Even more surprising than seeing the fiddleheads for sale was seeing what they cost. (I'm going to refrain from going off topic and discussing that apostrophe.)
Who would pay this for something you can go out and pick for free in the local woods? I took some pictures and texted them to Karsten and Kellen, telling them they had missed out on a business opportunity when they were younger.
For the best part of their childhood years, the ones where they were old enough to be outside on their own but not yet so old I had to force them out the door for fresh air, we lived in a log house in the woods. It was a truly amazing property, and if you asked the boys where their best childhood memories are based this is the place they would name. (The girls were too young when we lived there to remember very much about it, and we hadn't yet adopted David.)
And if you asked them what their favourite activity was when we lived there I'm pretty sure they would both say Fiddlehead Wars. It was one of those elaborately concocted childhood schemes that had spoken and unspoken rules. It basically boiled down to flinging the ferns at each other in such a way that they would sting when they hit the other person. Early spring was the best time for the game because the stick part of the newly sprouted ferns packed way more punch than the later full grown ones. The reason I told the boys they had missed a business opportunity is because they would pop off the curled heads like the ones you see in the picture above - the ones they are charging $14.99/lb for - and throw them on the forest floor since the ferns launched better without them.
The second thing that brought back a flood of memories has to do with pandas. When Karsten was little he had a stuffed panda that he loved. It went everywhere with him, and by the time he outgrew it, it was a rather pathetic looking creature. Over the years I sewed numerous eyes back on and replaced the mouth multiple times. It had matted fur, and the stuffing had congealed into oddly placed lumps dotted around the bear's body. His feelings for Panda were very much a case of love being blind.
Just before last Christmas I was in IKEA and saw they had some panda bears. Now, I had made a vow to myself that I wouldn't buy Lucy a bazillion stuffed animals, but I couldn't seem to stop myself. This panda was soft and cute and, best of all, washable. I thought of Karsten as a little boy and how much he loved his Panda and thought he would appreciate the gesture if I bought one for Lucy. Now I didn't for a minute think Lucy would take to this panda the way Karsten had taken to his. It turns out I was wrong.
She loves her Panda every bit as much as her dad loved his. In fact, she loves it so much that she won't go to sleep without it. A decision was made. Spare pandas needed to be purchased as back-ups. Yesterday I came home from IKEA with an embarrassment of pandas. There's one to stay here, one for their car, and two "just in case."
Here they are, joined by the Panda that started it all.
Panda has been given a bath and as soon as he is dry I will put him back in the drawer where he now lives.
But before I do that I think I'll look for some black felt and sew on a new nose. :-)