Out for a trip to the Olcott Carousel Park with my niece and great niece, it was just 10 miles down the road to a miniature amusement park with 25 cent rides and an amazing old-fashioned carousel. In my 17 year old car with 195,000 miles on it, the round trip was just one gallon of gas! For that $4.08 we got to see the the pleasure boats on the lake and see the beautiful view across the lake to the faint CN Tower in Toronto! There are all sorts of quaint shops and restaurants to take in. It was the first of the weekly car shows in Olcott, so there plenty of people and many picnickers in the shade of the majestic trees in Krull Park. Here were hundreds of city folk traveling long miles to get a taste of what we have in our back yard! It was good to see all the families with little tykes enjoying the rides, and the old folks enjoying the children on the rides. It’s a great place for the young and the young at heart! (And you’re never too old to ride the carousel!!)
Back down Lake Road I had to stop for the first Chatterbox Sundae of the season! Baehr’s Ice Cream Cottage, a local landmark for hungry folks, named a sundae after me in the beginning years of my newspaper column, and it’s still there! Hard vanilla ice cream with sliced banana rounds on top, then gooey hot fudge, a tower of whipped cream and a cherry! See, the bananas act as sort of an insulator to keep the fudge hot and the ice cream unmelted until you can dig in! Yum! Lots of folks were sitting at the tables in the shade of the trees, enjoying lunch or ice cream treats.
One thing we’re used to around here is sharing the road with all sorts of farm machinery! Some of the mechanical giants need to chug down to the roads to the fields and I always try to wave or nod or smile. On a busy holiday weekend like this, with lots of Sunday drivers, you can see looks of impatience from gawkers looking to speed up and get around those slow-moving hunks of machine. I think of the wonderful harvest they will bring, the fresh fruits and vegetables still warm from the sun, and I’m happy to give them all the right-of-way they need. Farmers are high on my list of VIPs, for sure! They’ll be working in those fields day and night through the growing season so we can enjoy the richness of the farm country we’re so lucky to live in! Yes, sometimes those machines are kicking up huge dust clouds that necessitate a quick wind-up of the windows (ancient car…no power windows here), but it’s almost a game. Less fun is the occasional aroma of cow manure spread out to fertilize those veggies. No one can crank a window up fast enough to stop it and it sneaks in through the vents like a dead skunk! In early spring, between heating and air-conditioning seasons, we throw our windows open wide to clear the stale air of winter and sometimes those spring breezes carry a “cow poop smell” that will curl your toes! You know what? It’s a small price to pay for months and months of produce and the sight of groomed fields and blossoming trees. Yep, all in all, we are lucky to be nestled on the shore of a beautiful lake, surrounded by so many great things to do and places to visit.
This is just the beginning of the season! There’s our beautiful lighthouse, Cobblestone Museum, area parks, farmer’s markets, camping, boating, fireworks and community celebrations of all kinds! I think it’s ironic that so many rural folks can’t wait to drive to “the city” because it’s so boring here. I’ll take this kind of boredom any day.
MEMORIAL DAY PROGRAM REMINDER! At 10 a.m. Monday morning the place to be is in the bleachers at Somerset Town Park! The always- stirring tribute to our fallen heroes and those who serve our country features guest speakers, student singers, the Barker Community Band and lots of local veterans…your neighbors, families and friends. that’s what the “holiday weekend” is all about! See you there! God Bless Our Troops!