That there to the left is a Hubbard squash. Have you ever seen one? They’re bluish, lumpy, and extremely large. They belong in the prehistoric section of the farmer’s market, along with certain heirloom tomatoes, turtles, and blue, green and purple potatoes.
Did you notice I slipped “turtles” in there? I did, because turtles have always struck me as prehistoric, and certainly deserving of their own section in a farmer’s market.
Neither Hubbard squash nor turtles have anything to do with the topic of today’s post, though. Neither does the title, although I would like to take this opportunity to urge you all to devote some time and energy to bringing back a good word, a word to your personal liking, a word that may even as we speak be lying in a dusty attic, forgotten, ignored.
A word that hasn’t been asked to dance in a long time. A word that even now is leaning back against the wall and mayhap thinking something along the lines of I knew I shouldn’t have worn this dress and Why would anyone ask me to dance? I wouldn’t even ask me to dance, were I someone other than myself. I am the sort of word wanted by no one, desired by no one, not even for the tiniest of flings.
Take a word like mayhap. Mayhap is a fine, fine word, in my estimation. Mayhap you agree? Mayhap you too shall decide to strike a blow for justice, and begin using mayhap in your everyday speech.
Mayhap you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by how subtly enriched your life becomes, once you branch out beyond the everyday.
Where was I going with this? Originally, nowhere. All I wanted to do was use “mayhap” in a sentence, if only to remind myself of my vow to restore it to common parlance. And yet now I have used it in many a sentence, mayhap too many, if you’ve managed to read this far.
And what of the Hubbard squash, you ask? Expecteth thou a recipe? I hope not, because thou shalt not be getting one, at least in this blog, at least not of the Hubbard squash variety. Nay, sir, I think not. Should you require a recipe for Mister H I urge you to consult a blog more food-ish than mine.
While I do not wish to disappoint any Hubbard-ites out there, the sole reason this particular photo appears to the upper left of this entry is because I was searching through my files and came upon Lord Hubbard, above, and decided to include him on the off-chance that he, too, was lonely. That he, too, had spent too much time propped amongst the spiderwebs and old trunks. That he, too, had suffered the long indignity of a dance during which he stood next to the refreshment table, drink in hand, smiling brightly as the couples spun past.
And now the hour grows late, the fire burns to ashes, the raven is tap-tapping at the window, and the Victorian speech mannerisms are beginning to bug even me.
Forsooth! It is too late to think of writing the post that I opened up this page with every intention of writing.
Mayhap I’ll write it on the morrow.
you know what i think of when i see a hubbard squash? nay, you do not, not yet having been told, but mayhap you would like to hear. i think of a little white tent set up in a front yard in nelson, wisconsin, a little river town we were passing through on a deliciously golden october day, a day that tasted like an autumn apple through and through. across from the tent, where they were selling a bounteous autumn harvest, were parked motorcycles (taking a break from one of the last meanderings of the year) and people perched on benches outside the nelson dairy enjoying homemade ice cream in the sunshine.
inside the tent were several hubbard sqaushes of intimidating size that looked nothing if not prehistoric. when i inquired as to how a person would attempt to split and cook such a thing, the advice included ideas such as a sledgehammer and a long fall onto concrete. my love and i discussed it momentarily and decided that, at least at that moment, we did not wish to cook anything that first had to be conquered by our own hands.
because we chose not to take one home, hubbard does not call up violent attempts to smash an unwilling squash, but rather standing in a small town sun bath on our way home from an interesting romantic weekend, marveling over the bizarre and lovely fruits of this world, both human and otherwise.
My father was a Somerset man, at heart at least, and he really did used to say ‘lief’ for rather! ‘I’d as leif have that apple juice as a glas of wine’ he sometimes said. And my mum would reply ‘yes you would, it’s cheaper.’
Lucy, I hereby vow to restore “lief” to common parlance, at least in my own small circle. What a wonderful word. Mayhap I’ll start calling my mother “Mum” too – so much better than Mom.
Oreo, that comment right there is a tiny perfect essay. Want to know how my mum deals with Hubbard squashes? She stands on the cement porch, holds it over her head, and then lets it drop. No joke. I do believe she derives a perverse pleasure from this vegetable violence.
Verily this is good stuff.