1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Return to Eseldorf and a Strange Ending for Pecan Shells in My Garden

On my way home from attending a class at UWF last Friday afternoon, my cell phone rang. It was a call from SAM.

"Guess what, honey? I have a surprise for you. It's something we've been wanting for a long time!"

What could it be? I wondered. A million dollars? Another grandchild on the way? No, there was something even more special waiting for me when I got home. It was a truck-bed full of pecan shells from the Renfroe Pecan Company. Can you believe it?

I rubbed my eyes because I had trouble believing what I was seeing. We were told earlier this year by the nice young man with the pecan-shell-mulch ad on Craigslist that he had an exclusive contract with the company to pick up their spent shells. So how did SAM finagle a truckload of the stuff? FOR FREE? Well, it turns out that the nice young man must have prevaricated. He stretched the truth. He told a fib. There was no contract with the company, and anyone can pick up a load of pecan shells.

Of course, lying comes so naturally to the human race, especially when money is at stake. Or witches, for that matter. Huh? You'll have to forgive me. Halloween is next week, there's a presidential election the week after, and I've been reading Mark Twain's account of The Mysterious Stranger. Or was it his biographer's account? There is a dispute over who really wrote the tale, and that's probably as it should be. As it turns out, the mysterious stranger is the Great Prevaricator, the Father of Lies, known in one version of the story as No. 44.

Once we got over the shock of being "misled" (it sounds so negative to call it being lied to), we were delighted to find nuts in the mix. Lots of them in fact. Five pounds (about $45 worth if purchased at the grocery store) at least by my reckoning. I have to wonder why there were none in the previous load from the pecan-shell guy. It took us a while to sort through this pile. The neighbors were sure staring, but we were past caring.

The nut pile was growing, but spreading of shells sure was slowing. Wait! I thought. Grandson is coming over for a visit. We will offer him the chance to help. And he did, quite willingly. As a reward, Grandpa SAM offered him the choice between a stack of five quarters and a crisp dollar bill for his efforts on finding more nuts.

"Can't I have both?" he asked.

He's pretty sharp, that one: another good knife in the drawer, a chip off the old block, or a nut that didn't fall far from the tree. SAM said his great-grandpa would have been delighted with him.

Getting back to Mark Twain's story setting of Eseldorf ("ass-ville"), I have to wonder why there was nothing like a good fish story in the midst of it. Animals did play a big part. A faithful dog and a magic cat were presented but no fish. Well, except for the ones that kept multiplying in the frying pan when unexpected company showed up for dinner. That's even better than a whopper of a story about the fish that got away. Or trying to convince someone that some fish have teeth like we do. Yes, sheepshead have human-like teeth. Or do we have sheepshead-like teeth? If Darwin's theory is correct, then the fish were here first, right? Humans came much later. If only fish could talk. I'm sure they wouldn't lie. They have no Moral Sense. Strange. That's what kept getting Twain's Eseldorf-ians in trouble. It should be what keeps us out of trouble.


  1. You made me giggle with your fish tales. LOL. What is that saying, "Money is the root to all evil" Seems true with your pecan guy. ha....

    I would fear adding shells to my gardens. That Fear coming from the squirrels it would call into the mulch. Yikes, they may dig to China by spring. Our critters are busy with the acorns now...

  2. How great!!! What a fantastic surprise! And nuts too!!! Your grandson is a smart kid! Did he get both sets of money??? :)

  3. P.S. I was scrolling through all of the available public domain free e-books by Mark Twain, and was so L-O-N-G!!! Wonderful. The only trouble is, I can't get it on my Kindle, but can download it all to my Overdrive e-reader on my phone, thank goodness. This is too much fun, trying to read through everything (or a good percentage) of Twains work! You have inspired me so much on this, as I loved the book you introduced me to...Puddinhead Wilson! Mercy Beaucoup!!!

  4. Now your flower beds will be just beautiful, and weed free, and that's no lie!

  5. I had to laugh at your husband's gift to you; it's like the composter I got from my daughters for my birthday this year. Other people may think we're strange, but the people who love us obviously know what makes us happy:)

    All I can say about lying and being misled to is that I will be SO glad when the election is over. If I believed everything I hear and see in the political ads, not to mention all the phone calls we get, I would be totally confused.

  6. We have lots of squirrels nearby and plenty of acorns to keep them busy, Skeeter. I think Peanut the cat keeps the squirrels from getting too close to the flower beds. Besides, we got most of the nuts out before we spread the shells. Poor squirrels don't have much left to hunt for. Haha!

