The Saga of the Dying Orange Tree PLUS GIVEAWAY!

Before I begin my tragic tale about the death of an orange tree, let me mention… Book Giveaway! That’s right, I’m giving away 3 copies of my latest novel, Perfect Little Worlds. E-book or signed paperback, your choice. All you have to do is comment on the blog before Wednesday, Sept. 26, and your name will be placed in a hat from which I will choose three! Woohoo! Good luck!


Okay. So…

The day started out proactively—and very much not in the spirit of improv theater, an art form I have chosen to dedicate a good portion of my life to. See, Dixie and I, aka The Fun Institute, had to plan out next year’s schedule. Much as it goes against our nature to plan so far ahead, it’s a must do. It’s the only way we can assure we’ll have a place to teach. Small black box theaters like Santa Cruz’s Broadway Playhouse are in high demand in this creative town. But thinking so far ahead—Sheesh!—it makes my brain hurt.

But we did it! (Yay!) Then decided we needed to move onto a project that wasn’t quite so cerebral. We chose another herculean task, this one quite sad. We began hacking down our beloved orange tree, the tree that for years has produced the sweetest Navel oranges known to humankind. I mean it. Popping a refrigerated, cut-up morsel of one of these succulent oranges was like popping a tasty jewel in your mouth. Just ask the folks in my writing salon!

The tree even had a sense of humor!

So why chop it down? Well, it was struggling. After years of drought, the water table is just too low to sustain its bounty. The large juicy oranges we are used to harvesting come Christmas have turned into tiny green ankle-twisters that cover the cement below, the branches themselves struggling just to produce leaves. The trend began two years ago and it’s only getting worse. So down it comes.

Thank you tree!  We’re sad to see you go!

Dixie planning which limb next.

Fortunately, Dixie has all the right tools for such a job: trusty tiger saw, ladder, and trailer to haul it to the dump. Me? I’m working ground crew, cleaning up the limbs with loppers so they fit into the trailer, and sometimes holding a rope (tied to a limb) and yanking just as it starts to fall so the heavy limb doesn’t take out an awning or a rose bush.

Losing the tree is going to change things around here. For one, we’re going to have more light in the kitchen. (Nice!) And I’m going to have to start buying oranges. (Sigh.) But it’s going to change more than that, and not just for us. Our peace rose is going to get more sunlight. It produces stunning pale yellow roses tipped in pale pink. I really hope it doesn’t burn. If it does, the cricket that likes to hang out inside the prettiest of its blossoms is going to have to find a new home.

The trusty trailer!

Change. It happens. Always. But this climate change is happening fast. So many fires here in California. And now hurricane season has begun battering the east coast.

Are we nuts, any of us, to think we can plan ahead with accuracy? Pretty much, methinks. Who knows what the future will bring? Still, we try. That we have some control over the future is a nice fantasy. And so we make our plans for 2019, never forgetting that little cricket whose world has gone topsy turvy over night.

Over and out. And remember, Live the Love. It’s all we’ve got!



  1. Sorry to hear you’ve lost such a good (and convenient) source for oranges; hopefully a decent alternative is easy to find in your part of California.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My parents had to get rid of their grapefruit tree a few years back, I hope their tangerine tree lives a long while. They are so tasty right from the tree. Hope you find a new spot for a new tree!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We also lost our orange tree due to drought and age. My friend shares her bounty of oranges with us now and that is special. Roses are stronger than you think, just like peace. Enjoyed your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Being an Ohio native, Orange trees are something other people have…Sorry you had to chop yours down, but cool beans having all the tools and stuff to do it.


  5. I am sorry to hear that you had to lose a part of your life. I hope one day the climate can get back to normal and you can start a new tree. My friend had to get rid of two trees recently but these were due to some sort of bug. It really changes the feel of the property.

    Stay shiny.


  6. I had to take out half the blackberries last year. Luckily the tangelo tree seems to be doing tolerable in the drought.

    I do like your rosy take on the newly styled yard.


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