Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gifts Patients Give Doctors

     Shoo-fly pie.  Sticky buns.  Crates of apples from Massachusetts.  Fresh-caught bream, filleted, and ready to pan-fry.  Muscadine grapes, muscadine jelly, muscadine compote.  Home-made muscadine wine.  Two hundred pink grapefruit.  Honeybell oranges, Key limes, Meyer lemons.  Meyer lemon tart, Meyer lemon squares, Meyer lemon fudge, Meyer lemon seedlings, with an offer to plant them.  Brownies, pound cake, iced chocolate cookies.  Hand-dipped chocolates, organic lollipops, salted caramels, shelled pecans, pecan divinity, pecan praline, pecan pie.
     Shrimp from Rodman dam.  Bass from Lake Lochloosa.  Salted cod from Maine.  Flounder, grouper, red snapper.  Mangoes, guavas, clusters of miniature bananas.  Banana pudding, banana bread, banana cream pie, banana plants.  Papaya trees with styrofoam insulators to protect them through cold snaps.
     Mexican petunias, marigolds, zinnias, heirloom seed.  Tomato plants, purple carrots, collard greens.  Pumpkin squash, corn on the cob, zipper cream peas.  Non-genetically-engineered white corn seed.  A truckload of horse manure.  Cotton plants.  Hempseed.  Liquid cow excretions to be sprayed from a truck onto my garden.  Tomatoes, zucchini, onions, eggplant.  
     Pink roses, plumbago, azaleas, camellias floating in water.  Bouquets of black-eyed-susans. Twelve potted hibiscus, rows of melampodium,  Daffodils, dandelions, elderberry clusters.
     Zucchini fritters, jalapeno salsa, datyl pepper chutney.  Parmesan popcorn, prickly pear lemonade, persimmon pudding.  Aloe vera gel, aloe vera tonic, aloe-vera-bitter-orange insect sting spray.  Blueberry wine, apple jack, mulberry brandy, moonshine.  Thornless blackberries, big as a thumb.  Wild plums, pomegranates, smilax, rattlesnake root.
     A bird feeder, a bat house, purple marten boxes.  Palmetto berry prostate tincture, date palm rootings, a fan palm tree.  Live bait, worm castings, minnows for my pond.
     Pine cone wreaths, hand-knitted scarves, a cotton cardigan.  Baby booties, baby caps, fluffy woolen socks.  A hand-carved mantle with wild animals in relief.  Sweet-gum Christmas ornaments, Halloween candy, Christmas candles, Christmas stockings, Christmas cookies, Christmas pudding, fruit cake, halvah, torrone, Turkish delight, apple cotlets, Hamantaschen. 
     Sugar scrubs, feminine sponges, women's herbal tea.  A silk scarf from China, Balinese earrings, a necklace with a heart.  An amethyst charm, a crystal rosary, a Hail Mary pendant to protect me from the feds. Dried sage for smoking out scourges,  a Ganesha figure,  a Mezuzah, a grapevine cross, the Bhagavad-Gita.
     Poems, pages from diaries, letters of gratitude.  A hand-made cookbook tied with yarn.  Dozens of books, a treatise on homelessness from a once-homeless man, original paintings, a cherrywood pepper mill, a hand-tooled Santa, laminated napkin holders.  Rag rugs, dishtowels, pot-holders, embroidered handkerchiefs.  T-shirts with Frog Bluegrass Festival logos, t-shirts from fun-runs, drawstring pants, a wrap-around skirt, a batik blouse, a nightgown, a robe, slippers, bath salts.
     A drum set, a banjo, a guitar, guitar re-stringing.  Harmonica sets, harmonica lessons, Teach-Yourself Harmonica manuals.  An extemporaneous harmonica concert for all the staff.  Tapes of Schumann lieder by an Italian diva, CD's by patients, a folk song written and recorded for "Dr. C."
     Hickory nuts, shelled pecans, boiled peanuts, peanut brittle, peanut butter, green peanuts, roasted peanuts, peanut fondant, peanut-shell toys, a recipe for West African peanut-squash soup.
     Ukranian painted eggs.  Easter baskets full of candy, baby chicks, guinea pigs, a guinea pig cage.  Rabbits, rabbit meat, venison, possum, squirrel, alligator, turtle meat, wild boar.  A live snapping turtle.  Ten laying hens.
     Wind chimes, stained-glass sun-catchers, quilted pillows, a crystal ball, a macrame tote, twig-and-twine dream-catchers, colored sand in jars, a ship in a bottle, a carved ball-in-a-cage, wooden spoons, cutting boards, a salad bowl set.  A hand-strung hammock, fishing poles for kids, fishing lessons, a trip to Cedar Key.  A boat trip on the Silver River,  a wild-foods forage, a sun-oven, a rock-lined fire pit fully installed.  Half a bushel of oysters, boiled crabs, file gumbo, bouillabaisse.
     Spaghetti lunches, pizza parties, gallons of ice cream.   Donuts, coffee, muffins, cupcakes, fudge, fondant, fig bars, freezer jam.  "Black and cheese." Stuffed grape leaves.  Korean egg rolls, kimchee, shiitake mushrooms, shrimp-fried noodles, sushi, Haitian spicy fish and rice. 
     Purses, hats, caps, sunscreen, a fur coat.  A box of puppies, two kittens, a stuffed snake.
     Tickets to Gator football games, the Harlem Globetrotters, women's basketball, concerts, plays, and church picnics.  Invitations to dinners, picnics, hayrides, zucchini festivals, Baptist churches, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, baby showers, funerals.
     Thank you letters, thank you notes, thank you calls, thank you visits, thank you hugs, thank you tears, thank you laughter, "Thank you for being here's."

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