Well, I did it! I wrote every day from early October to New Year's Day 2010. Now I will write for fun when I feel like it and see where that gets me. Cheers to all my small-blessing-appreciating friends!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Lovely little clementines! My favorite tangerines are so easy to peel and section, so sweet and juicy, and seed free, so glossy and so - orange.  They are one of the treats of the holiday season. But on looking them up, I found that they are not a tangerine at all. They are a kind of mandarin orange.

A few odd facts are to be found in wikipedia. One claim is that they are a hybrid of tangerine and Seville orange discovered in the garden of an orphanage in Algeria, but likely they are a much older species from China. They were introduced to California in 1914 and are so valuable a product that a grower recently threatened to sue a bee-keeper. Cross-pollination with other fruit by bees causes the clementines to have seeds, and the grower accused the bee-keeper of allowing his bees to trespass in his grove.

When I was a child, my Christmas stocking was hung on the post of my bed. When I examined the contents on Christmas morning, there was always an orange and some walnuts in their shells. I think these must have been customary English gifts, from my father's childhood. Hearing his stories of growing up in poverty in Northern England, with meager coal fires the only heat, I think sweet oranges must have been a rare and wonderful treat. Although I can buy bags of clementines from any grocery at this time of year, I am taking this time to be thankful for these delightful fruits.

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