Thursday, September 09, 2010


Twenty years ago my neighbor in Newark, Delaware had a block party. Our adjoining fenced-in back yards were connected by a gate, and it came to pass that the adults of the neighborhood settled into his yard, drinking and smoking and chatting, while the children came into my yard, playing in and around my garden. My carrots were just ready to be picked, so we carefully pulled a few and washed them off with a garden hose. A few adventurous younger children tried them and learned that fresh-picked, tender carrots are sweeter than candy and taste nothing like the wooden replicas sold in supermarkets.

The next January was a cold and snowy one. I didn't have a car, so I was taking my bicycle down to the post office to mail a large and bulky package. Several of the neighborhood children were out in the street, playing in the snow. One of them, a little four-year-old boy, approached me and said something. Bundled up as he was, I couldn't make out what he said. He repeated himself more clearly.

"Can I have a cawwot?"

Obviously, John (the husband of JEN) from Cake Wrecks was not that boy.

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