Posts tagged write at merge

Cooking from the Grain to the Table

 

Mo’lasses!

I could smell the fragrance of the thick molasses all the way in the upstairs room my brother and I shared. My grandpa’s molasses making trays and tools were still tucked under the shed, waiting to be washed today before the bugs went crazy

The lightning storm that had crept up suddenly the night before had almost ruined this years molasses run, be together, our neighbors, my father and brother finished the load.

I don’t think any one who has never gone through the grinding of cane stalks, the shuttling of the sugary fluid through the zig-zag trays, or stood sweating in the August heat should be allowed to savor the incomparable taste of warm biscuits slathered in molasses!

When we were young, our family had a joke. If you asked for ‘lasses, that meant that you were asking for your first serving. If you wanted a second service you asked for “molasses!”.

Not many people get to see the metal trays set up for molasses making these days They done see horses turning the machine that grinds the stalks of sugar cane, they don’t watch the paddle moving the molasses along the divided trays above the flames. Indeed the love of molasses has nearly disappeared in some areas.

Oh, go on to the store, buy a bottle and try to imagine the making of molasses I have described, use the little honey stirring device to drizzle the molasses on your canned biscuits. I guarantee, you will get a glimpse of the way grandpa make then as you close your eyes and savor the first bite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could smell the fragrance of the thick molasses all the way in the upstairs room my brother and I shared. My grandpa’s molasses making trays and tools were still tucked under the shed, waiting to be washed today before the bugs went crazy

 

The lightning storm that had crept up suddenly the night before had almost ruined this years molasses run, be together, our neighbors, my father and brother finished the load.

 

I don’t think any one who has never gone through the grinding of cane stalks, the shuttling of the sugary fluid through the zig-zag trays, or stood sweating in the August heat should be allowed to savor the incomparable taste of warm biscuits slathered in molasses!

 

When we were young, our family had a joke. If you asked for ‘lasses, that meant that you were asking for your first serving. If you anted a second service you asked for “molasses!”.

 

Not many people get to see the metal trays set up for molasses making these days They done see horses turning the machine that grinds the stalks of sugar cane, they don’t watch the paddle moving the molasses along the divided trays above the flames. Indeed the love of molasses has nearly disappeared in some areas.

 

Oh, go on to thee store, buy a bottle and try to imagine the making of molasses I have described, use the little honey stirring devise to drizzle the molasses on your canned biscuits. I guarantee, you will get a glimpse of the way grandpa make then as you close your eyes and savor the first bite!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Barrister’s Ball

The house was gorgeous as the hanson pulled up into the circular drive. The horses were a bit restless in the blowing snow, the driver having to calm them so that Serafina and her soon-to be husband, Dalton emerged.

Serafina’s coats blew wildly around her dresses. Her bonnet barely holding on as Dalton held on to his new black tophat.

“I simply despise these extravagant events!” Serafina complined as the doorman bowed and let them in.

“Oh, Sera,” Dalton sighed, “It is only one night and being invited to a party at Sir Dellingam’s estate is something you simply don’t turn down if you want to be a Barrister in the town!”

Serafina sighed and handed her coat to the doorman, hanging on to her reticule as Dalton shook out his coat and handed it in as well.

They we motioned to a room glistening with the light of candles and lamps, a roaring fire warming the room a little too much. Several servants scuttled by with trays, offering drinks and cucumber sandwiches, tarts, and even a tray of chocolates.

Dalton noticed an associate from his firm across the room and lead Serafina toward him.

“Ah, Raymond!” Dalton said with a smile and slight bow, “May I present my future wife, Serafina?”

“ Very nice to meet you, my lady,” Raymond smiled and turned to his left. “This is my wife Abigail. I am sure you will become good friends in the years to come.”

After a few minutes of conversation and more that a proper amount of delicacies from the trays, Dalton whispered to Serafina, “Come, I have something to show you!”

With a look of suspense in her sparkling blue eyes, Serafina followed Dalton down a hall and through a door behind a stairwell. There they found themselves in a small library, with doors leading out outo a terrace.

Dalton, opened the door as the wind swept over them, immediately bringing her warm coat to Serafna’s mind.

“Where are we? She inquired.

With a sparkle in his eye he smiled, “A place quite alone within a crowed house.”

“How did you…” she started to say, but found her mouth sealed with those of her fiance’.

“Oh, my!” she smiled as she shivered a bit, both from the kiss and the cold of the wind.

“See, I told you such parties were not so terrible!” he laughed as he opened the door and hustled her back inside.

Sarafina shook the snow off of her hair, hoping the pins were not too far out of place from the wind and the stolen affection. She fluffed it a big and curled her arm through his as they returned down the hall to the party.

Suddenly, the fire seemed particularly attractive as they walked together and stood in front of it, their hands touching behind them as they warmed themselves.

“Maybe being the wife of a Barrister would not be so boring after all,” Serafina thought as she helped herself to another tart from the pro-offered silver platter.

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Moonlight Ravine

The only sound in the forest was the crunch of leaves underfoot. That silence told me something that my mother had taught me as a child. When the birds stop their singing and the squirrels cease their chatter, there is a reason. DSCN2143

As I reached the edge of a sharp-edged boulder, I stopped and listened for a moment. Getting between a mother bear and her cubs was a bad idea, I reminded myself. I listened for the noisy crunch and possible growling of bears,but nothing caught my attention..

Though it was nearing dusk, the sun peeked though the clouds for a moment and I expected to hear the forest fill up with sound again. Nothing.

