Thursday, July 06, 2017

Hail to the Spud

Hello, World.   It's been awhile.  How you doin?  Stupid question.  I won't get into politics (at least not right now...).  What have I been up to?  Oh wow - lots.  If the Blog Bug sticks around for a little while I'll start posting some very belated adventures, stories.  Being contumaciously opposed to Facebook blogging is definitely more my style.   There's no annoying Big-Brotheresque bullying to log in (I see you're having trouble with your password!) or make friends. I'm a lone wolf, dammit and I will choose my OWN pack, thankyouverymuch.

Speaking of lone wolves... this story made me happy today :  
Rogue Pack Alpha (aka OR-7) is now a Grandpa

Adorable little pups, huh?
So my long story made short:  Three years ago we moved a few miles north to Ridgefield, Washington.  Better schools.  Natural beauty everywhere.   Three volcanic peaks (Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood). Three Rivers (Columbia River, Lake River, Lower Lewis River).  My sacred trinities.  Beautiful. Reminiscent of the old small-town Wilsonville I grew up in with the old family owned corner store, pastures and fields.  The only traffic lights in town are at the highway exit.    Lots of birds (National Refuge).  Tree Frogs.  Deer.   Unlike my childhood hometown, though the new housing developments are going up in pasturelands, and potato farms instead of holly and filbert  (hazelnuts)  orchards.   Hence the school mascot of the "Spudders". 

The humble Spud is a truly remarkable tuber. I'd grown up associating potatoes with the Irish Potato Famine, which drove a lot of my own ancestors to the New World.  Only in my adult years did I learn that, before that Blight, the adoption of the humble spud as a staple crop during the Little Ice Age saved millions.  It would have saved a hellovalot more if the good people of Europe had adopted it a few decades earlier.   When the Spaniards brought it back, most Europeans thought it had to be the "Devil's Food" and refused to grow it except for animal feed.  It grew below ground.  The plant looked like something form the poisonous Nightshade family.  The fruit itself was rather ugly.  And it came from heathens.  Reason enough for the pious French to make them illegal.  Only after several wars where entire armies marched across the continent and burned/trampled traditionally beloved cereal crops, causing massive famines, did people begin to recognize this new staple crop for the treasure it truly was.

I won't apologize for the hiatus.  But since nearly the last time I posted the Monkey was headed to kindergarten, I wanted to honor my favorite "Spudder" who is now headed to 7th Grade and Middle School (guess it's more junior high but they're not big on the label) this Fall:

Go Spuds, Class of 2023!!!
Who is further proof that absolutely amazing things come from Heathen roots.