Buckeye Day- A Family Affair

Luke bought season tickets to Ohio State football this year. To pay for the tickets, and, just for fun, he is making buckeye (our team’s mascot) necklaces to sell at the home games. Each buckeye he finds, he has calculated, is worth 65 cents- quite valuable! He originally figured he needed to find, oh, about 1200 nuts to make enough necklaces to repay himself. I don’t think he expected to find that many- he knew of a tree in Prospect that guaranteed some, and he found a tree on our recently-bought property in Lexington that would provide more. But a thousand? Not sure about that.
This past Sunday, the church we attend had their morning service and potluck lunch at a local campground. On the way back from the restrooms with the kids, I happened to look down and see a few tawny, pointy hulls on the ground, telltale sign of a buckeye tree overhead. All the kids got involved picking up the buckeyes, excited to be able to surprise Daddy with this treat. I shook the short, young tree a couple times to get the rest to fall off, but then noticed that it was straddling a power line, and wisely ceased the shaking. Luke went back over later to see if I had missed any on the ground, and determined that our find had netted him two and a half necklaces. We were pleased.
The rest of the afternoon continued to be a buckeye hunt- we started noticing trees everywhere- they shed their leaves the earliest of most trees, so it was easy to spot the orange or brown tree among the still-green ones. As we were approaching our land, Luke saw quite a few buckeye trees along a road just around the corner from it. That area netted the motherload! I got out of the van to help him with those- even I was starting to look at the nuts as little nuggets of gold. Each one was worth 65 cents, remember? Eventually, though, I had to go back to the van and entertain the troops while Daddy harvested.
When we got to our land, Luke put the girls to work in the van de-hulling buckeyes while he went to have a look at what had dropped from our tree. A-Major and Big-S are cute when they are given a job like that- they take it so seriously! I showed them how they could squeeze the hulls in the middle, like you do peanuts, and they’ll pop open, and they had a ball sorting nuts from hulls and leaves. Big-S called the buckeye casings ‘shulls’- a combination of ‘shells’ and ‘hulls’, I’m guessing.
As they moved back to their seats when finished, A-Major was heard to remark in her best ‘I’ve been given a big responsibility’ voice, “I might smell like buckeyes, Little-S. Smell my hands. That’s what buckeyes smell like.” Now, I haven’t noticed buckeyes to have any odor, and I usually have a good nose for things. But maybe they do.
Luke came back to the van soaked with sweat, and bearing even more buckeyes. Thank goodness he packed a change of clothes that morning, because we were due at the Gillums, good friends of ours, soon for dinner. What a day of serendipitous finds, to swipe a term from Meredith. I think Luke is set for the season, and should easily earn back his ticket money.
Now when Luke says, “You know what I feel like doing?” I answer, “Like making some buckeye necklaces?” That ought to be funny for at least a few more days.

For interesting buckeye lore, check out this article. My favorite line: “The buckeye nut is bitter and, if eaten in quantity, is poisonous to man.” Luke, good thing you need all the nuts for necklaces, otherwise you might be tempted to ‘taste and see’ if this is true. You certainly have the “quantity”.

2 Replies to “Buckeye Day- A Family Affair”

  1. I love it!

    Kudos to your enterprising husband. Not many men would be so industrious about earning football season tickets!

Comments are closed.