A Pluot Principle

“…And then I heard this guy say, ‘I feel like I’ve missed pluot season’…”

It was a surreal Seattle moment: at a friend’s house for the Sunday before Labor Day, eating fresh, organically home-grown grafted tomatoes from a tomato plant nestled next to kale and squash, with three young urban professionals (not including yours truly and the Editor), one of which we will call John.  (The others we will call K and Margles). John had been on Bremerton for the day, rode the ferry (and heard the above quote), cycled to K and Margles’ house for dinner, and shared the quote.  (Note: my garden failed this season due to rabbits, deer, opossums, raccoons, and possibly a plague of locusts. I’m not bitter.)

There is nothing not Seattle about all of that. From the cycling* and the ferrying and the home-grown tomato-ing and the quoting and the pluot piece, that was all so clearly Seattle it made me ache (appreciatively). It also made me vaguely jealous: somewhere, out there, is someone for whom that is a thing. Someone out there has TIME to worry about whether or not they’ve missed a season of a fruit that is only a recent addition to the fruit sphere.  They’ve worried enough about it that they were talking to someone else about it, like there is some sort of Pluot Appreciation Week or Festival that was missed. (NB: you can get a 12 pack of pluots at Costco. I’m not sure how artisanal they are anymore).

*Not just John who is the cyclist – K and Margles once spent a season doing nearly every long-range ride (including at least two double centuries) the Cascade Bicycle Club arranges. They called this “fun”.

What I am getting at (albeit laboriously) is it seems to me, more often as of late, that there are a wide variety of things out there to learn/do/participate in/obsess on and a diminished resource of time, and that some of the prioritization I have had to make of late (work… obsessive housecleaning…) combat with this time scarcity issue.  I’m not entirely sure if this realization is driven from a burgeoning sense of mortality or if this is something that’s been floating around in my head for a while and now it’s just beginning to gel. I find myself increasingly weighing the experiential benefits of a reorganized library or an extra couple of hours’ sleep on the weekend against a bike ride or sailing or woodworking or such. In effect, the culmination of years of only marginally completed “to-do lists” seems to be weighing in more heavily as I head to 40. This is compounded by the fact that I am the product of four hyper-driven parents, each with hobbies that involve activity and analysis (cataloging, if you will).

I haven’t been entirely a bump on a log this time, and have done a little cycling here and there, for example. But I think it’s time to start a new list and drive a little harder on it.

Item one: experience pluots. Before they go out of season.

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