Season of the Tree was a success again this year. We had twelve people in attendance altogether. We would have had more, but two of our priestesses had family emergencies involving parents just before the weekend. Four people underwent the Mysteries this year, and we played “Milk” in the theater for the others. I assisted with conducting the mysteries. We elevated two priestesses: Helen Farrell and Caillean’s daughter, Francesca Tronetti. Congratulations to them both!
Marina also came back to visit us for the first time in a number of years. It was great to have her back and for me, to finally meet her in person. She brought along her new girlfriend, Norma and a cooler full of exotic fruits. There was some delicious mangoes and papayas along with something far more exotic: a durianfruit. These fruits are native to Southeast Asia and are quite popular there, but for westerners, they are an acquired taste that most of us don’t acquire. They have a delicate, creamy texture, but an indescribable flavor that has been compared to almonds, onions, garlic, asafetida or less charitably to lighter fluid. I can’t say that Marina won me over to the wonderful world of durian fruit, but I am glad to have had the opportunity to try one!
We have finally gotten started on redoing the walls in the ground and second floor hallways. As of this writing, most of the 70’s era wood paneling is now off! We found, to our pleasant surprise, that much the old plaster was still in decent shape. There were only a few places where large chunks had come off. What we mostly have to deal with are numerous, small nail holes and dents. It looks like all they are going to need is just some patching and sanding with drywall compound. Given that the walls were in such good shape, relatively speaking, I’m kind of baffled as to why the wood paneling was put up in the first place. It didn’t do a thing for the ambiance of the place, and frankly made it feel like a cave or dungeon. Underneath the paneling, we found old wallpaper in a rather attractive, circa 1930’s (we think) art deco pattern that looked like stylized feathers. It was beige and gold with a few red highlights. We liked the look it gave, but unfortunately since it was ripped and moldy in too many places, we could not save it. Ultimately, we are going to paint the walls white, and strategically place pictures and stencils to hide any flaws. ;)