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Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
Mike can be contacted via e-mail at mike@mikeredmondonline.com.

 

 

 

 April Too Much for Fun Guy and Fungi

I have had just about all of April that I can stand.

Of course, I say that every April, but this April I mean it.

I can’t recall a month that was as big a pain in the hiney as this one. And when you’re talking about a hiney the size of mine, that’s a lot of pain.

Part of the problem is that my dad was born in April, and died in April. I spend a lot of each April thinking about Dad. And missing him, frankly. This April marks 20 years since he died, and I keep waiting for that twinge of regret, that pang of emptiness to go away. After 20 years I’m beginning to suspect they won’t. I can be a little slow on the uptake sometimes.

All right, so there’s the emotional component. Then you factor in the income tax deadline, and April weirdness gets a financial component as well. Or, considering the way my returns have gone the last few years, and my subsequent correspondence with the Infernal Revenue Service, another emotional component.

Which brings us to weather, which adds confusion. This year has been especially goofy, weather-wise. We’ve had plenty of April showers, but about half of them have been snow. April is the month we’re supposed to keep an eye peeled for tornadoes, but it’s kind of hard to do that and keep the tulips from flopping over. You know it’s a cold April when your mulch freezes.

It’s been all I can do to get the yardwork started, and now you want me to watch for twisters too? Sorry. Auntie Em and Uncle Henry are going to have to fend for themselves.

Now, the weather also has its own emotional and financial component, and, no, I’m not just talking about getting all weepy because I’ve had to run the furnace so much this month.

I am talking about morels, the greatest wild mushroom this side of the truffle and one of the true delights of spring in Indiana.

Remember how warm it was at the end of March? Well, that’s when I got an e-mail from my friend Louie (or, more accurately, from his wife; Louie doesn’t care much for the computer) saying it looked like it was going to be an early season for morels. A few days later I got another e-mail from Mrs. Louie saying that he had found six that afternoon, and expected there would be plenty more any day now.

The next morning, the temperature was in the teens.

You don’t have to have a degree from Purdue to figure out this one. If the flowers are frozen, chances are pretty good the mushrooms are going to say “Forget it, we’ll try again some other time. How’s next year?”

Well, you can see how this works emotionally. For a Hoosier boy like me, April without morels is almost too sad to contemplate. It’s like March without basketball. August without the State Fair. January without … OK, never mind. I can’t think of one for January.

Now, there are morels out there. I saw some recently at a grocery store for something close to $30 a pound. That’s the financial part of the deal. Well, emotional, too, because I can’t afford them. I spent too much heating the house this month.

I tell you, May can’t get here fast enough for me. Or my hiney.

 

 

 

© 2007 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.