July 30/22

The cypresses along the Sabinal River are dying. I an see them from here, my house on the ridge. Long stretches of rusty-red color, dead trees.

I am trying to keep this little live-oak tree alive because it’s a kind of memorial to my friend Laurie Wagner Jameson. I wrote her about it and since she was an avid gardener, the care of any kind of plant or tree was pleasing to her. So I carry containers of water to it, as my hoses won’t reach that far. The blue planter has three holes drilled in the bottom so that the water soaks in slowly.

It’s a kind of little bonsai tree that has struggled mightily to stay alive and so I am helping it long.

Laurie wrote the most amazing memoir, When I Came West, years ago. I hope someday it is recognized for what it is, an ordinary girl somehow totally taken with the idea of living in the western wilderness with a writer’s skill and a poet’s eye. And so how do you do that if you’re not wealthy or well-connected or can manage an academic appointment at a western university? She just did it. Her attention to detail is amazing; she saw everything; goats, horses, pumpkin pies, bear hunts, mountains.

Rest in Peace.