Sunday, September 21, 2008

Can trees just keel over and crash?

I always thought that when trees die (and I've surprisingly lost four palm trees in the past few months) that they just stand there and take it. Oaks do, maples do. I've personally known dead trees before and sometimes you could even hang a swing and think fondly of Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree". Boy, did I get a gigantic shock Saturday.

There is a fenced-in side yard area known as Muffinland just north of the Bonni Bakes building. This is where my 11 year old favorite puppy hangs out when the business is open. I was about to give a lovely couple from PA a tour of the Village Saturday (they're about to relocate) when I noticed something odd. I walked over to the gated entrance to Muffinland and the dead queen palm was now in three sections. A partial trunk was still standing at about 6 feet and the rest was laying at its feet in a crumpled mess. I was beyond shocked and immobilized.

The beauty of living in a community of caring people helps to explain the resolution. There is a new bacterial disease attacking certain varieties of palms (like ones inhaling delicious cookie aromas) that rots them from the inside out. When they've had enough...they've had enough and want to return immediately to dust. Thank goodness that Muffin wasn't holding court when this one decided to bail.

My neighboring artist and friend Mark came with help and a chain-saw and not only disabled this palm, but the other three who were dead as well. I'm still gasping. When you know and love something large and alive like a tree it takes time to acknowledge that it's gone. The sun nows shines brightly on a patch whose vegetation grew up in the shade of a large tree. YIKES, I can hear them screaming. Life will adjust, but without any ceremony or formal notice when that tree fell in my non-forest, apparently no one heard. However, I feel it in my heart. The sense of loss has been mitigated by the warm comfort of friends. Thanks Mark!!

Okay, I promised to explain my plans for Bonni Bakes. You know that I wasn't going to re-open the cafe because I just can't do that 24/7 thing anymore, but I'm very committed to The Village. I will re-open for the Oct 3 ArtWalk, both Fri 6-9:30pm and Sat 11-4, serving a variety of that thin-crusted yummy pizza plus unnamed baked things. Did someone say "Chocolate Orgasms"? Time for something new and different, so instead of a cafe I'll be doing a bunch of workshops. Decorating cookies for the holidays; making bread at home so you don't have to buy lesser stuff at the supermarket; great appetizers that you can dazzle with on a shoestring; kids classes that will make them want to help around the kitchen, etc. We'll be offering personally decorated cookies & cupcakes for business or private occasions. If it deals with food and fun, I'm there.

Did I mention that although I sold a lot of unwanted furniture, I still have a slew of gently used kitchen things (I had to have muliple functioning kitchens) and a personal collection of Spanish Ceramica dishes that I personally brought back from Spain but won't fit in my current space.

So, as usual, Bonni Bakes will not operate according to a business plan (this is probably making my wonderful MBA-credentialed daughter Abby crazy), but she's lived with me her whole life. My life IS my plan, and you're part of it. I miss you and hope that we can share our creative energy to make this a better world. Right now I'm raising money for breast cancer research & education through my involvement with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. I'm doing what I do best...make mouth-watering cookies, sell them for a reasonable price and donate ALL OF IT to charity. I need your help with this so let me know how I can bring some of these goodies to you. Just call me at 941-746-6647 or email and order some of these $2/pkg cuties. I'd post the pix but I haven't done them yet.

Grateful hugs & love,

Bonni and Muffin (who has NO CLUE that he could have disappeared back into dust)


  1. Just wanted you to know I'm present. Did you say "cookies". (Pick me! Pick me!)


  2. I've read about the current problem with trees in Florida but thought it was only affecting the cabbage palms. How sad! Glad you and muffin are OK.

    Looking forward to some pics of the cookies. Enjoyed our chat the other day about the rest of your "possibilities". Keep me posted.

    Your blog is excellent. I think you are a techno-geek in disguise!