Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

Except for a brief sputter of rain drops, it was a beautiful night at the Barker Farmers Market! There were two talented local singers in the gazebo, the best of our local produce and lots of goodies for the many shoppers and visitors. At 7:30, end time, the music was still going, people were still listening, and there was a spirited touch football game going on with some young people. As the tents and wares were folded away, I lingered with good friends to chat and share the wonderful night.

We sometimes get frustrated by country living, by having to drive double digit miles for the simplest things. We sometimes lament the lack of excitement or entertainment, often during those cabin-fever months of late winter. Whatever inconveniences we may face are totally forgotten in the peace and serenity of a picnic table in a shady park. The “quiet” is worth a treasure, and only deep in the country can you see the bright splendor of a star-lit sky. If we could have bottled and shared the essence of last night in the park, we could have cured a lot of the world’s tension. Sometimes you have to let go of the controls and just “be.” No plans, no packing, no to-do list, no special preparations… just sit back and relax in the splendor.

Our maker puts on a beautiful show for us daily. The sky may be sparkling with stars are crackling with lightning, but it is never dull. The wide array of summer flowers and trees are majestic. I can tell the season by the color of the roadside blossoms, which change from the rich orange trumpets of tiger lilies, to the rows of lacy circles of Queen Anne’s Lace, and then suddenly one day it’s a sea of blue cornflowers. It’s as though God rolls out the proverbial red carpet to mark our journeys, only in technicolor.

There are few things more beautiful than fresh fruit hanging heavily from dew-laden trees, or the corn climbing skyward to reach the sun. Growing up in a city like Buffalo in the 50s and 60s meant that some people had backyard gardens. My mom always put out tomatoes and cucumbers, prized for homemade dill pickles! We would walk (yes, walk) down to the Broadway Market where farmers would bring their trucks of produce in the early morning hours to set up under cover at the back of the market. It brought the farms to us.

When visiting my grandparents on the Hatter Road in Newfane, there were no cash crops on the farm, but Grandma Lil had quite a healthy batch of rhubarb nearby and we knew where there were long-forgotten concord grape vines behond the barn. I wonder if we ever really appreciated the pear tree that dropped it’s bounty behind the swing. No pristine, polished pear in the supermarket display could ever match that warm-from-the-sun sweetness. Ah, those old-fashioned days in the spring of our lives held a lot that we took for granted. Maybe that’s why, in the autumn of my life, I want to savor the moments and simple gifts. It is too tiring at this age to be always searching for new things and trying to keep upon the highway of life and progress. I’m lucky enough to have found a byway, a resting place where friends are fine, faith is rampant and life is simple and sweet. Lord, what did I ever do to deserve such treasure?


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