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GAYS MILLS - A favorite poem* of mine starts out like this:  

Tell you what I like best 

‘Long about knee deep in June

‘Bout the time strawberries melts 

on the vine -- some afternoon

Like to jes’ get out and rest

And not do nothing else.

Well, here we are, knee deep in another June, surrounded by the fecundity of green nature in high gear every long day.  And the days are long, about as long as they are going to get in 2019. It puts me in a reflective mood, an appreciative mood, and a contented frame of mind.

Here is a list of some of my “contents” at this time of year.

• Attending graduation parties of bright young high school grads. Seeing such joy, pride, and relief at such a long-awaited transitional life change just feels good. Honoring the grad, seeing folks you probably haven’t seen for quite a while and meeting new people.   Plus, the food!  What an upbeat thing a graduation party is. 

• Tracking the progress of growing things: lilacs blooming, rhubarb exploding   from fertile soil, perennial flowers showing their beautiful selves after a long and rugged winter. A young vegetable garden growing by the day.

• Mowing the lawn, the smell of new-mown grass, and having a lawnmower beer as you sit and survey the results of your labor.

• Eating a ripe watermelon, sweet corn, and something just off the grill

• Ripe strawberries, yes, melting on the vine, not 100 feet from the kitchen

• Watching the yard chickens wandering around enjoying their cage-free freedom and patrolling for ticks

• Receiving (or sending) handwritten notes and letters in the U.S. mail

• Learning new things.  This summer, it’s all about pole shed construction, pouring concrete, making way for the new building, planning how to use the new, improved space.

• Doing someone an unexpected favor, or receiving the same. A clutch of fresh asparagus or a small bag of morels left by the door.

• Going to the store, in my case, The Marketplace just down the road.  It’s like the TV show ‘Cheers,’ and, although not everyone there knows your name, many do.  If you’re local, you will see people you know every time at a community crossroads like the Marketplace.

• Feeling the sun on your skin, and being able to dress so that happens: shorts, T-shirts, flip flops.

• The smell of Off!, Buggins, and other insect repellents.  They are the like cologne of summer

• A mid-day nap after a busy morning; deep, peaceful sleep on a summer’s night, windows open, breeze coming through and making the curtains dance

• A rainy day to catch up on inside chores or read a good book

Yes, the gifts of the season are many, everywhere you look. Enjoy them and feel content.