    Julie, you know what a push-over Grandpa SAM is. Of course, he got both sets. And he decided he wanted to keep the nuts that he found too! I'm glad you like Twain and his Puddn'head so much. It won't be long before the grands would enjoy listening to you reading The Prince and the Pauper to them, I'll bet.

    You're so right, Karen. I've been very impressed with how the first batch has performed. Weeds have not been bad at all where the nut shells were placed. And we had a lot of rain this past summer.

    Rose, I've finally got SAM convinced that florist's flowers and fancy chocolates are not my thing. A truckload of pecan mulch is right up my alley! I agree about the election. Hooray, it's almost over! I've watched all of the debates and cannot understand how anyone could still be undecided. Completely uninterested, maybe, but not undecided.

  7. Yeah on the free pecan shells and pecans! They make a pretty mulch.

  8. Dear Walk2write,
    why did that man lie to you? Did he want to give it to somebody else? Or was he just a habitual liar - maybe not even working at that place? Was he nuts?? Very strange! But good luck that you got so many nuts! And your grandchild is cute in choosing the best of both worlds!

  9. Tina, it's the prettiest mulch I've ever used. Makes a nice sound too when you're walking around in the garden.

    Britta, the man fibbed because he wants to make money delivering the shells to people. He doesn't work for the company. He picks up the shells and advertises delivery for a substantial fee. We didn't question his story this past spring about having a contract, but SAM decided to check it out by calling the company. They told him to come pick up as much as he wants, and it doesn't cost anything. The new crop is in, and the stuff is plentiful for now. I hope we can get one more truckload to finish up one of the flower beds and maybe get some more nuts. I've got several pounds in the freezer already!

  10. Wow, so now you can get a plentiful pecan shell and nuts for free; with a little lovable manual labor for sorting out nuts! Pecan shell mulch may be in high demand from now. By the way, those nuts have to be kept in freezer?
    Sounds like presidential campaign isn't interesting at all.

  11. Oooo! 5 pounds of pecans. I see a pecan pie in your future. Umm, haven't had pecan pie since I left Alabama. Anyway, the shells look great where your husband is spreading them. One year I lucked onto some cocoa shells. They looked OK but the small was to die for. Every time I walked thru the garden I smelled fudge. Your probably wondering why I'm so obsessed with pie and fudge. No dinner yet:)

  12. Cosmos, I'm hoping that not many people will be interested in the work that it takes to get those pecans ready for baking or for the freezer. After sorting through the pile of shells, I washed the nuts that we found and sorted through them again to make sure there weren't any bits of shell left. After drying them, they were bagged and frozen. They keep a lot longer in the freezer. If left too long on the shelf, they tend to get rancid. Actually, I find the campaign to be very interesting, but most bloggers (at least the ones who visit here) prefer to not talk about their political preferences. So I thought it best to not dig too deeply into the subject.

    You're right, Marnie, we did have a pecan pie the day after these pics were taken. And an apple one too, with apples brought home from Southern Illinois. Delicious! Cocoa shell mulch sounds really exotic. Was it a good mood lifter like chocolate? Sometimes just the smell of chocolate can make me happy. Maybe I'll take back what I said about not being interested in fancy chocolates:)

  13. OMG! A fish with teeth! That's crazy! And hey! You've got my book over there in your sidebar... *big smile* THANKS! :o) <3 <3

    But now for that pecan shell story-!! First I LOL'd about the "we've been wanting a long time" thoughts, but he lied to you. Well, at least he tried to make it right... And I love pecans, so five lbs of free ones would make me forgive a lot... :D LOL!

    Take care, my friend~ <3

  14. You mean you never caught sheepshead when you lived in 'Bama? It's a Gulf Coast delight. Oh, and SAM wouldn't lie, Leigh. (Even if he did, I would know it right away.) He was serious about me wanting that stuff. The first batch of shells just wasn't thick enough to cover the bare spots. I talked longingly about another truckload every time I passed by the half-naked flower bed. Guess he didn't want people noticing that my cowslip was showing!

  15. Yikes. I'm with Marnie. Five pounds worth of pecan pies... Yum!

  16. I enjoy your nutty sense of humor. Great reuse of byproducts!

  17. Just don't tiptoeing through those pecan shells. Ouch. They look great though and I bet they will last forever!