Between the solving of one problem and another, E and T took Indiana for a walk. I met them in the front yard when they returned.
Indiana sprawled across E's feet as we talked. Little orange oragami-winged moths flitted over the lantana on the north side of the property.
T pointed to the moths. Then he told me a story.
When I was a kid, we had a whole hedge of lantana across the yard. My brother and I figured out that, if we were gentle and grasped the body carefully, we could catch the orange moths. And because I was curious, I tried placing one of the moths on my tongue. Attracted by the moisture, it stayed there. So I caught more and placed one after the other on my tongue. I closed my mouth.He didn't use these words, but I will. He scared the shit out of her.
I found my mom in the kitchen and pulled on her sleeve until she turned around to look at me. I looked at her and yelled, mouth open wide, "MOOOOOOOOOTHS!" As I yelled, they all flew out of my mouth.
This year, I tried an experiment. In August, when I started my broccolis, kales, and cabbages from seed in six-pack containers, I also started my rutabagas. In the past, I had always direct seeded rutabagas at the same time I planted out my other brassicas in early October. I would get a good crop, but with the short days of winter, I wouldn't have that crop until early spring. Spring is not when I want rutabagas: deep winter is when I want rutabagas. So far, my new strategy seems to be working. The largest of my rutabagas are already well-swollen and poking their bellies above the soil.
I've read that the first jack-o-lanterns were large, hollowed out turnips and rutabagas. My rutabagas may be growing well, but they're nowhere near jack-o-lantern dimensions yet.
Our first Halloween in Minnesota, it snowed so heavily that our school shut down and sent us home early. I hunkered down in the warm house for the evening, but snow could not hold my brother back. That year, he wore one of my father's old flight suits, a flight helmet, and he tied one of his stunt kites on his back to give himself wings. He strapped on cross-country skis, and took off to trick-or-treat. Needless to say, on a snowy, empty Halloween evening, my brother the determined flying skier, earned his weight in candy.