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The Slice: Nature returns the favor

Sat., May 11, 2013, midnight

Treat something right and there’s no telling what your reward might be.

The old apple tree in our backyard put on a show this week.

Its blossoming was so exuberant I almost wondered if it was using performance enhancing substances.

Then my wife remembered. Last October, an arborist hired to take down a dead pine in the front yard had pruned a few other trees before he left. The apple tree was among the recipients of his thoughtful attention.

And this week it thanked us with a silent, fragrant explosion of snow-colored blossoms unlike anything we had seen in years past.

Out came the phone cameras. In went the bees.

Well done, apple tree, we said or at least thought.

I’m guessing even the birds, squirrels and our neighbor’s hard-to-impress cat were amazed by the forceful flowering.

So how do you salute an apple tree?

I turned on the sprinkler line that waters it and left it running for a good long while.

Today’s nomination: Sheryl Hammons said Brian Sparrow is the nicest person in the Inland Northwest.

Warm-up question: Do you sometimes fail to tell the truth when the grocery cashier asks if you found everything? A) Of course. B) Yes. If it was that important to me, I would already have asked for help finding the items I could not locate. But I wasn’t in the mood. And I have no desire to stall out the whole checkout line by bringing it up at that point. C) I’m never really sure how to respond to the checker, because I usually forget my list and seldom remember everything I had intended to pick up. D) I tend to say things like, “Yes, except for the secret to coping with my own anger.” E) You have to lie. Otherwise life stands still while a well-intentioned teenager is dispatched to track down the item in question and the checker works up a psychological profile of you while examining your other purchases. F) Other.

Today’s Slice question: Do you have friends or relatives in other parts of the country who mistakenly assume that the entire Northwest is like Seattle and Portland when it comes to politics, attitudes about public policy and prevailing social mindsets?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Please describe the placement of your hands when jumping into a cold lake.

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