No announcement yet.

Thoughts of Spring

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Thoughts of Spring

    Ice, snow, Snow.jpgcold, aching joints causes an old man's fancy to turn to thoughts of spring. As I sit thinking of yesteryear and remembrances of tramping the mountains in search of morels ~ I am reminded of a particularly bountiful spring. Several feasts of mushrooms Morel mushrooms.jpg ~ and poke salet poke-cooking-down.jpgso abundant that we put quite a collection in the deep freeze. Then I was reminded of the consequences of over indulgence. I dug into my files and found an Epistle From Paul illustrating this very maxim.

    I am still awaiting eye surgery and using the computer is difficult. So, typing these few sentences plus copying and pasting is all I will attempt. My Frien's here is my warning story on gluttony.

    Spring 2004, Morels, Poke Salet

    By the time I get around to sending this out, it will be spring. In spring we see the arrival of two wonderful Ozark edibles. Last year, I eagerly awaited the news, “the morel mushrooms and ‘poke salat’ are up.” All of you are familiar with mushrooms and some of you will have tried the portabello and ****ake (each of which is better than the common grocery store mushroom). But, how many of you have tasted the wild morel? Now, Diana and I are pretty good at sharing (well one of us more than the other) and trust our spouse to divide fairly equally, and don’t worry if one got a little bit more. But, when it comes to morels, we both stand there and divide them exactly as to number and size (no trust involved).

    My frien’s, poke is a different story. First, let me advise, this plant is quite poisonous in its adult form. But, unlike morels, it is quite abundant (parceling out is not a problem). When the first tender leaves pop up it is extremely tasty and only somewhat dangerous (at least it is non-fatal). Last year we had several meals of poke. But it is advisable not to be greedy with this stuff. It cleans you out better than anything the medical community prescribes. I have my colonoscopy in the spring and have been thinking of recommending poke as an alternative to “go litely” (which I have pointed out before is grossly misnamed). But, unlike refined chemicals, poke’s timing is a little unpredictable and, therefore, requires judicious scheduling of travel the day after consumption.

    Now, when poke begins its second stage ~ the first being mighty fine taste ~ well, here’s the rest of this story. They say the Lord looks after idiots, drunks and fools! Well, I had not been drinking.

    But, I had forgotten both don’t be greedy and watch the timing. I was in the Bass Pro Shop (similar to LL Bean or Cabelas) the “day after.”. I was not too far from the nearest “facility” when the poke started “working.” I wasn’t running. Neither was I lollygagging along. Barely made it to the rest room. Looked around wildly. Only a “two hole’r (southern term for upscale restroom).” But, the Lord continued to provide. Both holes were very upscale with seats, partitions, flushable and ~ both "holes" were unoccupied! I had my choice. Considering the increasing urgency the nearest vacancy seemed the most desirable.

    As I sat wondering how long I would have to stay (poke works thoroughly), I was startled when the restroom door banged open. Someone rushed into the other stall. It soon became obvious that he (I assumed) too had been watched over by the Almighty (one hole still open).

    Then I heard, "**** poke.” I started laughing.

    "It ain’t funny," he grumbled, "I just barely made it in here, praying all the time that it wou’n’t be fully occupied."

    "Me too and for the same reason. Maybe prayer does work," I mused.

    Silence. Had he been offended by my reference to religion? Then, "Shore hope they ain’t been no one else eatin’ poke. There ain't no more room in here."

    The Lord did provide. Apparently, no one else had been eating poke. We were not rushed. Like I said, poke salet is thorough. But, this facet does offer an opportunity to make new friends ~ unexpectedly. So, we discussed everything from morel mushrooms (poke was not a preferred topic) to world politics before we concluded that it was safe to rejoin our spouses. Failed to get his name, but left with the safe knowledge that I would meet him (or another poke salet aficionado this spring).

    Safely through the second stage of poke salet, I saw the humor in the whole situation and tried to share it with Diana. But, from a religious viewpoint, I was reminded, “You can tell that the Lord gave women one of man's ribs and not our funny bone.” Now that I think about it, this could lead to great fame, I may work on developing a diet program. After all, Dr. Atkins is gone. Someone needs to step in there with a weight loss program.

