Friday, May 27, 2011

Just Jabber

Michelle surprised me last night with a homemade blackberry cobbler ala Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It was delicious.

Since I do 95% of the cooking around the cabana, I had pretty much forgotten how well the woman could cook. Foolish me. Coming from Pennsylvania—the home of Quakers, Shakers, Bakers, Amish, and the Dutch Oven—French Red can turn it on and off whenever she wants.

The timing was almost perfect. It was about this time every year when me and mine would go pick blackberries down on the farm just north of Joplin. Over on a ridge of virgin prairie we would first pick our fill of wild strawberries around Memorial Day. Then, somewhere in June, or maybe early July, we would sweep down a fence row and pluck huge blackberries all agrowin’ in a thicket. Some of the wild things were as big as a grown man’s thumb and some so sweet that adding sugar to the cobbler was utterly unnecessary. My first wife—as soft a heart as ever beat—would make pans and pans of cobbler for us topped with either vanilla ice cream or half and half. We gorged. If there is anything better on earth than fresh blackberry cobbler right from the sticker bush, please name it--then go ahead and just shoot me ‘cause I couldn’t stand the shock.

This morning, stretching out all blown and beaten on a park bench twelve miles into my bike ride, I stripped off my shirt, shaded my eyes from the sun, and just let the salt and sweat roll. It was five minutes or so before I realized I had crashed a fire ant party. Unlike a bee or biting fly, for some reason it takes my body a few minutes to even realize a fire ant has stung me. But from that point on, Whoeeee! The vicious devils got me in several places, places where the sun seldom shines, and murder! does that part of me cry for mercy. Later, vinegar was applied and the pain abated, somewhat.

I’ve noticed a goodly number of jeeps tooling around this island. They are being tooled by old and young alike. Interesting—none ever seem to be the least dirty. In fact, all are clean as a new penny. Now, w/o studying the issue, the pluses and minuses of owning a jeep, gas consumption, mileage, etc., and since owning a jeep is not about speed, beauty or comfort, I suspect owning a jeep is all about perception, all about cachet. Even though most jeep owners will probably never get their vehicle off asphalt during its entire existence, the image of a jeep owner is that of one who is bold, intrepid, adventuresome; someone who is independent-minded, a rugged individualist, a risk-taker. So, I suppose that shiny, spotless little jeep sitting safely in the driveway means that inside we Ward and June Cleavers of the world there is a Dan and Sarah Boone or maybe a Bonnie and Clyde longing to get out, but lacking the courage to do so.

Riding our bikes back from the beach yesterday, we stopped to pick up some beer bottles and trash beside the road and discovered a beach bag. Inside said bag was some teenager’s billfold, along with credit cards, driver’s license, etc. Michelle called, found the kid, and today all is copacetic.


Art of the Day