HERB BENHAM: April blossoms with joy | Herb Benham


Everyone was out last weekend. Outside and in the garden. If you weren’t out and in the garden, you might have been out of town.

It was perfect. Temperature. The breeze. The siren call to drift outside and see if you can improve the scenery which already looks really good.

We bought a Japanese dogwood, six camellia bushes with magnolia flowers and three olive trees the day before planting. Difficult to buy and plant on the same day.

I love the shape and color of the olive leaves. Silver, delicate, nothing prettier when the breeze picks up. Olive trees look great all year round and also as if they belong to the valley.

We planted dogwood and camellias on the west side of the house shaded by several dawn redwoods and two sycamore trees. Planting is training. No wonder nurseries charge for it. However, there is great satisfaction in doing it yourself.

The satisfaction and also the pleasure of talking to neighbors while they walk their dog or drive slowly admiring your-climb-walking or kneeling-digging.

I was feeling so full of energy that I borrowed my neighbor Steve’s electric chainsaw and chopped down a dead Krauter plum tree in bloom and quickly dropped a branch on my head that knocked my hat off and got me. grazed the forehead.

Dead wood is heavy wood. Some of this dead wood is above my neck.

Henry, our youngest grandchild, turned a year old this weekend. Parties for one-year-olds are funny because the child has no idea what is going on. It’s just another day in a wonderful life.

They have no idea until they find out about their first chocolate cupcake and then the chocolate cupcake light goes out in their heads. They eat it, wear it and paint it with their fingers.

If “Neon Blue” was the only song recorded by the Mavericks, and the song’s only lead vocalist Raul Malo ever performed, that would be enough. What a voice. His band is good, but Malo’s voice is a combination of Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and Vince Gill. The gods of the musical voice smiled at Malo and gave him this glorious instrument which he makes seem so simple. Other people can sweat but not Malo with his great tenor. The Mavericks are the musical recommendation of the week.

If nothing else, listen to the first verse of “Neon Blue”. It will bring tears to my eyes.

I had never read it, but I recently finished “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norman Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.

I had seen Juster’s obit. When an author dies, book sales increase. At least in my house.

You might see yourself reading this to a grandchild. The book is full of humor and wisdom in an adventure. This is one of my favorite passages:

“But I never could have done it,” he objected, “without everyone’s help.”

“It may be true,” said Reason gravely, “but you have had the courage to try; and what you can do is often just a question of what you are going to do. “

Herb Benham is a columnist for The Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at [email protected] or 661-395-7279.


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