Monday, October 28, 2013

Pecans in Caldwell

When I looked out the kitchen window this morning and saw Shubert on his hands and knees under the pecan tree, I wondered if he was picking up scattered broken limbs. I went back to my dishes and when he opened the storm door and asked me to hand him a bowl, I realized he had his shirt-tail full of pecans!
It has been a peculiar Fall here. There was so much rain this summer and early Fall, the growing season seems to have been affected. Pecans usually do not fall until most of the leaves are on the ground. But I followed him outside and realized if we didn't gather the pecans soon the squirrels would beat us to them. I called Brenda, telling her how many pecans were already down, and asked her if our granddaughters would like to help gather them up.

The largest pecan tree in August of this year.

Shelby and Paige quickly picked up pecans that have fallen from the two trees in their great-grandmother, Lois Blalock's, yard. They shared stories with me that they remembered about the past when Lois, "Maw Maw", was still alive. 
Paige remembered Maw Maw teaching her about pecans. She and Shelby were chattering along, competing with the squirrels! But they got the job done ~ before the squirrels could come back! Payton couldn't help today, but maybe next time she will be able to come, too.

"Maw Maw taught us how to pick up the pecans," one of the girls told me. "She told us to begin under the tree and go in a circle picking up the pecans as we went out toward the edges." Paige showed me how there were more directly under the tree by the trunk, so she said Maw Maw must have known what she was talking about.
Papa Shubert added a few more to the girls' box of pecans, but he had already worked enough for the morning, so quickly left the rest for them.

Shelby and Paige both said that this year is not like other years. The leaves are not covering the pecans. They remember having to hunt for the pecans. Shelby told me that she remembers when Maw Maw was alive and still able to pick up pecans, she loved to show them the ones hiding under the leaves. Paige said that when they pushed away the leaves, Maw Maw always made them put the leaves back because she loved how they looked on the ground. She loved how the ground looked like Fall.

Maw Maw would sit on the front porch after she got to the point where she was unable to pick up pecans and crack some of the ones the family picked up. All of the family helped. Shelby said she would pick up a bowl full and take them to her and she would crack those, watching the girls pick up more, calling out to them, telling them to make sure they looked carefully and not miss the ones hiding under the leaves! Paige and Shelby both agreed that it was sad when she was not strong enough to crack the pecans any longer.
They have both learned life-long lessons from their great-grandmother. It was heart-warming to listen to them talk about her, remembering her with such love and respect while working under the same trees that she had labored under for many years. I could imagine them all together in my mind's eye having such fun gathering up the pecans. I believe Mrs. Blalock is smiling tonight remembering those times, as well.


Taken by Judith Richards Shubert, Digital Format, October 28, 2013


Peggy said...

Judy, how wonderful that Shelby and Paige have such fond memories of their great-grandmother. And now they are making sweet memories with you and Papa Bob. And of course this brought back so many memories of my own, helping gather pecans at Irene and Raymond's. The first date I ever had, I was only allowed to go for a burger and not a movie, and the young man dropped me off to help shell pecans :-) So many sweet memories. Thank you for sharing your day with us!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

I remember your telling us about that date, Peggy! Had to hurry back and shell pecans ~ don't guess your date was inclined to stay? Those Texas pecans gave many folks hours of pleasure and tasted SO good! Glad you enjoyed the post, little sister!

Gail Shubert Blalock said...

Ma-Ma was a great teacher to many! It was always a treat to go to her house. She would always share new stories and great recipes (which we could never make like she did). The girls adored her! Thank you for sharing!

Mamie Ollis Rogers said...

Thanks so much for sharing . Mrs Blalock was indeed a very special lady!

Linda Kay Cox said...

Brings back years and years of memories. Tears in the eyes. I am so glad that you are there to make special memories of your own. I love you.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Awh....thank you LK, for that! It was nice listening to the girls today. It was sweet hearing them talk about their Maw Maw with such love. Very much like we all have done and still do about Irene and Raymond and their beloved pecan trees! I love you, too.

Nancy Martin Buzbee said...

Aww...sweet memories...thanks for sharing. We have a lot of memories about our pecan trees at the ranch too. We had a bumper crop last year, but I don't know about this year yet. Miss you & Bob.

Yvonne McDowell said...

Thanks, Judy. That was beautiful. I'm so glad Paige remembers her MaMa and lessons she taught. Paige was so young when she left us.

Betty Cecil Borland said...

She definitely remembers her. She was telling me all about it yesterday when I picked her and Payton up at school.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Paige talked so much about her, Yvonne. Maybe some of it is from things she has heard Shelby and Gailey say, but I think she truly remembers her. Glad you enjoyed the post!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

I think that is so great, Betty. Not too many children have memories of great-grandparents. I enjoyed my afternoon with her and Shelby so much and was tickled to death to hear them talk about Lois.

Debbie Richards said...

This was such a joy to read. We have 2 pecan trees in our yard but we never eat them. They just aren't very good - but it doesn't stop the squirrels from getting them.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

That is so sweet, Debbie. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the post. I can envision you and David on your back porch watching those hungry squirrels getting pecans! Tell him hi for me.



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