Today, my wife chose to go to Wally World, not because there was anything we needed, but because she wanted to walk. By having a cart to steady her, she can walk much longer there than she can at the mall or the park. By sheer chance, I pulled into the space that faces where I picked dandelions a couple weeks ago. Amidst the thorny locust brush, the dandelions had grown much larger, yet still looked light green and tender. After the missus left, I began picking. As I picked, an older couple parked beside my truck and got out to go inside. The old man asked if I was picking dandelions and I told him that I was. He said they looked really good even from where HE stood.
Covering exactly the same ground as the last time, I had more in the bag when I’d covered half the patch than I’d gotten from the whole patch last time. I wanted to keep picking until I had enough to share with my mother, but maintaining my balance on the steep slope, even with my cane, wasn’t easy, and my feet were hurting awful from the weird angles they were being stretched to fit. Plus, the bending was getting to my back. Ruefully, I left the right side of the patch unpicked and hobbled back to the truck moving like Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett Show.
Remembering the interest in Mom’s voice when I’d told her about my recent picking, I decided to give my latest picking to her and hope that I made it back before the other side of the patch grew rank and bitter. On our way home, I stopped by the old-folk’s high-rise where she lives and gave them to her. Nothing would do but that I had to take some pecans and walnuts that she hadn’t used for her Christmas baking. She’s bad about trying to keep an even score, but since I wanted some nuts but had decided not to spend the money, I was glad to get them.
On arriving home a half-hour later, I called Mom to tell her that the leaves would look a little stemmy, but not to worry about it, because they were as tender as the leaves. She told me that she already knew that, as she’d already cooked and eaten half of them! She must have been hungry for some fresh greens! She said that they were a little on the bitter side, and she was going to mix the rest with some garden greens she had in the fridge, to tone them down a little. I told her my little trick of putting a couple packs of pink sweetener in the cooking water to help offset the bitterness. (Keep it to yourself; I don’t want to hear about it!) Personally, I don’t mind a little bitterness, but I know that my wife doesn’t like it either.
After I hung up, I couldn’t help but laugh, as I thought of Mom rushing up to her apartment and putting the greens on to cook before I even made it out to the city limits. I guess I’d better try to take her some more when I can. © 2016