Some things we’ve done lately: noticed the roof was leaking again and freaked out; had the roof looked at and hopefully fixed (but who knows); brought in landscapers to make our yard more desert friendly by re-thinking the arrangement of plants and adding soil basins to catch the rain; worried about the way that Paul scratches the back door to be let in.

The landscapers tore a bunch of plants out and moved a bunch more – there quite a few trees planted too close together, and two of them were relocated: a loquat tree (I didn’t even know this was a thing, let alone that we had one!) and a tree I don’t remember the name of, which explodes in spring with charming puffballs. The loquat did great, but the puffball tree turned brown almost immediately and seemed to crisp up before our eyes. We knew this was a risk – the landscapers had moved it as an experiment, saying that if it died they’d just replace it when they come back to do more planting in October –but it was still depressing. Just wait, though, the landscapers said. It might come back. Give it time.

Did I mention this tree is right outside our dining room window? I see it every day, and for weeks it’s been a dejected, Charlie Brown Christmas Tree kind of a view, all sad brown seed pods and spindly branches. You just had to look past it if you wanted to appreciate the yard, as if it were a telephone line or a scratch on your phone screen.

But do you know what guys? Do you? (You can perhaps guess.) The landscapers were here yesterday to make some adjustments to the basins, and while we were standing outside asking questions, we all noticed a bright green spray emanating from one of the seemingly dead puffball branches. Closer inspection revealed that leaves were budding all over the tree, which means the period of root shock is probably over, and the tree is likely to make it after all.

None of this solves the problem of the roof, or the way Paul leave scratches on the wooden door, or the periodic exhaustion of life when everything just seems like too much. But it’s something, you know? It’s something.