Olive Time


This used to be Zazou’s favorite tree, the olive tree out by the pool. She’d climb in, choose a special olive, and carry it home in her mouth where she’d bat is around before hiding it under a chair with her pet scorpion and her pet lizards.

This is the time of year when all the olive mills advertise in the paper, “come one, come all, bring your olives to be pressed and depart with your own olive oil!” The catch is that you have to have a minimum of a hundred kilos before they’ll press them, and I doubt that we have more than two kilos on our little tree. If we were going to be here longer I might try brining them myself, although since this part of France is awash in excellent olives it seems silly, just as baking your own bread here is pretty much a fool’s errand.

But we’re not going to be here much longer, only another 2 1/2 weeks, even though we’ve just barely arrived. If Shel didn’t have another scan awaiting him in mid-November we might stay a bit longer, arriving home, say, with Santa on Christmas Eve. But the last scan wasn’t great, and so the next one is important. That’s the thing about living with cancer, there’s always a scorpion under the chair, and while you can do a lot, you don’t always get to do as much as you’d like to.

We wish Zazou were here to pick olives. We wish we had enough olives to press. We wish we had the time to brine our own. We wish we could stay longer. But we’re not spending all of our time wishing and whining, because then, the scorpion under the chair would be winning. So now it’s out into the afternoon for my daily French lesson, while Shel goes down to to get coffee from the guy who roasts his beans over a wood fire. And he’s taking him a bar of chocolate because….well..that’s another story for another day. Eat an olive and think of us.

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5 Comments on “Olive Time”

  1. Jill Says:

    I shall do that, and have some great cheese and a glass of wine to boot. Best wishes to you and yours, and hope that next scan is as good as can be.

  2. Eden Says:

    brining olives and thinking of you (and sending Shel my strongest healthiest thoughts as always)

  3. SheleChepard Says:

    You said “But we’re not spending all of our time wishing and whining, because then, the scorpion under the chair would be winning.” Thanks for that thought–very useful. Sending good vibes to you both.

  4. Smithy Says:

    I wish you both good news and good energy. You’re inspiring in your determination to live life to its fullest.

  5. Smithy Says:

    Did you leave Zazou in the States, then? It would make sense for a 6-week visit, but she must be lonely.

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