Saturday, 3 January 2009
When we were walking in my hometown cutting through the back of my old high school's parking lot, The Real Gent asked: "Hey is this a pecan?"
There had been a lot of wind the night before and it had knocked all the nuts out of a gigantic tree that I had never noticed before. Since the pecans had been lying there only a matter of hours, the squirrels hadn't tucked into them yet and they hadn't had time to start rotting. We scrambled on the ground, we stuffed our pockets, we went home and obtained further tools. Then I forced everyone in my family into labour as the nuts were prised from their ornery shells. My dad got a blister, TRG got two sore thumbs and I got a bit of nutshell in my eye. Once I'd regained my sight, I wrapped them up and gave them to friends as presents.
One of my early American forefathers, Mickleberry Merritt (not joking, that is his actual name), earned his living from a fruit and nut plantation in southwest Georgia. More recently, my grandparents had three pecan trees in their yard and spent every winter cracking nuts and making things with them. The idea of getting something nice that would otherwise go to waste for absolutely nothing is a pretty satisfying concept, and apparently in my family it always has been. It just goes to show you should watch where you're going - there's some good stuff lurking on the ground.