Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Add Some Nuts

Today is National Walnut Day. I would guess, though I didn’t look it up, that walnuts are one of the most consumed nuts alongside the almond. Walnuts make a great addition to cookies, cakes, breads, and all by themselves are a protein filled healthy snack. What would trail mix be without them.

One of my family’s treats at Christmas time when I was little, was a full dish of assorted  nuts in the shell. We had two crackers and four meat picks. The four of us girls would eat the filberts first, then the almonds, then the walnuts. We would see if we could crack the walnut-shell open in order to get a complete half. Somehow they tasted better if they weren’t broken. How innocent the mind of a young person is to believe that. (I miss those days.)

Also at Christmas time, we gave home-made Mrs. Clause Fudge and date nut bread to the milkman, the paper boy, the post office employees, the Charlie Chip man, our teachers, and friends. Both of these contained walnuts. There wasn’t the concern then about nut allergies that there is now. To this day when I make date nut bread, I give half of it away so I don’t eat all of it because there is nothing better hot or cold, with lots of butter on it, especially if the dates are left in bite size chunks. Now my mouth is watering.

I don’t know too many cookies that aren’t better with a handful of chopped walnuts  thrown in the dough. And let’s not forget maple walnut ice cream; another one of my favorites. Can you tell I like food. It’s rough being one of those people who lives to eat and likes everything, well most everything.

Whatever your plans for the day, may I suggest you take a resealable sandwich bag full of walnuts with you. They are a much more healthy snack than that sugar filled coffee you pay five dollars for.

Natural or Human

It’s National Big Wind Day. This day commemorates the recording of the highest natural wind gust measured on the Earth’s surface. On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded winds at 231 miles per hour. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 ft, and it is the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.

I can’t imagine the wind blowing at 231 miles an hour. We recently had a wind storm in western New York state that took down lots of trees and power lines and the strongest wind gust was 101 miles an hour. Some people were without power for five days until they got all the lines back up. I think electricity and power is something we currently take for granted in our daily lives. We turn the light on and it works. We boot the computer and communicate with the world any way we choose. It has made the world a smaller place.

I live in an area where windmills have become common scenery. When they were first being erected there was a lot of discourse about whether they were a good thing or not. Some people thought they would ruin the landscape. Personally, I like to sit and watch them turn. I find it mesmerizing and peaceful. There is one I can watch from my sisters kitchen window. We have found it can be noisy and it doesn’t kill birds like people said it would. I haven’t learned about how much energy it creates and if it is performing as they expected.

Another type of wind is human natural gas. You know the type, the sound you try not to make when anyone is around. When my grandson was little, and staying the night with us, he was in one room and one of us (I won’t divulge which grandparent) was in the other room when a “big wind” was let loose. My grandson, in his childish voice exclaimed, “Wow,” as if it were a two syllable word. Now, when a loud noise happens, we emulate the way he spoke that day and marvel at the innocence of youth wishing we all still younger.

Big wind can be defined different ways. My conclusion is that the type that brings relief to the body, and the one that makes energy to run out daily lives are good ones, but too strong a wind outside, can be destructive. May you not have to deal with a destructive big wind.

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