Something New!

Last Saturday I did something I’d been thinking about for years. I went to a bonsai class. Now I’ve loved bonsai since I was a kid. And when I moved back to California in 1986, I took classes from a bonsai master while I was in the Bay Area. Then I moved up here to the foothills, where its hot and dry all summer. Between the heat and the deer, I eventually gave up on my bonsai. Periodically over the years, I would buy little trees, and in fact I have quite a few right now still in pots. But bigger pots, where the roots won’t dry out so easily.

There’s been a notice on the checkout desk at the local nursery for years–bonsai class fourth Saturday of each month. FINALLY, I remembered to copy down the phone number, wrote it on my calendar, and actually went to the class. One of the motivating factors was this new drip watering system that we’ve put in. (That’s the royal we–MLG actually put it in.) When I was buying parts for the system, I saw “misters,” and actually bought a package. Those would be perfect for bonsai, I thought.

Anyway, off I went to bonsai class, and it was more wonderful than I could have imagined! The flyer said the teacher had some nursery stock for beginners to buy. I pictured a table with about 5 straggly plants on it. NO! He had probably an acre of bonsai trees of every type and style. Of course, the first two I picked out were “not for sale” and $300.00. Then I settled down and picked out a nice little tree for $20, including the nice pot! It is a Norway Spruce.


There was a young woman there who was so friendly. We ended up sitting together and chatting quite a bit. (Side note: she is a world class power lifter–her deadlift is 440 pounds when she weighed 130 pounds!!) I went looking at more trees with her, and picked up a little Dwarf Persimmon, just because it was so cute, for only $5.

The teacher was excellent–gave two demos, and then spent time with each student individually. He is about 70 years old, and has been passionate about bonsai since he was 14 years old! He told the story of going to the state fair as a kid with his sheep, and seeing a bonsai master giving demonstrations, and said he spent more time at the bonsai booth than in the barn! There was also a man there who had a lot of experience with bonsai and we chatted a bit. He mentioned taking his daughter for horseback riding lessons in a nearby town.

This whole experience was so energizing, I can’t explain it. After I left, I had the thought that I was going to ask Dr. P if I could take horseback riding lessons after my knee heals! Another childhood interest that I gave up on. And the next day, while sitting in church, I had the thought that I might get a cello, and re-learn how to play. I played cello from third grade through being a senior in high school, and then foolishly sold my cello. Although, thinking back, I’m not sure it was foolish, because it might have sat and collected dust for many years…

Anyway, I don’t often try new things. There is only so much time in life for various interests. But this was such a great experience, I just might be more open to new experiences in the future.

10 thoughts on “Something New!

    • If you can believe it, I’ve been retired almost 6 years. I didn’t know everything I was going to do when I retired. It seems like I’m just now discovering!

  1. Your two wee trees are just so cute! What a fun class, and how interesting that it’s energized you so much to think about doing new things. I say there’s nothing wrong with exploring different hobbies, but as with the bonsai class, it’s nice that you can minimally invest in it (in both money and time) and still get some thrill from it.

    P.S. Horses? Hmmm. I still am not a fan. Went horseback riding once when I was 10 and that darn horse took off on his own trek and scared me to death. Still traumatized.

    • You’re right–part of the draw is the minimal investment of time and money. It will be just perfect to go to this class once a month and work on some of the little trees I already have!

      Ooh, bad horse story! My horse history is that I always wanted one, and always signed up for horseback riding at camp. And I was always assigned the BIGGEST horse. A clunker 😦 Thinking back, that is pretty irritating, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t weigh as much as the main wrangler who was riding a pretty little quarterback.)

  2. How wonderful!! Isnt it so fulfilling to finally try things you’ve been wanting to do??? I say go for it on everything – the cello and the horseback riding – all big YES’s in my book.

    And your bonsai tree is adorable! Love it!

  3. What fun! I admire people who do the bonsai. Why don’t you try guitar or hammered dulcimer or something a little smaller than the cello. 😀 It’s a great creative outlet. I practice my guitar pretty much every day!

    • Well, because I feel like I know how to play the cello, and I still love it. I actually tried to learn to play guitar in my 20’s (forgot until just now!) and it was too hard for me–my fingers were too short. I should try electric guitar :))

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