going nuts

I shouldn’t really go walking alone in the daylight when I’m in a contemplative mood, it takes entirely too long to make time and get to where I’m going, but there you go…

I was walking to pick up Amandya at school.  It’s fall.  I passed a field that a guy on a tractor was mowing (brush hogging) and the smell hit me and took me back to September back home.  The hay, the ragweed, all of the drying brown smells crept into my head and crawled around in there.  Wow.  Deep breaths of memories.  The only thing that was really really missing was ragged robins and queen anne’s lace.  We don’t have those.

I was walking under big wide oak trees (live oaks here for the most part), walking over acorns (oak nuts) and remembering.

When I was little, we went camping… Pymatuning when I was really really young, Kooser off and on for years.  At Kooser they had acorns scattered when we went the last camping trip of the fall.  Not the skinny little acorns like the live oaks have; a few were narrower, but most were big fat acorns.  Chocolate brown and the lids stayed on them tightly.

I wasn’t typically allowed to use a pocket knife.  It was probably a good thing that I wasn’t, I was a total klutz.  That hasn’t changed a whole awful lot. But on certain occasions, like at a picnic table when I was bored camping, I got to use a small one.

I was bored.  I usually read or played or threw stones and sticks into the creek, but sometimes boredom was there… and so was my imagination.

Do you know, there are so many things that you can make out of acorns?

You can make a plate out of the cap if you can pry it off.  The bigger acorns have better caps for this because they are much more flattened out.

A bowl, then, can be made out of the cap-less acorn, if you dig the meat out of the center.  You can get the bowl to sit without tipping over if you are very careful cutting off the little bump on the bottom.  Bowls are harder than plates because the edges of the acorn are not very thick and can split easily.  You have to take your time and be patient.

You can make a pipe to pretend to smoke if you start by making a bowl and then drill (with the just tippy tippy point of the knife) a hole in one side that you can thread a maple stick through.  Maple is important because everyone knows that the only kind of stick you can safely roast hot dogs on or marshmallows on is a maple stick… so the only kind of safe stick for the stem of a pretend pipe is a maple stick.

I wonder what kind of stick people here use… they don’t have maple sticks and most trees don’t have nice straight sticks like really good hot dog sticks are.

If  you are really bored and really ready to play let’s pretend, you can make a whole tea party with plates and bowls and cups… you can carve spoons and knives out of maple sticks (forks are way harder) and spend the rest of the afternoon pretending to have a party for elves and fairies.

Yeah, I know, this speaks worlds about me…

Sometimes a walk is just a walk.  Just a way to get from one place to another or just a way to get some exercise and get healthy.  Other times, a walk is an adventure, taking you on a trip far further than the one that your feet are taking.


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