The Elliotts, as you may remember, are adventurers. We seek adrenaline. Fear. Speed. Challenges. We push ourselves to the limit, always exerting ourselves to the very edge of death. We are, like, so wild.
So what does a “wild-one” like myself do on chilly afternoon? Climb mountains barefoot? Race cars on icy roads? Do a polar-bear-dive into the nearby fridgid river? Play chicken with a roaring train?
I go hunting for walnuts.
Ok. I joke about the whole adrenaline-seeking thing. I actually prefer to move a nice, safe, snails-pace. Dry. Warm. Safe. Happy. I'm just fine with that.
But the family needed some fresh air, so off we tromped into the nearby orchard. Our coats kept us warm and the sweet scent of Stuart's pipe followed us around as we walked.
Georgia came too. We thought she was a little to young to fend for herself at home.
Hey baby girl! You are so precious. Did you know your my favorite daughter EVER?
Oh, that made her happy! She always gets happy when I tell her how much I love her. Watch this.
Georgia, I don't really like you that much. Your diapers smell bad.
Ah, she's onto me. She knows I don't mean it.
Anyway…we waddled around the orchards until we found the mother load. Walnuts coated the ground and I was able to fill my pockets like Gus-Gus from Cinderella. Gleaning is a beautiful thing, and don't worry, I made certain that I left some for the squirrels and birds. Nuts are a little God-given-nugget-of-goodness and those squirrels know it, man.
After gathering our fill and delighting in our bounty, we headed on home – pockets full of a winter treasure. Georgia agreed to keep a lookout for any menacing squirrels who might come after us. Those squirrels can be rabid, ya know. Vicious.
We came home and spent some time enjoying each other's company and cracking into our newly discovered treasure. Stuart was eager to crack them open. What is it about a man with a hammer? Look what we found inside!
It's a heart. It represents how much Stuart loves me. At least, that's what I told him it should represent. I'm not sure if he agreed.
We shelled two cups of the delicious monsters. Man, they were tasty. Locally grown walnuts – picked right from the shell. I love being able to find food sources, right here in our valley. It's like gathering berries or mushrooms – it's food right from the soil and it's tasty! Isn't it wonderful how God looks out for the critters (and us!) through even these long, cold, dreary months?
And until the warmth of spring arrives, I will accept the freshness and nurishment of these walnuts with joy. Because there sure isn't anything' else growin' right now.
Except Georgia's love for her Fargo hat. Obviously.