Sunday, October 21, 2007

does it get any better than this?

a relaxing soak in the penthouse hot tub with the love of my life. then a sublime dinner of fresh, tender asparagus, creamy crab bisque, and grilled, bacon wrapped, diver scallops. all followed by a steamy roll in the hay......

okay, okay. hahahahaha, you're right. i wouldn't know anything about ANY of that kinda stuff. (sometimes i make things up.) but i can tell you a true story that recently had me asking myself,

"Does it get any better than this?"

saturday was an absolutely perfect fall weather day here.

when my kids were little we sometimes walked the neighborhood in the fall to find the best pecans. it was not just an adventure, it also gave us a sense and source of pride having personally gleaned such valuable *inside* information.
we were: The Pecan Detectives.

(the ready supply of the tastiest and/or largest soft-shell pecans those excursions afforded us was a welcome bonus. we also observed that the smaller, harder shelled ones were oilier and therefore tastier, but more often the luxury of cracking a huge, soft-shell pecan outweighed the relative goodness of flavor. lazy? indiscriminate? pragmatic? you be the decider.)

now, back to my story-

last saturday as i drove up to mom's place i couldn't help but think about that as i looked around at all the pecan trees scattered around the property and wondered which of the dozen or so bore the tastiest fruit.
hmm? now there's an idea...

"hey mom, you wanta go outside for a walk? it's a beautiful day."


as she puts her shoes on, i find a plastic bag and tell her what it's for. "there're pecan trees galore out there, mom! we're gonna collect 'em!"
she smiled at my enthusiasm and said, "well that sounds like fun." and off we went.

now, her walker works just fine indoors, but the tiny plastic wheels in the front slow her outdoor pace down from turtle to snail speed. we only made it to 3 trees in an hour. most all of the pecans were medium sized soft-shells. we collected, cracked and ate a bunch at each tree. mom had a vague recollection of somewhere she used to live having a pecan tree. she thought maybe Abbott Street, her girlhood home. i told her, no, but you're probably thinking of your house on Ravensway with the huge tree and a million tiny pecans.
she lit up with an expression of recognition and said, "yes, that's it! ... i remember stepping on them when i'd go out the front walk to get my newspaper."

about that time we heard familiar voices and there were Aunt Sandy and Uncle John. the aides upstairs had told them where we were. they helped us finish filling our bag and then we all 4 went back inside and visited for almost an hour.


we gave away 95% of mom's dishes, etc. when she moved to the memory unit. something i couldn't bear to get rid of (one of the many things i still,
eccentrically, keep in my car and reintroduce her to occasionally...) is a set of silver nut crackers and picks. kinda like these, ya know? so i brought 'em up and filled a small bowl with pecans.

hopefully mom will get a little bit of exercise using them. we'll see about that...

on the way out, i gave the majority of our hoard to the aides.
they were most appreciative.

so, the next day when i arrived at VT, one of the cooks was vigorously lashing out at branches with a 20 foot long pole.
Opal, one of the aides we'd given our stash to, was busy gathering pecans in a jumbo-sized dog food bag. i pulled up beside them, rolled my window down, and hollered, "i expect a pie before thanksgiving."

she laughed out loud and said, "you got it, mr. mary anne!"

now you tell me, does it get any better than that?


while we're on the subject, here's my favorite version of my favorite song.
peace, y'all.


Anonymous said...
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cornbread hell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
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Cornbread Holy said...

I am mystified. Why the removal?

:: gina :: said...

mr. mary anne! lolol. you have many names, lol. i once met a woman who's name was anne mary something. i could never say her name. having grown up in quebec my french gets in the way sometime. so "anne mary"sounded wrong. i liked "anne marie" better. it has a ring to it ya know? but i love "mary anne"! pretty name.


are you going to delete me too? lolol

barby said...

The Pecan Detectives

I LOVE THAT. what a special memory:-)
what a cool dad u r. ur kids lucked out for sure.!!
I loved the story of going out with ur momma gathering the pecans......IM not a fan of them myself but remember gathering them with my kids to give away the house we lived until 4 yrs ago had two trees oh wait those were walnuts. lol same difference to me.
loved the vid u know thats one of my faves as well!!!!
Eva.......go check out i put lots of songs well ok not lots but several on my player...... eva cn bring me to tears everytime...

Cornbread Holy said...

For the sake of all that's cornbread holy, I'm not Teri.

cornbread hell said...

sorry. *sometimes* i'm just stoopid. and i guess i'm not geared to easily accept such a heartfelt compliment. which one of my friends is making fun of me? so shoot me. ok?

(i still have the comment in a word doc and read it every once in a while.)

Chris said...

jerk, I'm sitting over here bawling my eyes out now. Warn me next time you play over the rainbow, eh?

my mom used to sing this song to me. She could put Judy to shame with her voice. tats are going on my back...the ones of my parents. The butterfly is going on my right chest area. I have the pics of my folks up on my blog if you want to take a peek. Finally got my scanner, camera and PC working together now. Take care, Rick. PS> my dad's nickname was Rick

peg said...

it sounds like a great day.
It reminds me of taking my mother blackberry picking'
Eva Cassity, said had a wonderful voice!

cornbread hell said...

chris- sorry. i promise to warn you from here on out...
oh, i saw the pics right after you posted them. they're beautiful.

and i wanta see pics of that, er, i mean, Those tattoos someday.

peg- my dad raised blackberries in his suburban backyard. it was one of his many fantastic hobbies for many years late in life. when we were selling the house, the realtor told us to get rid of those prickly vines. i said, "f**k you." but i guess i eventually did chop them down much to my shame. sigh.

josephine terese said...

did i remember to email you about picking pecans this year? i was at chris' house on the hammock and watching clementine play in the yard and i watlked back to the backyard to see what she was eating this time (she indulges in cat poop sometimes. yuck!) and it was a pecan. and htere were HUNDREDS of them of course. i hadn't even realized that their tree was a pecan, and i grabbed a stray bucket and filled it up with clem at my heels. lots of them are bad inside and they're hard to crack (the long skinny ones, not the nice fat ones) but the ones that are still good are way better than the ones from ravensway (which i hated so much for hurting my footsies), if not as good as the ones we used to find.
mmmm! i had forgotten about pecan season, (the whole reason it's called FALL in my book) because i hadn't been in the great state during it for 2 (?) years.

cornbread hell said...

see? chris shoulda kept kitty. just think of all the $$ he coulda saved on dog food.


Anonymous said...

back on october 22nd...
private email from me...
what a beautiful blog
and loved your sister's comment! so very sweet, both of you, and your mom.
(i was guessing who cornbread holy was and something at the time caused me to think, cornbread hell, cornbread holy, didn't know her husband had alz...)

then i wrote...
loved the dreamy intro as well...


where did times and feelings like that go?

...and meals! sounds delicious!

...all of it.
and your sweet response was...
we're both dreamers. is that so bad?

i responded...
maybe not.
i hope to never stop dreaming.
i also hope to never stop living the least one every now and then.

then you wrote...
you're really cornbread holy, right?
my sister's husband doesn't have alz.

(at this point i thought you were joking about me being cornbread holy and responded)...

are you sure?
my alz doesn't have a husband (actually referring to my mother)
i also wrote...

good luck solving the "sister" mystery.
it has to feel good to learn that you are making a positive difference in someone's life, especially when they've been feeling such despair.
namaste, bibby.