Leaves and Love

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In our 34th year of marriage, there are many things my husband and I don’t do together.  In fact, in some ways it is a strength of our marriage, that he supports the things that I choose to do, and my independence.  So, I go walk with my friend Maggie to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings; he goes to the chiropractor.  I go to tai chi practice, he stays home.  I go to church, he stays home.  And so on.  But we do have our times when we go out together.  We give blood regularly and make it a date with dinner at a restaurant afterwards.  And we go together to monthly science lectures at the Carnegie Institution downtown, like tonight.

These lectures, by international experts in their fields, are a bit of a stretch for us.  And after our long workdays, as we sit in purple plush seats in the beautiful auditorium with the phases of the moon above us and quotations in murals on the walls, we have to take turns gripping the others’ knee to wake them up.  On the way home we review what we heard with each other to make sure we understood at least the gist.

As tonight, after hearing about stem cells in plants.  Plants can live to be thousands of years old, with no cancer or disregulation.  Thus their stem cells are of great interest to us.  Of course, we depend on plants for our survival.  They create all our food and they create and clean our atmosphere.  With stomata, the little “mouths” on the leaf surfaces that take in our CO2 and emit the oxygen that we need.

As my husband and I trudged into the wind along P Street toward the N4 bus stop, talking about the lecture, he asked me if I knew stomata?  I said yes, I did, but I hadn’t realized how crucial they were.  He said well, if I hadn’t, he would have asked “What’s stomata with you?!”

I groaned.  But I am reminded that I do love my goofy guy.

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