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That's What Father's Are For
Planting Trees in New Orleans

by Dr David, Editor / Publisher

People ask me if I like to travel. Only half in jest I reply, "I don't like to leave my house." Still once a year I hit the road, or the runway, and visit my daughter in New Orleans. When people ask me if I've returned to visit the States I reply, "Well, I've visited New Orleans, and that's not really the States; it was French."

In late May the sun in the dry heat of midday San Miguel is very much like the sun in the humid oven that is midday New Orleans (NOLA), which is to say unbearable. The shade provides greater relief in SMA, because humidity does not stop under a tree or in your house. Hot damp air has more hot molecules than does hot dry air.

Air conditioning is a must in New Orleans. At least during the hotter months, at least during the hotter hours. Now, at 11:00pm I am seated comfortably shirtless, in shorts, barefoot in front of a fan with the air conditioning off.

My daughter bought a pretty little house that used to be some family's place in the country, before the city grew to encompass it. Each year when I visit she has a list of home improvement projects for me to do. Last year the main items were to hang window blinds to block the sun and to fix her upstairs air conditioning. The AC vent in her closet blew to beat the band, but her bedroom vent gave almost no breeze. Some repairman wanted a small fortune and to open up her wall to fix it. A quick look showed me that one of the two ducts off of the blower (no doubt the one leading to her bedroom vent) was pinched by the wall. I got the materials I needed and shimied up and through the attic crawlspace and reversed the destinations of the ducts. Now the closet blew but little and her bedroom got the breeze. It was dark, dusty, dirty, tight, hot work. It must have been 120 degrees in that attic. But that's what fathers are for.

This year our main betterment is planting trees and shrubs. She's a great shopper. She bought at Lowes, all at 25-50% off, 5 strawberry plants, one blueberry bush, a fig tree, a grapefruit tree, a kumquat tree and two gardenia bushes. We also bought a couple of large bags of garden soil and another couple of cow manure mixed with compost.

This evening at 6:30 she went off to an event with a girlfriend and I went out back and dug some holes, some big holes, which I then filled with the garden soil, cow manure/compost and the best of the soil I had dug out of the hole. I don't have a green thumb, but I know that the plants need an ample bed to thrive and that the clayey earth I removed isn't hospitable. I didn't find any pirate gold in that heavy earth, but I did find a couple of old bottles. The lettering on the blue one is tells us that it was made in 1906 and that it contained Milk of Magnesia manufactured in our home state, Connecticut.

My daughter returned home, just as I was finishing the holes for the gardenias out front. Tomorrow morning, before the sun gets high, when there's still some shade from the fence and the garage, we'll go out and fill in around the plants. Digging in the earth really puts you in touch with place, as does planting trees. I'm not about to leave San Miguel for New Orleans, but it feels good to know that while I am distant my daughter is sleeping cooler because of my efforts. And I like that her home will be greener and more fruitful because of the dirt under my fingernails as I type this article. That's what fathers are for.


photo: Alessandro Bo (cropped)

Dr David has invested years of his life and more money than he cares to reckon into his global Lokkal project, an event calendar and searchable directory/business network for towns and cities around the world, combining aspects of Facebook, Google and Trip Advisor. Think: Digital Town Square. Think: the yellow pages for the new millenium. See more. A madman crying in the wilderness for years, reinforcements have recently arrived, the team has assembled and preparations to launch in other cities are almost complete, gracias a dios. Interested?

events @ sanmiguelevents.com

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