I have a T-shirt that reads, "So many books, so little time."
Appropriate, for someone who spends her day working at the local library, thumbing through the latest publications--glimpses of the never-ending stream of best-selling novels cranked out by those famous names such as Grisham and Patterson and Parker.
Only, to return home to a yard of seasonal chores--leftovers from the ambitious plans of an always-too-short weekend.
Sometimes I feel like I'm chasing my own tail.
Caught on the hamster wheel, once again.
I feel they should be gathered for winter.
Collected and processed into the wonderful cakes and cookies with that wild, Black Walnut kick.
A laundry basket and three 5-gallon pails are already full and poised by the back door.
And the yard has been blanketed, yet again--the green-hulled, tennis ball-sized nuts, now dark brown and beginning to show signs of losing their pungent jackets.
Soon, the black hulls will slough off, and, wearing heavy rubber gloves, I'll wash and rinse the rough, furrowed shells, until the black water runs clean and clear.
Black Walnut stains are deep and dark--and long lasting.
Throughout the winter, bit by bit, I'll crack the impossibly hard shells indoors, seated on the hearth of a glowing wood stove.
My hammer and favorite cracking stone, a slab of river rock with the perfect nut-sized depression, stand ready.
Soon, to extricate each delicious morsel, hidden deeply within its elaborately chambered case.
I wonder if this force I sense to gather them is like that the squirrels feel.
And if they, too, sigh deeply each morning, looking out over the yard beneath the walnut trees.
There is yet much to be done.
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