I'm both amused and intrigued by the knowledge you can gain by living in a small town. I'm not sure how many years I'll have to live here before I earn local status, but I'm positive if far longer than five years. However, if I'm willing to listen, those much older and wiser than I have plenty to share. A level of expertise that can only be gained by years and years of living, loving, and working in their home town. Maybe not all knowledge shared is of real value, I still get asked if I really did paint the shelves in my front room pink (It really is more of a red), but it's still knowledge all the same. I've learned to use the snow line on Mount Ogden as my guide in my garden planting. And can determine how wet our spring will be by the arrival time of certain birds. I also know what things I can gather from my own yard as a remedy for a stuffy nose or a clogged sink. And who could forget the small town terms used as navigational tools. Terms like 'Short block', 'Twin Hills', 'Locals Beach', 'Rope Swing Beach', 'Probasco Lane', and my boys favorite, 'The River Bottoms'.
'The River Bottoms', full of mystery, discoveries, and mud. It's become a fun hangout for my older two boys. I'm not entirely sure how their game goes, but it involves portals to another dimension, lots of hideouts, and treasure mining. Treasures by the pocket full find their way back home with them, does anyone know something useful to do with sticks and snake grass, we're gathering quite a collection?
But it's not just my older two boys who love exploring the 'River Bottoms', I find myself making my way down there more and more often. And after some shared knowledge from a old town local, I decided to do some of my own treasure hunting..... and guess what I found.
They're half free morel mushrooms, and because of this year's ideal weather conditions many go in search of them down in the 'River Bottoms'. Yes, I was nervous about eating them, but we did, and they were great! It seems our hidden stash (that's what they call it) was quite the find, and was even the envy of several town natives. It probably seemed like I was bragging a bit when I told them that we found so many that I let Abe pick them, and that I left any that seemed too small behind, but really it was just beginners luck.
This evening we shared dinner with some souls much older and and wiser than us. A delicious combination of mushrooms gathered in a secret grove, and fish caught in a secret fishing hole. Our get together was so pleasant, Abe even asked for thirds. But I can't help but wonder if there was a secret agenda to our shared meal...... 'Pssst.... Syrina, do you like the fish, I'll make you a deal, if you tell me where your secret stash came from, I tell you where my secret fishing hole is....' Nice try, but I'll never tell. I will give you a hint.... if you go halfway down the 'short block', and turn into the 'river bottoms', you'll find just off the 'old road' the secret hiding place of some pretty incredible mushrooms..... Yesssssssss..... score one for the town transplant!