Midsummer Dreams

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July is here with it’s fireworks and picnics. People take to the beaches in groves in July.  The yard needs mowing weekly and sweet corn is in abundance. Geraniums are blooming on porches. Hopes and wishes in July are  “midsummer dreams”  and may have a good chance of coming true.

I am in Wilmington now sitting by the splashing fountain and breathing in more salty air.  We are going to have “Sunday dinner” on Sunday this week.  Of course, I am planning the fourth of July menu as well.  Ours’ will be a simple fare with a fancy cake. It has been a while since a holiday occurred giving everyone an excuse not to work-and a while before it happens again.

When I was growing up, the fourth of July often meant the first day of harvesting-and shucking corn.  Corn does not allow you much time to work with it.  It quickly loses its’ softness after being pulled- and do not think I am talking about enough corn for a meal or two.  I have shucked a small pick up load of corn  in a day, with help.  It takes a crew of folks to put up corn. I can remember  as a child, the men shucking the corn and cutting the ends off with a hatchet outside in the shade.  The women would be in the kitchen taking the corn off the cob with sharp knives.  Some would be blanching the kernels, and then some would pack it in freezer bags and  start filling up the “deep freeze” with bags of gold to feed the family in the winter.  It was a big mess to say the least and a noisy event.  I wonder how many problems got solved in the kitchen that day, amongst the women- and how many deals were made in the shade of the oaks while the men  shucked corn. 

Fruits and vegetables, home-grown and harvested just after picking them, have an entirely different flavor than the ones found in a freezer section at a grocery store.  Maybe, it is the touch of the human hand in the process.  Maybe it is the laughter or the shade of old oaks .  Whatever it is, it shows up on the table-and  the memory of those long ago Julys  remain alive and well, with me.

School has been out a few weeks now, and the feeling of  that has finally settled in.  I do not think there is a clock that is working on the rabbit patch.  Their batteries need replacing and I refuse to do so in July.  We will eat Sunday dinner when it’s ready and go to bed, when we are tired. I will do all things as I do with my writing-“when the spirit moves me”.

July is a time to listen to mockingbirds showing off-and they always do.  I heard one a few summers back, that could even sing like a purple martin, which is no small feat.  The purple martins are a long time favorite of mine.  My daddy  has faithfully had “martin boxes” for as long as I remember.  The descendants return to the house they were hatched in, to raise their own and they bring their song with them, learned in South America, where they winter.  It is a distinctly tropical sound and a mockingbird shows quite a bit of skill to copy it.

The crepe myrtles are in full bloom in July.  I like their colorful spikes  that are shades of pink, lavender and white. I was not too fond of them as a child. Their trunks are “slick as glass”,  making them about impossible to climb.  They are small trees that grow upright, so to a small child they appear quite useless. Now, I find them lovely, especially when a mockingbird is perched there and bragging on a midsummer evening.

July is a noisy, busy month with fireworks and evening thunderstorms.  It starts with a holiday that brings us together.  I was thinking recently, that this holiday is quite remarkable in that it belongs to all of us that call this nation home  and also the whole planet in some way.  We are a country formed, by residents of many countries and cultures.  People who came together and shared the soil.  People who were able to unite regardless of external factors.  I am grateful for the many cultures that have contributed from “sea to shining sea” .  They came bearing gifts.  My hope is that we will all remember how we came about and that every nation on the planet had something to do with it. My own midsummer dream is that we will all be grateful for the people that built our home and to remember- there were many.

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19 thoughts on “Midsummer Dreams

  1. A heart warming post as we celebrate the 4th of July! I always enjoy your stories, they take me back to my own youth, shucking corn with my grandparents on the back porch, blanching tomatoes, and snapping beans! Have a wonderful holiday with your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your refusal to replace the batteries in your clocks in July. It is so good to be on “God’s time” in the summer. Gives a person the chance to really enjoy what is important in life. Thank you for another beautiful post!
    Have a great 4th of July holiday and thank you for helping us remember the “why” of it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t seen you around my patch lately, have offended you in anyway with any of my posts?

        On another note, who does the illustrations for your posts. They are just amazing

        Liked by 1 person

      2. not at all-I have been with the family for several weeks and am behind on my reading-you are a bright spot in my day!. I am starting now to get caught up and look forward to reading your posts-you are such a gentle spirit and it shows up in your writing. I love that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So,well written…I had visited Ann Arbor and tried to recognise as many of the different names of flowers, trees and the birds I saw. Nature so beautiful and different in the different parts of the world..and yes in the end, you bring out the multicultural aspect of USA.
    We live in one planet with heaven as our roof!

    Like

  4. Your writing is beautiful. The beginning of the post was evocative of summer days past but your last paragraph and summation are just perfect for this holiday and this election year. Enjoy your day.

    Like

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