It was November 1st, “Los Dias de los Muertes” I thought, half smiling. I began to let my mind wander. I had always heard that an ancient battle between Native Americans took place near this rock. In fact, it was know as “Broken Skull Rock.” I assumed that the name referred more to the shape of the jagged rock, split into two sharp pieces, than it did to an actual event. But no one seemed to know for sure.

The sun disappeared behind the mountain, and soon the darkness began to creep in. I felt a spider web hit my face as I quickened my step to get back to the clearing where I’d parked. An owl let out its call, and a shiver went up my spine.

A wisp of smoke appeared from the chimney of an old cabin across a steep ravine. I froze in my footsteps as I hear the creaking of a door and saw a glint of light coming through in the shadows.

“Hello?” I called, hoping to warn the cabins’ inhabitant of my presence. I got no answer. I could see the glint of a candle though the window, as the light faded. My heart began to race.. No one was supposed to have lived here for years.

The owls call rang out again. I heard the door creek shut again. A sliver of moonlight appeared through newly barren trees. I looked back across the ravine and found myself lying on my belly, having tripped over a root. My ankle throbbing, my head pounding,, I saw my car a hundred yards ahead.

From now on, I would take my hikes in the park on “Los Dias de los Muertes!”

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A Day of Anticipation

He looked out over the beautiful sunrise as it revealed its first light above the mountains in the distance. The sky was ruffled with bright pink clouds just before the bright red ball erased them and climbed slowly onto the mountaintop. It looked as if it were a child’s ball, ready to roll down a hill.

“What was he doing here,?” he thought, adjusting his position on the rock to one more comfortable. “Why had he come here, now, of all times, to this beautiful place?

He thought about that day, so long ago when he sat here with her as her auburn hair blew wildly in the warm wind. It was hard to imagine that such a feeling, such a magical time of life would ever end. “Fool.” he whispered to no one.

He took a sip of the barely warm coffee and sighed as he looked out over the mountains. The sun was up now,, casting long shadows toward him of snags still standing from the spruce killed by the wooly adelgid beetles which has decimated the beautiful trees over a decade ago. A crow landed on the limb closest to him and let out a hopeful series of “caws”. The gray-green lichens now covered the trunks of the trees, giving them an eerie sort of second chance, something still lived there, even with the death of most of the forest.

He thought of her standing there. How she had stood at the edge of the precipice and laughed, making him leap and grab her, in fear that she might fall. He realized, at that moment, that the fear of something happening was often in vain because in that tiny moment that we experienced the heart-pounding fear run through us, we usually had time to stop the tragedy from occurring.

He stood up and walked towards his truck, glimmering now, n the sharp angle cast by the sun. He stretched, got into the truck and started the engine. As h traveled down the mountain, he got a glimpse of the valley below. The houses, a farm that had survived the influx of wealthy city folks, and finally, the church.

He took a deep breath in anticipation as he watched the cars gathering in the church parking lot. The sisters and cousins preparing for the wedding. Her wedding-to someone else.

“Men didn’t cry.” he though to himself and hit the gas pedal with an angry roar. The sun suddenly blinded him as he rounded the curve and he felt himself tearing towards the edge. The rocky edge on the upper side of the road. The engine sputtered and died as the fan hit the wall. A wisp of smoke rose from the engine.

He jumped out, heart pounding and looked around. “Was she really worth dying for?” he thought as he shook his head, amazed that he wasn’t hurt or dead.

The sun settled behind a cloud as a couple of guys in hunting gear walked up to him.

“You alright, man?” One of them said.

“Yeh, I’m, alright,”he sighed. “But I need to call a wrecker.”

In the distance, the church bells rang, as he sat in the grass, silent, deep in thought.

“Today was not his day,” he though,” not for a new life, but not for death either.” A weak smile crossed his face as the hunters called a wrecker for him. Life was funny like that, sometimes, it seemed, we needed nature to cleanse us, empty the pain and give us a chance to start over.

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Distant Shores

 WoE 15

I grew up along the once remote shores of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The ocean, lighthouses, abandoned island villages were all a part of my soul. I loved taking my son to Long Island Light House and the now preserved Portsmouth Community, which once shared an Island. A Hurricane opened up a new inlet and divided the island several decades ago.

Now, the Outer banks has become so much like the Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach. Hotels lining the beach instead of weathered cabins. Chain restaurants and flashy suburbs along the sound. Still, there are miles of protected land, wildlife preserves and quiet, lonely ocean walks to be had.

I had longed to go the coast of Maine, where I had heard there were still miles of rocky shores along the northern coast. Though I was used to the wind burn of blowing sand from huge dunes, I imagined that an isolated Rocky coast might cheer my soul.

After much planning, we decided to drive over a thousand miles to reach this area, hoping, at least to see the commonality of lighthouses on foreboding slivers of land, savor the wildness, the agelessness of the shore. We followed the signs through isolated fishing communities until we saw one that directed us to a lighthouse.

“Let’s go there!” I said excitedly. As we made the last turn toward the rocky beach, my heart were filled with disbelief. Surrounding the light, mixed in with the massive rocks , were some sort of gray barrels like containers. “What in the world…” I muttered to myself. In disappointment, I turned back toward the village to find out what had happened. The first newspaper rack I saw answered my question. It said, “Freighter crashes near lighthouse.” A tear ran down my cheek. It seems that what nature did not rearrange, man was sure to destroy. I longed for the wind and sand of home.

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