Featured, Lifestyle

Acorns and Other Nuts

October 3, 2016

My house is surrounded by oak trees. Really tall oak trees. When we built in 2000, we wanted to save as many as possible. Part of the decision rested on my husband’s desire not to mow grass any longer. Grass doesn’t grow in a forest. I wanted to save trees because they provide natural air conditioning in the summer. In the winter, when leaves drop, the sun warms the house. I do still have air conditioners and a furnace, but they don’t run for about half the year.

And now, after a wet spring and wetter summer, we have a bumper crop of acorns. That means a bumper crop of deer munching away on my property as well as the surrounding properties. Last week, I went out to get the newspaper early one morning. I flushed one of the two herds from the front of my house. Four does and seven fawns. The other herd, two does and four fawns, was busy munching acorns between the house and the lake. And running around the deer are an unusual number of squirrels packing away nuts for the winter.

We had two days of very heavy rain last week. 7″ in two days. Lots of nuts gave up their grips on the trees. Several hit me on the head yesterday morning when I fetched the paper. These puppies are big. The last couple of years brought in smaller crops with smaller acorns. Not this year. When an acorn hits your head, you feel it.

That got me thinking about other kinds of nuts. The human kind. I’m not sure what is in the water or air right now, but it seems as if everyone is suffering from near terminal nuttiness. I’m not talking about the political system here in the US. I’m talking about normal people doing nutty things. Like people dressing up as clowns and running through the woods scaring people. Really. Or, should that be Really??? It’s not close to Halloween yet, folks.

Or take the girl ahead of me at Starbucks trying to pay for her triple-shot, double-pump, no whip Venti mocha latte with the Starbucks app on her cell phone. She kept waving the app. The receiver didn’t register anything. Wave, no response. Wave, no response. She stared at her phone like it was an alien being. How could it be letting her down? Easy. She didn’t have enough on her app to pay for the triple-shot, double-pump, no whip Venti mocha latte. She had enough for a grande coffee. No whip. No extra shots. No extra flavorings. Just a grande with room for cream. She pouted off to suck up her shame and suck down her coffee. She proved once again that doing something over and over and expecting a different outcome was a sign of insanity. And poutiness.

Or take the driver who sped around me on a narrow road in the rain. He hit runoff, spun into ponding on the road and ended up in a ditch. And never took the phone away from his ear. Yup. Nuttiness in the extreme.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Let this be a warning. They walk among us. They really do. So keep your head up, smile and disconcert someone with your innate cheerfulness. It’ll get ’em every time.

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Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max, Unintended Consequences, and Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Please follow me on my website, on TwitterFacebook and Goodreads.

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