Avid herbalist, mother of the narrator, Rose, grandmother to Jasmine and Balboa. Eighty-three years old when introduced in “Rain” (7/17/2005), Ruby is a hiker and gardener who prefers the outdoors. She forages for wild herbs (Wings, 4/13/2007), teaches composting to the children with her daughter Rose (Share, 5/18/2010), and especially enjoys nursery duty. She brought Rose along as a child, and they continue to take nursery duty together to this day (Babies, 2/7/2006).
In Tomatoes (10/1/2011), we learn she lives in a bungalow surrounded by gardens and a low wall with a latched gate. Her gardens reflect her love of Nature as well as her vast knowledge as an herbalist.
Outside the wall, the gardens “run a bit wild, allowed to grow and change more or less as Nature intends.” Inside the wall, order and design prevail, with amber and buff mudstone pavers interlaced with fragrant thymes along meandering paths. Outdoor rooms furnished with stone, carved wood and woven willow benches invite visitors to sun or shade. (Tomatoes, 10/1/2011)
A chiminea in one such room evokes images of bundled warmth under cool, starry skies. Elsewhere, an ancient oak tree graces one part of the garden. A kitchen garden provides Ruby with ample vegetables and plenty of leftovers for the Village. (Tomatoes, 10/1/2011)
While helping her granddaughter Balboa and fiance Packer prepare for the wedding, Ruby begins a romantic relationship with Beryl’s father, James, of the Village of Jasper. A renowned gardener/botanist, James shares Ruby’s passion for the natural world. (Romance, 9/12/2005)
- Physically fit and quite active
- “‘Eighty-three and stomping like it’s a rain dance,’” Cheyenne says of her mother-in-law. Likes the outdoors more than in. Until recently, prone to hike from sunup to sundown, gathering wild herbs and roots along the way. (Rain, 7/17/2005)
- Big- boned (Romance, 9/12/2005)
- Sleeps in sleeping bag on the ground in first spring camp-out of the year (Moon, 5/17/2006)
- Walks twelve miles to a neighboring village and back (Xianne, 7/29/2007)
- Though she is now 86, Ruby stoops and rises easily, “as agile as I,” Rose says (Share, 5/18/2010)
- No nonsense personality (Romance, 9/12/2005)
- “Strong, durable, and possessed of a gentle touch and knowing eye that understood my soul and never accused” when Rose was a child, (Babies, 2/7/2006)
- Born in Ordinary (Mira, 1/17/2007)
First post appearance: Rain, 7/17/2005