contributing to that project, I'm currently looking for perspectives from women...those with children and those without. Click the link below that applies to you if you have 3 minutes to take a brief survey. Your anonymous comments may end up making it into my next book!!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PTNNQR3 Children

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PTGJWQQ No Children

MAR
06

Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree

There's a children's song that likens apricot blossoms to popping popcorn, and I have to say, it really does kind of look like that. This is my first blossom season as the owner of an apricot tree, and the whole thing is pretty charming. I now own three different types of fruit trees, and it's interesting how it makes me more aware of the seasons. Or maybe it's the passage of time. Or maybe it's that the passage of time is now more formally segmented in these seasonal cycles. Don't get me wrong, fruit trees are a bit tricky to figure out, and I'm still learning. But overall it adds a new element to the year based on where the trees and their crops are at any given time.

My lemon tree produces fruit all year round. Meaning the tree is covered with lemons in various stages of growing, from tiny green bulbs to medium-sized fruit gradually turning yellow, to fully-grown lemons that are ready to pick. There's less pressure with a lemon tree, in that you always have what you need when you need it. And when you pick one, there's another one growing right behind it. My orange tree produces throughout the year as well, but it's more in batches, where the oranges tend to grow at the same rate, meaning they're ready at the same time. And then there's the apricot tree, which works all year to produce one harvest. It's one and done, perfect for making a big batch of jam to enjoy throughout the year, but it does mean more pressure, in that if anything goes wrong, you're not going to get any fruit and will have to wait a whole year before getting another chance.

I would guess you can categorize almost everything in life as being like one of these trees. I think of writing like a lemon tree, in that there's no one single right time for it. It happens all year round, anytime, as you need it or as it finds you. There's no season for writing, per se, and I think that's what we could say about any of our hobbies. They fill the time when we have it and provide everything from escape to relief to satisfaction. For things that require more time, work, and preparation and ultimately produce a single brief but amazing result, these are like apricot trees. I'm working on one right now myself, and have been for months. It's something I've wanted to make happen for many years and involves multiple parties and schedules and quite a few logistics that need to align. I'll only get one shot at it, and although the result will be amazing and completely worth it, it's not something I'll get to experience again. I guess that's what makes apricot trees so special.

One last note about fruit trees. Their seasons remind me that while nothing is permanent (the winters of our lives turn into springs), the pattern certainly is. Meaning getting through a metaphorical winter doesn't mean there isn't another one coming behind it--one that could be even more devastating. But springs truly do follow every winter, so I'll leave you with the lyric of one of my Grandpa's favorite songs: "Deep in December, it's nice to remember, although you know the snow will follow. Deep in December, it's nice to remember the fire of September that made us mellow. Deep in December, our hearts should remember and follow."

JUN
21

The Longest Year

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A year ago today I did my first full read-through of the newly-completed Jeweled. I remember this because of a sad event that occurred in my life immediately after I finished this read-through. But that’s not what I want to talk about.

There’s a tree in my front yard, the kind of tree that blossoms every spring. The weeks when the tree is in bloom are my favorite of the whole year, and I’ll often stop and stare out the front window at the sea of fluffy pink. The tree is so tall that the blossoms also fill the windows of my bedroom upstairs. I look forward to this every spring, but with such a long and heinous winter this year, it didn’t surprise me that April came and went with no blossoms. May, too. Mother Nature was just a bit behind schedule. Polar Vortexes can do that. Coming up on July now though, it’s finally occurred to me that the beating all living things took this winter may in fact have killed my tree.

It’s a sad thing to realize the highlight of such a beautiful season won’t ever come back. That there will be no more blossoms. That some precious, beautiful ability has been unable to withstand the impact of a traumatic event. An event I had no control over that has now forever altered every future spring; left them to seemingly always be worse than they once were. It is maddening, it is unfair, and it is certainly tragic, but at the end of the day, there is still a tree in my front yard. And it has managed to grow some leaves. Vibrant, green leaves. Not as appealing as fluffy pink blossoms, but they are proof enough of life. Not just that it goes on, but that it never left. It’s just different. And maybe even—someday—better. Leaves, after all, do mean potential, and who’s to say what future springs will bring?

This is what I am telling myself one year later. I miss the blossoms, spring was definitely different without them, and should they ever reappear it would quite possibly *make* my life, but I can’t continue mourning their loss. Besides, the season has changed, and I’m putting my money on summer.

MAY
22

Stupid Grass. Stupid Mower. Stupid Spring.

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I'm taking a break from new-book-just-out activities to bring you this important seasonal message: I hate cutting the grass. I know. It's so silly. Especially if you were to see the size of my yard. But cutting the grass is by far the worst part about spring. Especially since this is the first spring in 3 years that my boyfriend (now my ex) isn't around to do it for me. Not that my favorite thing about him was that he did all my yard work. It's just that my favorite thing about him was that he did all my yard work.

So picture this. A couple of weeks ago I realize I can't put it off anymore and go get the mower out of the garage. I manage to get the thing started, but it sounds pretty bad. I'm shielding my eyes as best I can with one hand in case the whole thing blows up and pushing it as far ahead of my body as possible. Halfway through the yard, it dies. I solicited help from the man who was cutting the neighbor's grass, and all I gathered from his diagnosis was there was a bunch of grass clogging the innards of the mower. Nevermind that this is sort of, um, I don't know, what a mower is designed for.

I watched a video explaining how to fix what it seems likely that the problem is, and although I did locate the appropriate bolts and levers, I was unable to fix it. Or, let's be honest, even get anything to budge at all. And this week, my grass out of control once more, I can't even get the thing to start. It instead makes a horrible, cry-of-the-banshee noise every time I attempt it.

Bottom line, I'm not sure what single girls are supposed to do...except for get some cats, buy a Snuggie, and let the grass get so long that the city sends threatening letters using words like "unsightly" and "final warning." Come to think of it, a Snuggie sounds pretty good right now.