Pecans are dangerous


I’m not overly-equipped with brain power. What I do have is a stubborn streak and no fear of back-breaking manual labor, especially when it’s something I really want. The trouble is, when I combine these three things, the result often qualifies for Internet video fodder.

We have pecan trees and they’re loaded this year. It’s my goal to pick up every single one of those nuts, sell them and become independently wealthy — or at least pay the cat house electric bill. There are, however, a few slight hitches.

First, I work full time, as does my spouse, Roger. It’s nearly dark when we get home and we have other chores to do. The same goes for weekends. Picking up pecans by flashlight or vehicle headlights isn’t real effective — and the neighbors to wonder what we’re up to.

I finally found time last weekend and ran outside to pick up pecans. That led to my second dilemma. Lots of them are still in the tops of our very tall trees, waiting for a high wind and good freeze before they drop. They needed a friendly shove. I grabbed as many branches as I could reach and shook them for all they were worth. Squirrels ran, limbs came crashing down, but few pecans. It seems most of the low-lying nuts had already fallen. The motherload was beyond my reach.

Our long-suffering neighbor saw my dilemma and lent me a pecan “frailing” pole. The idea is to reach this very long, flexible pole (around 15 or so feet) up into the tree limbs and give them a good shake. The nuts come showering down like manna from heaven. I was stoked! We were gonna get rich!

By that time, Roger had come out and was leaned up against the nearest vehicle, out of the line of fire. It had been years since I’d used a frailing pole, but I remembered how. I stretched the pole as far as I could and began wailing on the tree limbs. Then I remembered a crucial thing. I was standing under the limbs. All those pecans came crashing down — on my head! They may be little, but when they’re falling 1,000 miles an hour and bean you in the noggin, ouch!

Roger laughed. When I finally got too woozy to hold the pole (or stand up), I quit. My head felt like a the receiving end of a battering ram but, by golly, the ground was covered with pecans — or maybe I was seeing triple.

Okay, it wasn’t the brightest idea, but it worked. Sort of.

Happy birthday Sunday to Justin Armstrong, Kelley Frith, Benjamin Nickens and Dylan May, all of Sherman; Sue Listvan, Jessica Neff, Krystina Moore, Linda Simpson, Judy Jeter, Ike Winters and Joella Duffie, all of Denison; Billy Hardin of Tom Bean; Joyce Mohling of Savoy; Kelly Walker of Pottsboro; Lucy Dehorney of Fort Worth; Aniyah Jackson.

Happy anniversary Sunday to Bill and Betty Stone of Bells, 46 years.