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August 2, 2019
lisakunk

20 comments

Birthing a Book: Whew! It Takes Patience and Persistence

Surprise! Here’s a peek at my soon to be born baby. I mean book. You may notice the cover is brighter now than the natural color plan I posted a good while back. I decided to brighten the book shelves of the world a little bit. Some people say, there’s a book inside everybody. Maybe […]

April 12, 2019
lisakunk

7 comments

Think of Chores as a Workout

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Who needs a gym when you have farm and yard work to do? Pull some weeds, pick up sticks, rake some straw. Or, do a full day’s work before “work”. Here’s one example of my husband’s morning workout before he leaves for his real job.  

March 2, 2019
lisakunk

10 comments

Finish the Book Already: Ignore Distractions

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Have mercy! Between my husband chopping wood outside my office window, my cat lounging all over my messy desk, my dogs underneath my feet begging to go in and out, this book is on the slow track to completion.   My thought is, those who can’t do, watch. And be distracted. […]

23 comments

From Buzz Cuts to Bombs: Innocence Lost and Secrets Kept (A Classified Incident Declassified)

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman I remember finding the tiny manila envelope, tucked under a blanket in the trunk of your Oldsmobile eighty-eight. When I discovered the black and white military photos inside, I was both shocked and thrilled. Seeing you and your army buddies with a couple of tiny-waisted ladies sporting floral summery dresses, I […]

July 30, 2018
lisakunk

13 comments

Long Live Mr. Treehouse: Only Now He’s Mr. Bridge Patio Thingy Over the Stream

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman After seeing our empty-nester treehouse come down last week, many people from all around shared how they felt the pull of childhood fun coming to an end. End? Never! Transform, yes. We live by rules such as Waste not, want not and all kinds of cliches like that. As we will one […]

July 27, 2018
lisakunk

26 comments

Empty Nest Flutterings: Come on Down, Mr. Treehouse

  By Lisa Batten Kunkleman There comes a time, when the nest is empty, we push back the tears and make room for other things; like hammocks and memories. Today’s the day. Once a sturdy sight for kid’s eyes. Barn red siding, climbing pegs, and a yellow slide, you were a group project and a […]

9 comments

Clutter, Collectibles, and Critical Keepsakes: Barriers to Clearing and Controlling the Chaos Even With an Empty Nest

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Today, while clearing some space on a bookshelf over-stuffed like me in Spanx, with photo albums, baby books, and home movies, I discovered an unlabeled, black three-ringed binder. Opening the notebook, I was pleasantly surprised and reminded of how organized I have always tried to be. Especially when paperwork is involved. […]

15 comments

Collecting Memories and Steps: Walking Down Memory Lane at an Antique Mall

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman It’s like a treasure hunt searching through other people’s antiques and collectibles. Some memorable items leave us full of pride while others leave us full of questions like, “What were we thinking?” or “Why in the world did we decide that was a good thing to possess?” My husband and I […]

19 comments

And Then There’s Remodeling, Pt. 1

    By Lisa Batten Kunkleman (Written near the beginning of the process 12 11 2016)   Until you’ve tried it, it’s difficult to fully understand the revelry awaiting your senses. Remodeling is a life-changing experience, for occupants and for the house.   The clean aroma of fresh-cut lumber inside the house says, After all […]

Walnuts and My Tom Sawyer Moment

October 23, 2016


 

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman

My twenty-year old son Sam walks barefoot in our backyard picking up walnuts with his long, thin, size thirteen toes. It’s a special talent I passed down to him with my own sizable hoof.

When the nuts fall off the black walnut tree, the nearly baseball sized hard green outer shell is a threat to an uncovered head. As the green shell dries to black and falls off the actual nut deep inside, the black shells become a nasty nuisance. It takes gloves and rakes to remove the staining shells then. It’s much smarter to remove them in the early hard stage instead of waiting till they dye your hands and shoes black.

A light bulb flickers in my head. I’m not Mark Twain and this is not really Tom Sawyer tricking folks into whitewashing his fence, but I can’t help thinking this seems like a good way to get the walnuts picked out of the yard.

I say to Sam, “Think you could hit that sweet gum tree with a walnut?”

“Which one?” he asks.

“That big one in that leafy natural area. The squirrels haul the nuts over there to chomp into the hard shells anyway. Never let a squirrel bite you. They must have teeth of steel.”

“Mama, I got bad aim,” Sam says after pitching the first nut to the right of the tree.

“Yeah and you also “got” bad grammar,” I tell my six-foot three baby boy who actually has impeccable grammar.

“Naw, my grammar’s all right.”

He throws one walnut after the other, hitting the tree and splattering the green outer shell about every third throw.

Next thing I know, here comes his daddy, saying, “Want me to show you how to hit that tree?”

This is working out even better than I expected. His father is not a bystander.

“There we go,” says Daddy Dan when he hits the tree. And I hear, “All right! Did you see that one, Sam? Did you see that nut explode when it hit the tree? Maybe that sweet gum tree will feel the pain and stop dropping spikey sweet gum balls.

“Hey! I want to play,” says our oldest daughter flouncing down the deck steps to join the competition. Perfect. Many hands make light work, as they say. And like Tom Sawyer’s friends, my family never even knows they’re working.

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