© 2012 Aaron Atkinson

The Acorn Evening

Laura likes Pinterest. While it’s not for me, I must admit, she’s un-bachelored our house with inspiration she’s derived on the site. Her latest creative aspiration is to fill an antique lantern with acorns. We have the lantern, and while she volunteered that she could by the acorns for a few dollars at the local home decor store, I told her not to in that I believed it would be more fun and more meaningful to get into nature and to gather them ourselves.

I was right.

It turns out that late August is still a little too early to collect acorns that the oaks have dropped. But that didn’t dissuade us. Last weekend while in Des Moines we made our way to a state park after a nice dinner with Mom and Dad. It had gently rained all day, and the air was clean and heavy. The pre-dusk sky gave just enough light for the four of us to wander under a giant, drooping oak as we plucked still green acorns from it’s low hanging branches.

With each acorn that snapped free we’d loose a few raindrops that had settled on the leaves and after a few minutes of picking we all hand wet hands and arms. At first we held the acorns in our hands, then dad volunteered to make a basket from his hat. When we filled the hat, we used a canvas grocery bag from the trunk of the car. Sixty or maybe a hundred acorns later Laura got a bit cold and went to sit in the car. We lingered a few minutes longer and then figured if the recipient had had enough, we’d had enough too.

We set the bag of acorns in Laura’s lap. Wiped our hands on our blue jeans and headed for home.

I’ve never picked acorns before, and I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again. Either way, I’ll long remember those fifteen minutes on that fresh August Iowa evening under an old oak tree plucking live acorns in the company of three of my favorite people.

Turns out, Pinterest is actually pretty neat.

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