Why It’s Important to Give Your Neighbors Baskets of Garden Tomatoes With Red Checkered Cloths

People of the Pacific NW, White Salmon edition~

Why It’s Important to Give Your Neighbors Baskets of Garden Tomatoes With Red Checkered Cloths-

Molly is barking her head off at someone I can’t see past the tall fence and plants. I tell her, “No es bueno!” and whoever is passing by gives a little laugh. A few seconds later the person calls at the gate holding an empty wicker basket lined with a red checkered cloth. He asks for la señora. I respond in broken Spanish that she is on vaccaciones por la semana y ella regreses en el Domingo proximo. After some bi-lingual chit-chat, Juan hands me the empty basket and I gather this is the neighbor Kalama said to give lots of tomatoes to (“they’re Mexican, they can use all the tomatoes you give them”).

basket of tomatoes

With moist eyes, he says in Spanish that his mother passed away yesterday, his father 3 months earlier. I convey my sorrow and give him a hug, though I forget the word abrazo. He tells me about the memorial at the church today and that he’s going to Guadalajara tomorrow; I can’t tell if he’s going to take her down to be buried in Mexico or if she lives there and he’s going down to say his final goodbyes. i tell him I’ll let Kalama know, and cuidate.

tomatoes in basket

This is why it’s important to give your neighbors baskets full of tomatoes; so they have a reason to stop by and tell you that their mother died yesterday. Without the basket, you probably wouldn’t walk around your neighborhood and knock on people’s doors telling them the news, esp. when there is a language difference.

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