Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Summer Ends Before Labor Day Now-a-days

Tall walls of corn line many country roads, deer feast in soybeans up to their necks, tomatoes are finally ripening, and the heat tells us it is definitely summer. Yet dental and eye appointments fill parents’ calendars, newspapers ads feature school supplies, kids sweat through marching band and football practices, and schools are about to start. Some even tomorrow! I feel sorry for children going back to school in the middle of August, but as hot as it is, maybe enough schools are air conditioned these days that it will be okay.

Jeannie and her younger daughter Cecelie came through last Monday and spent the night and visited with us here the next morning on their way to Nashville, TN, to see the older daughter, Leslie, and admire her new engagement ring.
This afternoon they came back by briefly but couldn’t spend the night. They had to hurry home because they’d stayed a bit longer than they hoped in an effort to find the perfect dentist for a tooth problem that Leslie won’t have time to take care of back in her home town when she goes briefly for a friend’s wedding. The mission for the right dentist was accomplished with a first appointment tomorrow. Many good comments online gave Jeannie confidence.

Of course, they talked wedding plans while there and visited bridal shops and even thrift shops. (The current reception dreams call for lots of glass and vintage lace and unmatched plates and glasses. These early ideas may change by June, but Leslie and Jeannie are both original, and I am sure whatever transpires will be fun and a work of art.) So while Cecelie took the Gator for a spin, we drank a coke together at the kitchen table and heard Jeannie’s report of their visit. Her daddy listened on with typical wry male comments (just put a ladder up to the window and save time and energy) and I openly relished hearing the report on all their girl talk. He did too, but he knew he was supposed to make those kinds of remarks or we’d been disappointed.

After that brief break, we were off to Katherine’s and, of course, she wanted to hear a repeat of the Leslie news. She loves to hear Nashville activities and music scene talk since that was her life once upon a time. Just last week she received a childhood Winnie the Pooh book left behind with other things in a friend’s Nashville attic when she moved back to Illinois.

Very soon Jeannie and Cecelie had to be on the road again for the long many-hour drive to northern Illinois. Jeannie has already been working in her art room and will throw herself into school prep in the morning.

After Jeannie and Cecelie left, I was helping Katherine with paper work for Sam’s high school registration in the morning when she realized she had never made the call to the new dentist to schedule her and Sam’s needed appointments. (When you can’t use your hands, a phone call is often a challenge and sometimes impossible. The usual phone problems are exacerbated by a beautiful new phone David chose for her because it was supposed to be more handicap convenient—but for some odd reason, something is not working right and it keeps losing its power.)

While it was recharging, even though it was long after 5 p.m., I grabbed my cell phone and dialed the 800 number for the new dental place in Marion that at least has longer appointment-making hours. Suddenly Katherine was trapped in a time-consuming Q&A for new patients by a very kindly speaking young man in who-knows-what city. In the middle of that, David walked in with their very special friend from Israel. We thought the 800 phone call would never end, but with all that time invested, it had to be completed. Finally she was able to join the two men in the living room.

I don’t think Katherine has ever met his wife, but she has talked to her on the phone and keeps a Hebrew dictionary handy since neither woman speaks the others’ language. Somehow they communicate. David opened the present she sent Katherine, and I left the three of them happily visiting.

I’d taken Katherine sweet corn from her Uncle Garry that he passed out at his brother Keith’s birthday breakfast at Jonesboro this morning. Gerald attended on his way to Cape to get our car serviced. I also took her tomatoes from Gerald’s garden, and Jeannie had some of each put into her northern-bound car too. Finally, as I left town tonight, I delivered the bucket full Garry had sent to our sister-in-law Opal. I did not take her tomatoes since she always has them in her own garden along with the beautiful masses of flowers and plants lining her sidewalks that make a visit to her home so pleasing.

Although it was much too late by now to stay and visit, I had the special treat of seeing her three-year-old great granddaughter Josie, whom Opal was watching while Josie’s mother gave dance classes. I hadn’t seen her since she was a baby. I enjoy Josie’s photos posted by Jinna, her mother, on Facebook, but she was much more grown up than the photos revealed. I was delightfully surprised when she followed Opal’s example and suddenly she snuggled close and gave me an unasked for hug. I left with a smile on my face.

Back at the farm, Gerald had long before fixed his own supper. I hurriedly fixed myself a bite including one of Garry’s ears of sweet corn. Garry and Ginger live on the home place where Gerald grew up, and Garry is walking in their late father’s footsteps growing extra food and freely passing it around to more people than you can imagine. Dad Glasco would be proud his tradition continues.

Today was not only Keith’s birthday, but our niece Vicki, Garry and Ginger’s daughter, reminded us that 28 years ago her baby son David Brandon was born. We lost him at Christmas time that same year, and our family shed some more tears for him today even as I also shed tears for the babies dying tonight because of the famine in Somalia.

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