Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Since I spent a good hour watering the pots and messing around outside, I am going to guess it is really summer and I didn’t miss it at all by going to bed at my regular time the other night. I got to do a close inspection of our fruit crop. We have three Rainier Cherries. Since the variety is not self-pollinating, and since we do not have another cherry tree at any reasonable distance from us (unless you include Yakima some 250 miles to the east), three cherries are, well, just a random occurrence. I will have to look into finding a pollinator for the tree and figuring out how to graft a branch to it or plant a whole pollinator where I just happen to have an open tree space (raised bed). The three cherries look to be very close to ready to harvest from the color. Two are close together and one is on a branch all by itself—it must be lonely unless Rainier cherries can communicate across a whole tree’s width away. I need to learn more about raising cherries to figure out how to combat the obvious problems you can see on the leaves.
The Honeycrisp apple tree seems to have about 50 apples on it. The Honeycrisp apple is listed as needing a pollinator. However, I know of one apple tree within 300 feet as the crow flies of the Honeycrisp, and there are other apple trees in the area. So, apparently those trees, that neighbors own are providing a stud service via local bees for our Honeycrisp. I suppose I should offer the neighbors with apple trees the pick of the apple litter. However, I have noticed the closest neighbor with an apple tree doesn’t seem to pick the apples, water it, feed it or anything. Perhaps he is allergic to apples.
The blueberries seem to be thick, we have a bodacious many on the two plants on the front porch. However, as you will recall last year when you were here you were able to pick some. You were here around the 8th of June. This is is the 22nd and they are still not ripening. But, given the fact that the county finally paid its heat tax and the weather is warmer, they just might ripen soon (cross your fingers).
I trust this finds you happy, healthy, wealthy and knee deep in fresh fruit.
Warmest regards, Ed
004 Special Agent Simpson and Agent White Return from Gettysburg
Fiction in 1092 words by T. Edward Westen
Special Agent Simpson and Agent White materialized in Captain Batan’s office. Special Agent Simpson’s face was drawn. She had a leaf fragment in her hair. Two dark red stains spread on the shoulder of her blouse. She immediately sat in Captain Batan’s desk chair and looked around cautiously. ” My God. I never expected it to be so chaotic. I guess I expected it to be more, well, organized like in films. I expected to see more of an overview and didn’t expect to see a man lose his head to a cannonball.” She shivered. “That could have been you or me.”
Agent White apologized. “I am sorry. I guess I thought since you are a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and since you knew about the corpse of trees next to the Pennsylvania field pieces that you knew what you were getting yourself into.”
“My great-great grandfather was in that Pennsylvania artillery unit,” explained Special Agent Simpson. “He wrote a letter home about the bravery and foolishness of Picket’ s Charge. In his letter, he didn’t talk about the casualties to the right and left of his position. I guess I should have thought it through better.” She paused, looked Agent White in the eyes and said. “You didn’t flinch, duck or even look concerned. “
Agent White pointed to the spreading stains on Special Agent Simpson’s left shoulder and asked, “Were you hit?”
Special Agent Simpson raised her left arm and pulled the cloth so she could see what Agent White was pointing at and said, “No, but I was closer to that poor man than I realized.” Tears formed in her eyes and she pulled a tissue from her purse and dabbed at the moisture. She did a good job of not messing up her mascara. “This will wash out.” She shook her head. “Here I am, a big tough FBI agent getting all teary-eyed about a little blood and gore. You would think I have never been under fire before.”
“Had you?” asked Agent White.
“Twice,” replied Special Agent Simpson. “I assisted in a bank standoff where the robbers took pot shots as us. The second time I was on a protective detail and the subject was almost assassinated. A slug grazed my arm that time.” She paused and then added, “I almost fainted an hour later.”
“Funny how that works,” said, Agent White. After what we just went through, I think we know each other well enough to use first names. I’m Amanda,” she said and stuck out her hand.
Grasping Agent White’s hand firmly and warmly, Special Agent Simpson said, “I’m Cynthia, but my friends call me Cid.”
Both women smiled and said, at the same time, “Glad to meet you.” Then they laughed.
As they were chuckling over their saying the same thing at the same time, Captain Batan and Detective Philipson returned to the Captain’s office. Captain Batan noticed the stains on Special Agent Simpson’s blouse. “Did you catch a round?
Special Agent Simpson shook her head and said, “No, but the fellow I was standing next to was not so lucky.”
Captain Batan picked up the phone on his desk, punched one number, waited for a second and then said, “Sergeant, could you please come in her for a minute?”
Fifteen seconds later Sergeant Doreen Gibson entered and asked, “What do you need, Captain.”
Pointing to the Special Agent he said, “The Special Agent seems to have been in a gun fight and got some blood on her. Can you fix her up with civvies? I should think she would be more comfortable wearing something a little less damp?”
“Yes, Sir,” replied Sergeant Gibson. “The two detectives that caught that boutique break-in overnight just logged an extensive wardrobe into the evidence room. I am sure I can fit her and make her look and feel like a million dollars.” She cocked her finger in the Special Agent’s direction and said, “Come with me. This could be fun.”
Turning to Agent White, “Did you get too close to the action.”
Agent White shook her head, “She wanted to see from the point of Picker’s Charge. We were in the way of the action. We didn’t stay long, only long enough for her to be a believer. Funny, she hasn’t asked any of the usual questions about how we got there and got back. I suspect those will come.”
“Will she understand any better than Eddie and I do?” asked Captain Batan.
Agent White simply shook her head no. “What progress in finding Ms. Calkins?
“Money from the robbery is showing up all over the city and in five other states” replied Captain Batan. “That means we went the wrong way earlier.”
“Yes, if that money is already spread around, it means it was put into circulation some time back,” added Agent White.
“We may have a bit of luck on that as the new bills, the ones for which we have serial numbers were redesigned five years ago, so they couldn’t have been in circulation longer than five years,” said Detective Philipson. “If they put the bills in circulation in the last five years, perhaps that is where they stashed Mrs. Calkins?”
Agent White said, “Play this scenario in your mind. You are dropped in the past and have no money or identification. What would you do? You would go to the authorities and seek their help, especially if you are a Credit Union manager. Now, you are the authorities and a woman comes to you and thinks the year is five or four or whatever number in the future and claims to be the victim of a kidnapping from the future and a robbery in the future of a Credit Union that she manages. What do you do? At some point you have her examined for trauma and mental illness. So, . . .”
“Yes, cheek mental facilities” blurted out Detective Philipson. “I’ll get right on it.” He hurriedly exited the Captain’s office.
As Detective Philipson was exiting the Captain’s office, Sergeant Gibson brought Special Agent Simpson back in a stunning new blouse. She said, “I told you.” Then she laughed, “When the guys find out she is a Fed, they will be in confessing to stealing the Great Seal.”
Special Agent Simpson, said, “Thank you, Doreen.” Turning to Agent White she asked, “Exactly how did you nearly get me killed?”
Agent White said, “It is a bit complicated.”