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Saturday morning, 8 a.m.

March 22, 2008

I directed my husband’s gaze through the dining room window to the mountain ash tree in our back yard.

“See it? OK, see the two limbs going to the left, the first two limbs up the tree. Then above those, there’s one on the back of the tree. Then see the branch coming off that one, pointing straight back. OK, incised in the moss of that branch you can clearly see the face of Barack Obama. We could sell the branch for thousands on eBay.”

My entrepreneurial spirit was inspired by the recent eBay sale of a corn flake buyer and seller agreed resembled Illinois. The corn flake went for $1,350. For my money, the corn flake looked more like Swaziland than Illinois.

Hopeful of catching another sighting of the red-breasted sapsucker that visited last month, I had noticed the face in the moss a couple of days ago.

The sun came out, melting the frost, and morphing the moss outline of Barack Obama’s face into the face of Tonto. I knew no one who remembered Tonto would pay thousands of dollars for our mossy branch; we’re the practical generation. Besides, my husband pointed out, it wasn’t the time of year to prune the ash, and he needed to replace my car’s brake pads today.

I finished my Roastaroma, not awfully sorry that we just aren’t get-rich-on-eBay types.

  1. Janet permalink
    March 22, 2008 8:33 am


    Oh, this is funny! Do you remember, in your years of reading books with your daughter, the one about the pig who became famous because his spots looked just like a map of the world? Oh, I just remembered: It was “Chester the Worldly Pig”! It was one of my favorite books.

  2. March 22, 2008 8:46 am

    Janet, if you still have “Chester,” maybe you would lend it to me and I could fill in that gap in my cultural algorithm! We were into the “Madeleine” books.

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