Treasure Hunt

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On the east side of the lake, the wood streches away into low hills and coves. This time of year, you walk slowly into the trees, your pathway hindered more by the slience than by the confetti of fallen leaves. The hardwoods are stingy this year, and have held onto their color long into November. Yellow elms and burnt orange sweetgums glare against the nonchalant green of pines.

But Kit and I are not after yellow or burnt orange. We are on a treasure hunt. Weíre searching for gold, and soon we find it. Around the base of a skinny tree, we dig in the soft loam and hack out a couple of small sections of finger-thick root. Pealing back the root-bark, we recognise the bright gold color and aroma of our quary. Sasifras!

Kit leans close over my shoulder as we take turns sniffing our treasure, and whispering about the hot tea we will soon enjoy. He gives me what I think is a close congratulatory hug, but he just canít stand it; his giggles betray his evil plot. He is wiping muddy hands on the back of my shirt!

In other days, with other eyes, he would have run, scattering the leaves, and shattering the silence. But now we just cling to one another and laugh our treaure-laughs as the evening and the leaves settle around us.

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-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), December 10, 2000

Answers

Snow swirling outside,
Temperature at zero!
I gotta head SOUTH!

Life on the bayou,
A very hot cup of tea,
Both sound good right now! J

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), December 11, 2000.

Not so fast there, Sunshine. That screaming blue norther has finaly made it to the bayou this evening. It's supposed to be in the low 30's tonight, with freezing rain tomorrow. No snow, no sleighbells, no children sledding merrily down the hill, no iceskates or ski-ing. Just cold, windy freezing rain, slush in your shoes, runny noses and slick roads.

Ah, well, I still got some cinamon gummy bears and hot choc'let. Maybe make up a great big pot of gumbo and a little bunch of hush puppies to keep it company. A little Swamp Gold on the stereo, and a frendly game of penney-ante poker.

Second thought why'nt you all come on down!

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-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), December 11, 2000.


Another hit, Lon!

I just got back from a trip to Toronto... an icky big city, with a side zoom to Niagara Falls (which I'm sure are much nicer when there isn't a big snow storm going on!) And my welcome home temperature was -20C (about -4F for the old fogies amongst us ;-). Hmm, a trip to the bayou, huh? If you only knew how good that sounds!

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), December 13, 2000.


Wow! A foot of snow!
How do I get in my car?
No classes today! J

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), December 13, 2000.

GAYLA!!

Shame. Cutting class over a little foot of snow?! Why, Trish, up there in the frozen wastelands, probably thinks that's sunbathing weather!

It hasn't got to freezing temps here yet, but it has been raining HARD all morning, and dark. I got the little stove in my office going, both cats are curled up on the couch, Katy is burrowed down in her bed, and Kit is covered up in front of the TV, watching "Home Alone". We make the most of our winter, when we get any!

As soon as the rain stops, we're gonna get the pireaux and go into the marsh to pick wild marshmallows for hot cocoa. Martha (Stewart) and I think they're so much better than the store-bought kind.

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-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), December 13, 2000.



LON!!! :-P

We've had almost 14 inches now and the University is CLOSED for only the second time. The local mall is closed for the very first time! We broke the record for snowfall set back in 1917. It's been amusing to watch people try to get in their vehicles and go somewhere. If you don't have 4-wheel drive, you're out of luck. I even saw one small dog disappear in deep snow. Fortunately, his owner saw him when it happened.

Got cabin fever? J

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), December 13, 2000.


Whew, boy!!!

That stormís finally got here. Weíve had about six feet of snow so far. Windís blowiní so hard that half the chickens have been plucked, right in the coop; poor nekkid little things sure do make a pitifull sight.

I saw one of the neighbors out in his yard, sticking an old cane pole down into the fresh snow. He said he was lookiní fer his dawg - itís a Great Dane.

And LeRoy LeDeaux closed the bait and gas store for the first time EVER. Said his worms were all frozen stiff - said they looked just like Slim Jims, and he was afraid to sell them, because some fool fisherman would be sure to get them mixed up, and find out that they tasted just the same, and he would lose all his Slim Jim business.

Well, I better mosey on over to the Salvation Army shelter, and see what we got to eat tonight. I hope itís not cold cuts and popsickles - those old biddies sure have a morbid sense of humor sometimes.

I just thought you all might want to hear about how bad it is down here on the bayou. I just know that Trish and Gayla ainít never seen nothiní like this, and wonít be able to top

-- Lon Frankenstien (evil@twinsR.us), December 13, 2000.


Amateur! If I was gonna lie, I'd tell bigger whoppers than that! ;-)

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), December 13, 2000.

Boy, LonF, you hit that nail on the head! I can't match that at all!

We rarely get piles of snow here, just gets really cold. However... ;-)

The first year I came back from Africa was the year we had record ever snow fall. The roof on a newly built mall fell in, fortunately at night when there was nobody there. My parents were still in Africa, and had sent my cat here to me for a Christmas present. Being an African native, she'd never seen snow and had no idea that it wasn't solid, and when I took her outside, she leaped out of my arms and disappeared into a snow drift. Then she bounced about until she found the sidewalk (which was kept shoveled) and she took several hours to get over her miff! (Like it was *my* fault she jumped into the snow and got a bit melted on her paws!)

But that's as close as I can come to matching either Gayla or Lon in the snow department. Now when it comes to cold...! ;-)

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), December 13, 2000.


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