This month and next are the ones when summer is in full swing. Special vacation trips, large family reunions, large picnic gatherings, weekend trips and other activities possible only during summer weather are happening everywhere. Festivals are reas
This month and next are the ones when summer is in full swing. Special vacation trips, large family reunions, large picnic gatherings, weekend trips and other activities possible only during summer weather are happening everywhere. Festivals are reasons to celebrate everything from blueberry time to lobster time and corn roasts. Summer fairs abound and there are antique car meets and special exhibits of old time tools and old machines â especially of interest to menfolk. No one lacks a reason to get out in the sun; go swimming at the beach or pond; enjoy a carnival; or relax at a musical entertainment under the stars. Summertime is a special time.
Our special fun used to be the large picnics for family and friends, either in Connecticut or at the little red house in Vermont. Out would come all the games that were put away last fall: badminton, horseshoes, baseballs and bats, croquet, and others. Plus the everlasting games of pinochle that lasted well into the evening. In Vermont, we usually loaded all the children and adults into cars and went early to get a good spot to watch fireworks.
In Vermont, we often attended a baseball game at a nearby town, where competition between the hometown teams was as much fun to watch as professional teams. Hefty farmers, players from area high schools and colleges, belted out home runs that made excitement and wholesome fun. And memories were created â the man we always looked for among spectators, wearing one black and one brown shoe!
Food was always plentiful at our picnics. Each family or person had a favorite specialty: potato salad, baked beans, fruit salad in the scooped out half of a watermelon, brownies and cupcakesÂ â there usually was enough for lunch and in early evening, another meal. We always managed to have an âall strawberry shortcakeâ picnic early in the season.
One summer we lost a whole new plot of strawberry plants to the heat. The land was vacant so in order to keep it worked and useful, we planted the whole lot to sweet corn. There happened to be an exceptional Indian summer that year and although the corncobs were small, they were sweet and tender. We picnicked two or three weekends, inviting folks to come and enjoy.
Never before nor after did we ever have such delicious sweet corn!
In mid-summer, the picnics ended in early evening, with the children out in the yard, catching âlightning bugs.â They kept them in a glass jar until it was bedtime, and it was the rule that they must be freed before the youngsters came inside.
If someone brought along a musical instrument to a get-together, it was a special treat to have a sing-a-long. Songs were for everyone: a hundred barrels of beer on the wall for the younger crowds; popular tunes of the time; and a few old time songs for some of the older folks â âOn Moonlight Bayâ or âOh, Susannahâ and maybe an old gospel tune or two.
We didnât have elaborate grills such as are available these days â just a little stone fireplace with a grill on top. Much later we graduated to a metal grill which would accommodate more hamburgers and hot dogs â an appreciated new cookout item by the cook of the day.
Last weekâs closing words are from E.B. Whiteâs journal.
Who said, âWere we love is home, home that our feet may leave but not our heartsâ?