    Turning to the subject of Divine intervention, I took an interesting test on beliefs the other day at a site I found on the internet. There are a series of questions to answer concerning basic beliefs and then it lists various religious groups who share your viewpoint. The results were very surprising. I would have been shocked (as would most of my friends) if anyone had suggested that I had much in common with the Quakers. Yet, they were listed as my first alignment. Must have done something wrong in the questionnaire. Took it again. Same result. What the hell (speaking religiously) is going on? I thought Quakers were rigidly locked into an archaic belief pattern. Then I went to their web site. Amazingly, my beliefs are in extremely closely aligned with theirs. But, I don’t know about attending their services. The Friends (Quakers) worship in silence and speak only when they have something to say (I often have something to say) and about the only thing that is unacceptable is argument (I have been known to defend my viewpoint). I related the conjunction of my belief with the Friends, to Diana, noting the two problem areas. I pointed out that I could overcome these minor bumps on the road to religious serenity. Really, I did not intend for this to be humorous. But her reaction (laughter) indicated that I may have to drop back to my second (by a decimal point) alignment which seems to be more accommodating anyway, Unitarian Universalist. Well, they don’t want you to fight, but, they will let you talk. Hey, its basic structure seems to be summed up by, “welcome my friend (a Cajun can relate to this), join us, and keep your own path to a relationship with the "Whatever".” Ran this past the yardstick (Diana) which measures my ability to change. She did indicate skepticism rather than uncontrollable laughter. Does that indicate possibility?

    Which brings me to my association with serpents. Confirming suspicion among some concerning my beliefs about organized religion. Diana and I were relaxing on the porch, last summer, and heard baby birds in an opening on the roof. I stated that I was not looking forward to cleaning out those nests. That afternoon I went back out on the porch, glanced up at the location of the bird nests and saw a black wire hanging out. I started cuss ─ uuuuhhhhh, “discussing” the birds for dragging one of the wires out of the hole. Then the wire moved! I realized that it was a black snake, answering my unstated prayer, and assisting me in removal of the offending birds. I turned and walked back toward the door to tell Diana of my fortuitous relationship with serpents. Then, I saw two more along a ledge at the top of the porch. All three were black snakes (known for their elimination of rodents and other snakes). I watched as the three gathered in the center of the porch, thinking a fight was starting and someone was going to get eaten (that would be a sight to behold). Not so, the reason they were ignoring me is that they were interested in survival of the species.

    It still was wondrous and worth watching. Diana did not put quite the same terminology on my observation of the process as I would have preferred (she mentioned voyeurism). I answered that this was scientific, not historical, and had nothing to do with French explorers of the 19th century. She said, “Well, you got most of the letters right.”

    Anyway, I look forward to a long and happy relationship with many of their progeny and fewer rodents and such. Although there was a downside ~ Diana offered to assist me in cleaning my shop ~ opened what appeared to be an empty box ~ and found a sleepy blacksnake. Her wonder (expressed very vocally) at finding such a rare treasure scared hell out of me and the snake both. I hope he is not so offended that he doesn't come back. So my Frien's it is time to end this Epistle from Paul.

  • #2
    I don't mind your "re-runs"; they're all new to me! Stay warm up there.
    'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"


    • #3
      Entertaining as always, Paul.


      • #4
        Always an enjoyment to read your ramblings! Besides I learned something today--I always thought the song was saying "Pork Salad Annie", now I know. Hoping the surgery goes super good
        . . .JoeB


        • #5
          Cute funny story....always enjoy reading them!!!!
          . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di


          • #6
            Great account! The "Running Green Screamers."
            Fern fiddleheads or beet greens can do that to a guy, first feed of the new year.
            Brian T


            • #7
              Paul is our "Mark Twain of the WCI Forum"!


              • #8
                Well, I wasn't here for the first run. And I am really glad for the chance to read the story on the go-round.

                I do like your style, Paul. You can rerun all you want as far as I am concerned.
                HonketyHank toot toot