My hand smarted from the stinging hot water as I gazed out the kitchen window. Quickly, I mixed cold water over the amber glass and rinsed the suds away.

“Not paying attention to washing dishes,” I chided.

Too busy looking into the carefully tended, lush, green lawn of the McKays’ backyard. Small, flowered plants in heavy clusters bordered my neighbor’s fence. Farther out, circular coronets of dahlias and zinnias bloomed in rich gold and reds. Between these festive rings of color, a lemon tree lifted its heavy-branched fullness of yellow fruit, delicately scenting the afternoon breeze....