Just Plain Nuts

The setting is Stone State Park. This is more about my visit with Ratty.

As I get older I tend to remember my past more. I see something that triggers a memory and nostalgia sets in. This is one of those times.

When I was a little girl my grandparents owned a farm. At the dog-leg turn coming back from the pasture when we brought the cows in for milking, there was a beautiful walnut tree. Grandpa or my uncles would gather the nuts when they fell from the tree. Then they were stored in the attic until they were needed.

Many cold wintry days were spent in the attic cracking the nuts. Some we ate. Others Grandma or Mom or an aunt would make into something delicious. Those are some of the wonderful memories I had in this place.

The picture above is a diseased walnut tree. The poor thing has some sort of glops all over the branches as you can see. But beneath the tree I found a half shell from a walnut. I immediately thought of the farm.

Not far from the shell was another half. I loved the times I was on the farm. My aunts and uncles who still lived there were not much older than I was. I know I was a pain to them but I followed them as much as they would allow. Then Grandma would make them let me tag along some more.

I was still meandering my way to Ratty's truck. My mind was reliving some of those earlier times on the farm. And I was happy that the animals in Stone Park had walnuts to eat. Good nourishing walnuts.

It was so peaceful at Stone Park. Two men had been walking down by Turtle Creek. They strolled back to their vehicle and drove away feeling better after their invigorating walk. A couple drove up but I think they wanted a little more privacy so they left. I looked all around. Beauty everywhere. There on the ground was a whole walnut.

What a find! Remembering the farm came back to me. I loved visiting. Grandma was the best cook ever. She did not make anything fancy but it was delicious, stick-to-your-ribs food. After all everyone working on a farm needs to have a filling nourishing meal.The house was always filled with the smells of food. She used an old wood cook stove that also heated water for dishes and cleanups. Grandma never bought bread. She made it fresh every day.

I was tempted to take the walnut as a souvenir. But I left it. It is more important to the animals in the park. I also believe in leaving no footprint. Stone Park would not be the haven it is if human animals helped themselves to all the things there.

Then I came across my best discovery of the day. A hull from a walnut.

Walnuts are covered by these hulls on the tree. I guess they are some type of protection. I will have to look that up, won't I? I was back in the attic crumbling the hulls off the walnuts. After enough had been done we could start to break them open with a hammer. I love walnuts. I loved the farm.

What memories from your childhood bring you such feelings of warmth? Please share them.