When moving here to sunny Florida, I was pretty sure I would not miss the ice cold winter wind that cuts through your soul, and I was even OK with not seeing the red, gold and yellow leaves of autumn. I was especially looking forward to NOT raking them, but I didn't think about missing spring until we spent all day Saturday driving through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. We were in awe of the lush, green countryside. We saw ice cold water rushing down the mountain sides, and purple dogwoods were speckled through the new green leaves in the forest. Then, I saw some Mayapples and wanted to cry.
Before I explain Mayapples, I must tell you that last week, I took the "How New Yorker Are You" Quiz on Facebook, and I am 100%! I'd like to think that I am a big city girl. After all, I love visiting big cities, but I am a country girl through and through. I grew up in a little town called Cooks Mills, population of maybe 150. For fun, we would play down at the river, ride bikes or play football. When I say we played football, I mean we three girls played "smear the queer" with the ten boys from the neighborhood, and this is why I am such a good sprinter. Cable TV wasn't an option until the 90s. My family, like most other families, went hunting to provide meat (not at all like how Edward and his family hunt in Twilight). While I never hunted animals, each spring I would beg my dad or my grandpa to take me to the woods to hunt mushrooms - morels. Some people say you can find mushrooms under Mayapple plants, but that is just an old wives tale. Morels are the most delicious mushroom in the whole entire world. To make them even better, we batter them in flour and deep fry them. They are probably my all time favorite food. I don't know which I miss most, the taste of the mushrooms or the fun of searching for them.
Several years ago, one of our college friends found a great hunting spot in our small college town, but it was tricky to get to. You could either cross a small spillway or go way out of the way around a field. He had finally convinced his girlfriend to go hunting with us, so the pressure was on to have a great time. I had already fallen on the spillway once that year and scraped my shin, so I was very excited to learn he had found a shortcut. All we had to cross a log that had fallen over the small creek. Charlie went first and made it just fine. I started out across the log, over the rushing muddy water. About halfway across, I realized I was going to make it. One step later, I was falling off the log. I somehow managed to grab the log on my way down and was hanging on for dear life. The cold muddy water was rushing past me, and I was looking up at Charlie who was trying to come up with a rescue plan. My arms were scraped from the log, and I was soaking wet, but I was happy to be safe for the moment. Suddenly, I realized that the water I was in was only waist deep. I let go of the log that I was hanging onto for dear life and walked out of the creek. We still laugh when we think of that story.
Now, I am sure I could survive in New York City for a week or so, but how many New Yorkers could survive hunting with me in the country?