In a raffle that benefited the local food shelf, we avoided winning all the beer paraphernalia and came home with the $40 liquor store gift certificate, thus indicating my karma is still in force. Of course, it helps to have purchased a fistful of tickets.
I ran into an old business acquaintance there who I hadn't seen for about five years. When we owned our businesses, we served as board members for each other's companies. He had recently returned from three years in India with his family, where his wife made India safe for Target, and he worked as a volunteer with India's marginal non-profits, trying to help them get funding.
We also learned they had a fecund pear tree in the yard that was disgorging fruit at an alarming rate. We were invited to stop by later and take home one of several five-gallon buckets sitting on their porch, filled with water to keep away the wasps.
So we did. Reaching home, I made the rounds of the neighbors. It says something about our neighborhood that everyone answered the door on a dark Thursday night and welcomed a man in a windbreaker with a plastic bucket in one hand and Oktoberfest fumes on his breath.
Earlier this week, I made a beet, pear and feta salad that required me to purchase one Bartlett pear at the grocery store. Out of the hundreds of regular shaped pears, I found one that was almost suitably ripe.
Tonight, I came home with half a bucket of less perfectly formed fruit. In fact, you couldn't sell a one of them.
The photo shows less than half a bucket because some have already been devoured before bedtime. Had I tasted them first, I'm not sure I would have made the neighborhood circuit.
I suspect there are many lessons embedded in all this, and I am confident my readers are capable of extracting them. However, you will have to do it without tasting any of my pears.