Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Magic Bowling Ball

Bowling is not something I do well. I've bowled maybe a dozen times in my life. Over the past month or so, I've been three or four times.

Yesterday, as I was throwing the ball and it went down the lane -- it suddenly veered into the gutter, hit a raised edge of the lane and leaped into the lane to my left -- bounced and hit the board above where the pins were standing.

It looked like something out of a comedy routine.

The guy next to me was something of a serious bowler -- probably a league bowler.

As I watched my ball do acrobatics before finally settling into his gutter -- I told him that I had tried to bowl a strike for him. He didn't seem to find the humor in the comment.

It was truly bizarre and the whole thing happened as if in slow motion.  It caught the attention of everyone in the bowling alley.

I should have taken a bow.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Branch Lettuce

One of the things that I've been anticipating since returning to the mountains is the arrival of branch lettuce. It's a wild lettuce that grows along mountain streams. This weekend, I took a hike into the mountains to pick some. I was not disappointed. The season, which is quite short, has just begun -- the leaves are between two and five inches long and are really tender.

I prefer eating them fresh in a salad with a bit of dressing.  You can also drizzle hot bacon grease over the wilted leaves. I've never tried it, but it's the way a lot of mountain people prefer it.

Yesterday's trip into the mountains for the wild lettuce was part of a nearly eight mile hike that wound along beautiful mountain streams, steep hillsides and along ridges with breath-taking views. At the top of one ridge -- strong wind gusts chilled the air -- but if you stepped ten feet down the other side of the ridge -- everything was calm -- not even a hint of those wind gusts.