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March 20, 2020
lisakunk

11 comments

Veterinarians Serving With Care During COVID-19

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Today, in the midst of COVID-19 I experienced veterinary care at its finest. First thing this morning I received a call from our vet, Dr. Baron, telling me about kidney issues with Daisy Mae Kitty’s bloodwork from last week, back when life was nearly normal and their office was bustling with […]

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 […]

May 7, 2019
lisakunk

12 comments

Our Dogs, The Garden Protectors

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Does your dog take time to smell the roses? Ours do. And the new hydrangea. Like typical work foremen, they watch our every move making sure we spread grass seed just so. They crouch among the budding flowers, guarding them from all the scavenging deer that even eat thorny rose bushes. Neither […]

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. […]

June 26, 2018
lisakunk

22 comments

Distractibility at Its Finest: If You Give a Writer An Idea

  By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Distracted as usual from my to do list, I spend far too much time on line reading other people’s blogs and enjoying chats with some of those bloggers. Those conversations, often spur me on to write more blog posts, which is a good thing. I figure I should do so […]

July 6, 2017
lisakunk

14 comments

“Shoulda Ben” and “Wisha Could” Meet “Tim Tation”

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Do you ever have one of those days when you finally get the free time and quiet you’ve been craving, only to find you spend so much time deciding what to do first, that nothing gets done? That’s me. Today, I’m in my mother’s lake house, looking out at the glassy […]

April 12, 2017
lisakunk

19 comments

Life, the Great Classroom

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman   I’ve always wanted to be a professional student. If time and money allowed, I’d be signing up to audit all kinds of classes. No tests or projects for grades, thank you. Now that we have an empty nest, how fun it would be to sneak, unseen, into the back of […]

March 27, 2017
lisakunk

11 comments

School Band: Great for improving Musical Ability, Physical Fitness, and Interpersonal Skills

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman (Originally Posted in The Charlotte Observer in 2014) Ready or not, high school class registration for next year is about to begin. Elective courses range from automotive services to yoga to oodles of other classes to consider– including marching band.  This isn’t yesteryear’s stereotype of geeky kids playing the school fight song. […]

22 comments

Awkwardness and Comedy in the Early Voting Line

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman We did it. We voted early. My husband and I, plus dozens of other Americans absorbed an hour of Vitamin D  in a line spanning an entire wall outside of the library. After finally entering the door, the actual voting on one of the ten machines took no time at 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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