After the 2016 election I got really into baking and making wreaths by braiding willow branches falling from the giant tree on Hampton and Andrew’s lawn where we spent nearly every weekend to escape the media madness.
The closer knit ones represent prayers.
I organized all of the fallen willow branches by size, by patch of lawn. No, really. All of them. Entire areas of the lawn would be completely cleared, with piles of neatly sized switches stacked by gauge. I took the more consistent branches and made circles all day.
I am not religious but I “prayed” these activities would shield us. I don’t know if Hillary needed to win for things to be better, but it was obvious civil war had begun and I had no way to protect my family. I also just enjoyed the meditative act of braiding.
Some of them were meant as worn talismans. I carried them till they fell apart.
Today they’re decorative ornaments on Andrew and Hampton’s house, and I think they’ve aged really nicely. I’m flattered they’ve kept them.
Today I’m recommending the book Cooking With Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Patterson (Europa Editions, 2005) because it’s Summer and this is a pure Summer read, and the a book Andrew and Hampton would love (if they ever read this blog lol). It’s a hilarious “comedy of manners” as many reviews describe, about a British ghostwriter on a writing reprieve/vacation, whose neighbor is an avant-garde Eastern European composer. They hate each other (He’s a stupid Brit! She’s an eccentric Slav!) till they love each other thanks to the polarizing refuge of a taste for Fernet Branca.