The Cactus Patch
April 2017

A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

Polly had knee replacement surgery on the 20th of February at Memorial Hospital. I stayed with her in her room afterward.  John came at lunchtime and we went out to lunch.  Polly slept most of the day. Next morning Anne picked me up for our exercise group. Later we went home.  On the 22nd I went to our choir rehearsal and then Lora went with me to pick up Polly who was ready to go home.

Polly’s recovery has been fast and steady. She has been back to choir rehearsal and our exercise group (although she does the exercises sitting down). Polly started physiotherapy at home, but now is going to a place in EB.

She was not up to the trip to Fresno on the 2nd of March, so Anne and Lora took me to the Fresno CSS meeting.  The speaker, Russell Wagner, was scheduled to speak on growing plants, but instead gave us a terrific lecture on the Canaries.  This is the first time I’ve heard someone else talk about them.

On the 11th of March I went with Lora and Anne to Sacramento.  We left very early and were in time for a birthday party for my mother’s cousin Franklin Davis and his wife who are both 90!  I was interested to learn that Franklin’s middle name is Bruce!  I always wondered where my name came from. It was good to see so many elderly relatives as it may mean I have the genes for a long life.

That evening we walked along the Sacramento River to Old Sac and had dinner at Fat City.  We weren’t up to walking back, so we all three had our first Uber ride. I found the driver much friendlier than a taxi driver. That evening we watched La La Land.  We don’t know why it was even nominated for Oscars!

Next day, at my suggestion, we went to the Aerospace museum in North Highlands to see an exhibit of machines made from the designs of Leonardo De Vinci.  They were fantastic.  There were also setups where you could pay $5 and get instruction on a flight simulator.  Lora, who’s husband is a flight instructor, flew to New York, Micronesia, and the Marshals. She also flew the Spruce Goose!

For lunch we went to A Taste of Britain, also in North Highlands.  I had Bangers and chips with mushy peas washed down with a Dandelion and Burdock soda.  There was a life size statue of Queen Elizabeth by the entrance so we posed for pictures. A hand written note instructed us not to move the queen!

That afternoon we visited the state capital where I managed to locate the moon tree almost immediately. This is a redwood grown from seed which went on the Apollo 14 mission.  Inside, Lora was disappointed to find a book which mentions one of our ancestors was no longer on display.  Lora also visited the Leland Stanford Mansion where she used to work.  It was very late by the time we got back to Bakersfield.

On the 14th, of course, we were at the BCSS meeting.  Polly was able to manage both dinner and the meeting.  Woody gave an interesting and quite different talk revealing the “secrets” of growing succulents.  Mainly it is a matter of knowing where they come from and what it’s like there.

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