I was thinking about a mushroom I saw in our backyard the other day as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard. It was small and white and instead of having an umbrella top, it had four leaf type appendages. It also had a center that resembled the middle of a flower.

I was thinking about a mushroom I saw in our backyard the other day as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard. It was small and white and instead of having an umbrella top, it had four leaf type appendages. It also had a center that resembled the middle of a flower.

When I first spotted this mushroom, I was busy and only glanced at it. When I had more time, I could not find it. Days later I saw another one.

I was surprised by a fox the other morning. It broke out of the weeds in the High School Branch and dashed up the hill south of the Ag Building. I wondered why he was in such a hurry. He certainly surprised me.

I have been sad about the surprise lilies (Kay calls them Johnny Jumps.) in our yard. Last spring they flourished and put on quite a show of greenery. The leaves were abundant. I remarked that they were really going to put on a show this summer. They did not.

Only four stalks forced themselves out of the grass this year. One immediately fell over, so we only had three real plants.

Recently, I read a newspaper article about a small town grocery store that ordered many lugs of peaches. I am surprised more stores don't order lugs any more. The store had 300 lugs delivered one day and 100 lugs the next. They had almost 150 pre-orders for the lugs before they were came.

When I was a kid, my mother bought lugs of peaches, pears, apricots, and cherries.(We called them ‘Bing” cherries.) She bought the lugs, we ate a few, and she canned the rest.

I especially liked the cherries. Not only were they delicious, but a slice of bread soaked in the juice was almost “out of heaven.” Grandpa Hively taught me to soak bread in the beautiful colored cherry juice. Sometimes his dentures gave him trouble, and the soft bread worked well for him.

One year I begged to take a quart of home canned cherries to the food fair at school for a fund raiser. My parents tried to talk me out of doing so. They said I would drop them, break the jar, and make a big mess.

They were right. I dropped the jar on the steps going up to the school. The spilled cherries and broken glass did make a mess. The incident was embarrassing, but never made me quit loving to eat the cherries.

The pears, peaches, and apricots were canned in clear Atlas jars and made a wonderful sight on the cement basement shelves.

At home we called these canned fruits “sauce.” When we had company, I was sent to the basement to get a jar of fruit sauce for the guests.

Canned apples were a sauce, too. Grandma Hively had many apple trees, so we had jar after jar of apple sauce for desserts. I especially liked apple sauce when the apples did not “cook up,” and there were lumps of apple goodness in the sauce.

Take a walk, look for surprises in your own yard, have sauce for dessert, use those signal lights, watch for pedestrians, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.

 

Russell Hively writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.