Memory of Walnuts

Okay, a 20 minute walk straight pace, then around again to take pictures.  I’m waiting for the camera to warm up before I mess with the chip, etc.

‘Tis a lovely, sunny Autumn day, the description can be found in a thousand poems and essays if you look it up on the ‘Net.  According to the Temperature Lady on the telephone, the current temperature is 44oF.
While I was walking, shoulders hunched a bit in my hoodie, my knit hat down touching the rim of my glasses, hands with gloves cupped around my camera, a neighbor walking to the car in his driveway mentioned that I looked cold.
Well yeah, I ain’t used to this weather yet.
A week ago it was an unusually high of 90.
What kind of month is this, anyway?

I always say I love this time of year, at least until the cold air comes round again.  I guess what I love is my memories of the Fall.  Grandma would make ‘end of garden’ soup and process it in the canning jars.  Dad would take as many kids as he could muster out to the U-pick orchard and we would get bushels of apples and pears, also for the jars.

The nicest memory is walking down the hill near the strip pits to where the tallest trees dropped the best black walnuts.  Those were the days before Dad bought a house out in the country where are 7 walnut trees on the property.
No matter the gloves we used for protection, the stain on our hands went to school and got made fun of. 

Secretly, I was proud of the darkness of my hands, a document of the work and togetherness of our family.  Those walnuts were washed, allowed to dry, cracked and carefully checked for bits of shells, then the meats given as gifts far and wide.

Upon learning when my Dad had died, one of Mom’s friends said her first thought was “No more walnuts next Christmas”.
I’ll admit that was one of my first thoughts as well.  My last quart jar got hoarded and measured out in small spoonfuls to make it last.  It seemed like once that nuts jar was empty, I had to admit that Dad really was gone.

These days, around the holidays, I can buy a bag of black walnuts in any grocery store.  The dollar price doesn’t justify the effort I know goes into getting nuts ready for sale.

I came home from my walk to seeing that I had left the tea warmer on, and the final piece of Apple Walnut Cake.  My Mister took the next to last piece with him to work.  You can go over to last year’s Recipe for Apple Nut Cake.  Maybe I’ll eat just half so I don’t look selfish.
Who came up with that idea—don’t take the last piece?
Naw, this is my house, I’ll have it all.  That means I have to wash the pan.
There’s about a dozen apples left.
I’ll look through my cookbooks.
~~love and Huggs, Diane

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