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Savoring season of summer

September 10, 2010
Tribune Chronicle
We don’t need to be told that summertime is winding down. It’s been a hot summer, but temperatures are beginning to cool. Days are getting shorter, and before we know it, color will begin to show in our woods around the area. And a beautiful time it usually is when Mother Nature brings out her paintbrush to show us real color. Summer always brings experiences that we don’t have any other time of the year. Only during these months can we drive down a country road with the windows open in the car and experience the sweet smell of newly cut hay. Breathe deeply and take it all in, because it is an aroma not duplicated any other time. When we were quite young, there was nothing like being told it was warm enough to go barefoot — a great experience of freedom, except when we first took off our shoes and our tender feet didn’t like the feel of the rough gravel of the driveway. It took some time to get our feet toughened up to withstand some of the rough surfaces around home. No doubt going barefoot also saved on buying so many shoes. Sweet corn time comes near the end of summer, and a great time it is. No, I haven’t learned to eat sweet corn gracefully. I just chomp away and enjoy it covered with butter, and years ago, with a good helping of salt and pepper. Today I have to eat it with a salt substitute, but it is still great to enjoy with that butter all over my face. Going swimming after a hot day working in the field was always a treat. While it isn’t allowed today, we would climb in the back of the truck with low sides and drive down to the local creek that had been dammed up to make a swimming pool. Yes, since it was a creek, water was always flowing, and it took several days of hot weather for it to get warm. But we enjoyed it. Something we would enjoy, when we could afford it, was an ice cream treat after a hot day of work. A big ice cream cone was a good incentive to work just a little later when we knew it would be available late in the day. Fortunately, we usually had a good supply of milk, cream and eggs available, so homemade ice cream tasted good to us. Mom had a recipe that included its share of cream and eggs that made the best homemade ice cream. For quite a while our refrigerator was one cooled with ice, and we would get enough ice and salt to freeze the mixture. When we finally got an electric refrigerator, we would make extra ice. Hand cranking was a part of freezing the ice cream, and we would take turns doing the cranking. When the mixture started to freeze, cranking got harder, but we knew the treat was coming soon. Today we still have an ice cream freezer, but it plugs into the wall and an electric motor does the work. Trouble is we don’t use it often enough, usually when company comes. Summer also brought a sense of freedom with no schoolwork to keep us busy. Our days changed to doing all the jobs that summer brings but freedom to enjoy different things. Fourth of July and firecrackers, showing livestock at the county fair, free movies in the town commons once a week and many more summer experiences. No, I’m certainly not in my childhood anymore by a long shot, but I still enjoy many of the summer experiences of my youth. So there is a bit of nostalgia when fall with all its beauty becomes the season to enjoy. Parker grew up in Trumbull County and is an independent writer for the Tribune.


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