“In retrospect, I wouldn’t say it was my best idea,” seemed to be her mantra. She had, over the years, had many wonderful ideas that would bring a cleaner earth or a greener earth or just simply make this earth a better place. But in the end she still had not come up with anything that was not a little wonky.
Frutarian diet was the first. To begin with she was living by herself in an old motor home some where in northern California. They wondered if it was because she was able to accumulate a lot of windfall fruit or if she had accumulated a lot of controlled substances. Maybe it was a combination of the two.
The trouble with this diet was that you could only eat windfall fruit, not fruit from the grocery or even from the tree. The second was that pretty soon all that was left to eat was grapefruit, lemons and oranges. She perhaps just got hungry and she decided that the earth didn’t need saving that bad. Hating to admit she was wrong
she said, “It was not my best idea but a lot better than some of the others.”
So she drove, figuratively close to the edge. She was, they think, very hungry and decided instead to eat only those things that lived between the top of the earth and beneath the tops of the trees. This thankfully would include some meat, fruit and a few vegetable. Very sensible her family thought and encouraged her to continue down that path. Because they were distracted they did not see her next obsession coming.
It was then that she went on her recycling frenzy, camping out in front of the waste station trying to give away those things she thought could be useful but that the recyclers would not accept. When she was banned from ever returning she had to move her motor home. Her idea that she might camp there for free for a few days did not work out.
The time in California came to an end when the oldest of her ten children came to visit and tried to “talk some sense into that woman”. She simply disappeared one day and it was a long time before anyone heard from her again.
In later years she spoke of the time she spent at a spa and now she takes her medication regularly. Maybe in the end she was only trying to save herself and not the earth at all.
She lives in the mid west now. She is living with a distant relative, happy to be reforming their recycling habit. Her family does not hear from her often but it appears that she has found a home where she is trying once again to make the earth a better place.
I invite you to read the rest of the Etta stories.