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The Old Boars’ Breakfast

Folks, when it quit raining after the end of July, it really quit. We ain’t had more than a sprinkle in more than 80 days — and the forecast is for more dry weather. I may never get my fall wildlife food plots planted. No need wasting the expensive seed by dusting it in. It will surely rain again sometime this fall.

Speaking of the fall, after the quick little frost on Oct. 2, it got to be summer again in terms of temperatures, yet, fall is definitely showing itself. Probably half of the tree leaves have fallen — helped along with the parched soil and day after day of blow-your-hair-out-by-the-roots winds. It’s been good fall crop harvest weather.

All the migrating birds have finally left, except for the buzzards. The killdeers finally headed for warmer climes. So, have the early migrating northern ducks. This morning a had a little raft of northern ducks floating around in my pond. I think they might have been ruddy ducks.

The red squirrels have been super busy gnawing on the walnuts and acorns, burying a few, and generally filling their winter larder.

My garden is slowing whittling down. Sadly, I’ve about half of my tomato vines pulled and the cages stored away. Some of the hardier varieties are still producing a few ‘maters. I sure hate to see fresh tomato season end.

The dry beans are about done and I’ve been busy shelling them right along as they dry. To date, I’ve got more than 2-gallons of dry beans shelled — one gallon of what I call “Holstein” black and white lima beans and a gallon of Kentucky Wonder dry beans, plus some of the summer green beans that I let dry on the vine.

My fall green beans are producing nicely now. I pick fresh green beans several times a week and have enuf for us and the neighbors. The peppers are maxed out and I’m pulling the vines and giving them to our neighbors for drying. The fall crop of radishes might make a crop as well as the turnips. I planted both real late and just hoped for the best.

I picked a final bunch of okra and made and froze several quarts of my own personalized version of Cajun gumbo and jambalaya. It’s quite tasty with just enough “spice bite” to be savory winter grub.

The sweet ‘taters are still green and growing and, hopefully, after a killing frost, I’ll be digging a bunch for this winter.

We and the neighbors and family have all been enjoying carrots from my garden for months and there’s still a few left to pull. Think we’ll take them to the grandkids and great-grandkids in Oklahoma City this weekend, when we get to hold our new great-grandson Noah for the first time.

•••

I had an interesting couple of days last week dealing with the kitchen at the old Saffordville High School where we have our weekly Old Boars’ Breakfast.

Let me explain: I mentioned a couple of months ago that my good friend and fishing buddy Mocephus succumbed to the ravages of old age. Mo’s family wuz kind enuf to designate the official “Saffordville Gentle Men’s Club” as the benefactor of Mo’s memorial funds.

As a testament to Mo’s long and generous life, his friends and family contributed more than $2,000 for our breakfast group to spend as we saw fit. The group quickly decided that we needed to pitch all the old and outdated kitchenware, cookware/utensils, and replace it with new stuff. We also determined to replace the old unreliable electrical service in the kitchen/dining room and replace all the overhead lighting. Most of the kitchen stuff had been there for at least 50 years

So, last Friday, our head chef and provisioner, ol’ Byson Cooksitt, and I waded into the kitchen mess. We emptied all the cabinets of all the old trays, plates, cups, glasses, pots, pans, skillets, silverware, coffee makers, cleaning supplies, etc. and placed them on tables to be sorted/saved/thrown away.

To do that job, we recruited three neighborhood ladies to meet us at the school Monday morning. The women are involved with the Methodist Church, the Grandview ladies group, and the local Toldeo 4-H Club.

When they arrived, it wuzn’t long before we had a pickup bed of “junk stuff” pitched out a handy window. We also ended up with the front of the stage in the gym loaded up with we hope is “salable junk” from the kitchen. The ladies also gave the kitchen a new “spic and span” cleaning.

We’ll find out about the stuff for sale soon when it gets added to the sale inventory of a private sale being conducted by our local auctioneer, Col. Hayes T. Speaker.

It cost us $10 to haul the pickup junk away to the landfill. We spent $400 replacing the florescent light bulbs and rewiring the ceiling lights and we’ll get to the new electrical outlets as soon as possible.

The local ladies have already bought some new kitchen “stuff” and we still have money left to spend.

I’m sure friend “Mo” would be pleased with how his memorial is being spent.

•••

Last week I mentioned the corn cob wars we fought as boys on the farm. This week I’ll mention a way more dangerous war that a neighbor boy and I fought around July 4.

We found out that we could “shoot” marbles from a two-inch galvanized pipe nipple with one threaded end capped. We would “load” the “cannon” with a two-inch firecracker, topped with a regular agate marble or ball bearing. We would touch the firecracker fuse with a punk and, when the firecracker exploded, it would shoot the marble at least 100 feet — and fast.

Luckily, when we aimed our “cannons” at each other, we were partially hidden behind some protection. We never thought about danger. All we enjoyed wuz the fun.

Words of wisdom for the week: “Don’t do what I did as a kid!” Have a good ‘un. ❖


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