Friday, July 17, 2009

The Last Post Here = Pecans

My grandfather loved to shell pecans. He would do it for hours at a time, watching TV or sitting outside. Actually, I’m not sure “loved” is the right word; he was compelled - by an unknowable, unseeable force - to shell pecans. He would crack them, carefully picking out the meats with a little tool like a toothpick. These were then divided by type, with whole pieces kept apart from broken ones.

When the hubs and I moved back South, we reconnected with my uncle, who is the son of the pecan-shelling grandfather. Once, we were invited to his house for dinner, and he loaded us down with things from his garden. We got blueberries, I remember, and we got pecans.

Interesting. It seems that my uncle also has a pecan monkey on his back. My aunt remarked that he does it just like my grandfather, dividing the broken from the whole, spending hours carefully picking them out. When he reached into their chest freezer to get us some pecans, she suggested that he give us one container of whole pecans and one of broken pieces, in case I wanted to use them for baking or whatever. But my uncle said no, that he was giving us two containers of whole pecans. His tone meant business (everyone in that family inherited that same tone, and I am very familiar with it), so I didn't argue. We took home two containers of whole pecans that probably took a whole week to shell, and we ate them up more quickly than I'd like to admit here.

If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I left a gig at a big corporation to start a business, and you may know that I have some, uh, less than loving feelings about the whole deal. One big reason I left is that I didn’t want my effort, my hours and hours of hard labor, to benefit the people who would make the real money as a result. They weren’t good people, and they didn’t deserve the fruit of my labor.

I put this together today, thinking about my grandfather and my uncle and their freakish obsession with pecans, and I realized that my uncle wanted us to get the very best fruits of his labor. He insisted that we take the best pecans because he wanted his painstaking work to have meaning. His labor was/is the same thing as his love.

The lesson for me? Stop giving your love away to people you hate. Ha. Put another way, ask yourself if the beneficiaries of your labor deserve the love you’re giving them. And if they do, figure out a way to save the whole pecans for them. If they don’t, feel free to toss them the broken pieces while you’re looking for someone who deserves your real, whole, best stuff.

photo by Ibex1


  1. This is my first time reading your blog. I'm totally impressed with the creativity and your engaging language. I talk about fishing (in stocked ponds) for your "ideal" clients and throwing back the ones you already know you aren't going to LOVE working with. Can't wait to create together!

  2. Way to go on starting your own business. A good attitude is better than a bad economy ;) You definitely have the right attitude. Keep it up!