Louisiana Sweet Oranges…or not

My heart is broken.  The six (and only six) oranges left on the tree we planted last year are gone.  We weren’t really expecting any the first year, so we were really excited when we had a ton of buds, then hundreds of tiny green oranges, which diminished slowly until eight were left.  Two split and we removed them.  And when I went to check the one that had started to turn yellow this morning, they were all gone.  Even the ones in a bunch that I contrived a pvc-and-rag contraption to hold up since they were too heavy for the little orange tree branches.

What’s funny is, this weekend I was saying how I’d like to plant a fruit tree in the front yard for people to take from as they pleased.

But not the tiny little tree in our backyard, not our first-fruits!  Not all of them!

Am I being selfish?  Part of me says, “Share!  Why do you need those oranges, when you have a basket of Satsumas that were given to you?”  But I really, really, really wanted to taste those oranges.  They could have left us one!

I’m telling myself that if I had a huge tree overflowing with oranges, I wouldn’t have even noticed, much less minded.  But they’re all gone.  Maybe next year there will be enough for us to get some.  But I don’t want to wait another year!  It makes me wonder about people.  Harumph.  And then I just feel bad for being grumpy.  It’s not fair.

They Must be Bored

This is the email I received from one of our senators today:

“Dear  Friend,

I was outraged when I found out the Obama Administration  wanted to give Guantanamo Bay detainees  the H1N1 vaccine while millions of Americans – including  pregnant women and children – are still waiting  to get the H1N1 vaccine because of massive shortages.

Swine flu is a very real concern for all of us across  the country.  Currently, the H1N1 vaccine is only being provided to  certain high-risk segments of the population.  The vaccine is in short supply,  and, as such, there are millions of Americans in these high-risk groups still  awaiting the vaccine.  We should save the vaccine for those who need it  most, and as of today, women, children and other at-risk individuals should  fall squarely in line under that category.

Last week I introduced a Senate resolution with  several of my colleagues asserting that the Obama Administration should not  provide Guantanamo Bay detainees and terror suspects with the H1N1 vaccine  before the H1N1 vaccine shortage is addressed and all American citizens  prioritized as vulnerable to H1N1 have the choice to obtain the H1N1 vaccine.

Rest assured as your Senator, I will keep fighting so that terrorist suspects and detainees do  not jump to the front of the line while millions of Americans vulnerable to  H1N1 are waiting to take the vaccine.

David Vitter
U.S.  Senator”

And this is the letter I wrote back to him:

“I would like to express my disappointment that you would waste public time and money by introducing a resolution to keep Guantanamo Bay inmates from receiving the H1N1 vaccine ahead of American citizens.  While I, too, would like to see all those at high risk from the various strains of flu provided with access to vaccines in a timely manner, squabbling about less than 300 vaccines does not seem particularly helpful to fulfilling this purpose.  Furthermore, I think we must keep in mind that inmates in prisons are most certainly in the “high-risk” group.  In fact, because of their close proximity to other inmates, guards, and other staff, those in prisons are, because of their incarceration, automatically at greater risk, regardless of their personal health.  Further, those at Guantanamo are not criminals; they are suspected of terrorist leanings and activities.  It is bad enough that they have been held so long without proper trials, will we now deny those who are at our mercy access to simple preventative health care?  By taking them into our prison, we, the American people, have taken on the responsibility for their health.  If we want to continue to claim the moral high ground (if that is even possible anymore!), I think it is necessary to show that we are willing live up to just these sorts of responsibilities.  In the future, I, as your constituent, would prefer you focus on bringing affordable healthcare to all Americans, rather than wasting time trying to deny it to a handful of people under our care whom you think are not worthy of healthcare.”

It really bothers me that people can be so self-righteous about making other people suffer.  Vitter is saying, “These guys don’t like us, so let’s let them get the flu and die.  That’ll show them!”  His web site brags that he and his wife are lectors at a parish in Metairie.  Sigh.


I was listening to NPR just now, and they reported that today nine people were killed in Gaza by Israeli bombs, and five of those nine were children. ? My stomach sinks when I think of that. ? I don’t know, and honestly I barely care, who is right here. ? How can it possibly ever be justified to kill children? ? Calling them “collateral damage” ? is not only no excuse, it is an insult to the suffering these families must endure! ? How can you tell a mother that her child’s life is less important than your border dispute, that his life is an acceptable sacrifice? ? I try sometimes to put myself in the place of these mothers. ? I cannot even imagine their pain! ? My prayers, more often than I would like lately, have been turned toward these suffering women. ? May God lead us to end this violence!