Preparing for Nowrooz, Tehran, March 15, 2008. Photo by Hadi Tabrizi, IRNA.With some small deviations, I am keeping to my promise of taking it easy this weekend. I went for a long solitary walk earlier this afternoon, but I was caught in an isolated rain and hail storm, the type that happens around this time of the year. Moosh-e-abkeshieh had to return home quickly, completely soaked! I walked through the trail that must be one of the most beautiful places I have ever walked, looking at fruit tree branches covered in gorgeous multi-colored blossoms, the new season green of the grass, the brimming creek running in twists and turns, and the flowerbeds covered in sweet daisies and California's famous mustard flowers. As I walked, though, I was thinking about somewhere else. I was thinking about Tajrish Bazaar, with its hustle and bustle of this time of the year. I was thinking of stacks of gorgeous miniature radishes and fresh basil and mint, its huge pots of wheat germ soup, samanoo, the rows after rows of goldfish in tiny jars, and the fish markets where an assortment of fish from Caspian to Persian Gulf are presented beautifully. I was thinking of all those crowds of people who make Tajrish even more crowded at this time of the year, each carrying an armload of Nowrooz necessities and niceties. I was thinking how much I miss Tehran and how I wished I had a short videoclip of all that activity to watch and to join in the contagious joy of the season. Emamzadeh Saleh must be so busy at this time, with all the people making their year-end visits, whispering their wishes and hopes in that quaint little building. I walked and walked and it was as though my body was not walking on this patch of earth, but on the crooked backstreets of Tajrish, smelling the scents of Nowrooz and drowning in the noise and air of my beloved city, Tehran. Coming back to reality, I issued my three house residents an ultimatum about their very last chance to clean their respective rooms and bathrooms, this being the last weekend before Nowrooz. I managed to get a commitment for tomorrow, which is pretty good, considering how little they think of sweeping, dusting, cleaning, and tidying up! Their girl friend (the space in between the words is intentional to signify her just being a friend) volunteered to oversee their progress, which is a great relief to me, as supervising lazy young men doing something they hate to do would not be consistent with my efforts to "take it easy," and will no doubt bring my colitis attack right back! Though my soaked plate of lentils, sabzeh, is showing potential, it doesn't seem enough to assure me that I will have it ready by Wednesday night. This happens to me every single year! I will have to wait until the last day and if I still have a sparse (kachal) sabzeh, I will have to run to my friend, Monir Zand for help! She runs a deli and Middle East market in Albany, and is usually doing good business this time of the year. I hope your Nowrooz preparations are coming along nicely. With or without a successful sabzeh, I am going to have my home ready for Nowrooz by the end of this weekend. I love a home that understands the seasons, occasions, and traditions and observes them. I try to run just such a house now in preparation for Nowrooz. I love my house, I love my house residents, I love my life. I love all those who will come through it to celebrate with me shortly. I really do. Have a good weekend everybody.