Beautiful weather … 70 degrees outside, soft, cloud-filtered sunshine. Time for a staycation. A staycation is when you stay home from work and try your best to do as little as possible. Some would say that sounds a lot like being retired, but I disagree. When you retire, pretty soon your job becomes lying around looking for something to do. It is better to staycation -- dink around doing little or nothing for a week or so, knowing the others at the office are doing most of your work for you.
Sunday was the first staycation day, and after the coffee klatch at church, Mrs. Doud said, “Let’s go look at the almond blossoms. We zipped out to Avenue 12, got off the freeway and were a little shocked to see the Arco AM-PM service station being dismantled. Across Avenue 12, the Jack in the Box Restaurant was boarded up. A nice new building has gone up for Madera Pump, the longtime headquarters for which on Avenue 12 will be torn down. Why? Apparently PG&E has grabbed that land through eminent domain so they can reconstruct their gas mains. That’s okay, I guess. But it’s too bad it took out one of the best commercial corridors on the freeway.
We went east and then down to Avenue 9, which on both sides is lined with almond orchards, which now are supporting a tsunami of white and pink blossoms. It’s hard to take all that beauty in. Then we turned north again, at about Road 31 1/2, and pulled to the side. Mrs. Doud grabbed her camera and disappeared. I rolled down the car window, put the car seat back about as far as it would go, and went right to sleep. Let somebody else work. I’m on staycation.
I was awakened by the car door closing. Mrs. Doud wanted to drive a ways up the road. Fine, off we went. More fabulous orchards, more color. It may be that God used up all the pink in the world to paint Madera County’s almond orchards this year.
But wait. There was a tall palm tree just off the road, standing like a guard with a big, oddball hat over one of the orchards. What was it doing there? Who had planted it? These were the questions I pondered as I drifted back to sleep.
If you want to see all those blossoms, you better get a move on. They’re very delicate. They don’t last very long. That’s how it is with perfection, I’m told, even with perfect staycations.