It would seem that summer has settled in for the long haul.
Already the locust blossoms that saturated the sunlit afternoons and the evening breezes with their heady perfume have withered away and the orange blossoms have scattered their petals like snowflakes.
The gaunt locust tree here is not pretty, but as a twig it came from “home” after my father died in 1984 and I have cherished it.
Isn’t it strange, that no matter how long we have had our own home, “home” is still where we grew up.
Drifts of field daisies have taken the place of buttercups and my mulberry trees have gone berserk, their laden branches skimming the grass and their fallen fruits making a terrific mess on the driveway – but the birds have found a bountiful paradise.
Sadly, the rasping voices of the starlings and grackles too often drown out the oriole’s song, and hysterical robins worry about their fluttering offspring.
The wisteria vine outside the kitchen window is about to swallow me up and it is going to take some ladder work to get it under control.
A house wren has discovered a plastic gourd bird house hanging on the pole holding the vine and even though the entrance hole is much too big for safety, the wren keeps busy chasing sparrows away while singing at the top of his little lungs.
Another is protecting the house in the maple tree, so there is much wren song here from early morning until dusk.
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I had almost planned to share with you in this column the delightful memories of the “threshing days” in the 1930s which Hugh G. Earnhart, professor emeritus in history at Youngstown State University, chronicled in his Eat Like a Thresherman cookbook but decided to wait until mid-July when “threshing days” actually take place.
This is just a reminder of what is to come to whet your appetite! (No, Hugh, I didn’t forget!)
The small space beside my antique computer is piled high with jottings and clippings for future columns, but the one on top of the mess is an example of the “wonders” of modern technology.
It is a mailing from Gerber Life Insurance Co. which persists in sending me information for the health of my new baby – huh? – and it is addressed to Ms. Inie Jeykins!
At least they got the address right. Now when the company bombards me with more goodies for my “little one” I simply write “Return to Sender” on it and put it back in the mailbox.
I’ve also received other mailings for “Ms. Inie Jeykins” so you know everyone is swapping names. I get the giggles each time I get one. And I’m not sure how to pronounce my new name!
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When I was desperate to find a new ribbon for my ancient printer – today I guess there are cartridges – I looked in the yellow pages and picked a name “Go Computer Center” in Salem. It advertised recycling as well as sales and repair and I thought perhaps they might be able to help.
Sure enough, 27-year-old Andy Gangi, who started his business in his house when he was just 14, told me he could order replacement ribbons for me, and did so promptly.
He and his brother, Wayne, keep busy at their store on E. Pigeon Road and protect the environment by keeping dangerous toxins out of landfills while recovering metals and other valuable resources.
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My sincere thanks to everyone who sent condolences for the passing of Little Sister, and then sent congratulations for the arrival of darling Winnie who has settled in as though she’d lived here all her life.
A delightful dog, and a good “guardian” as she barked loudly the other morning when a “dangerous” mother pushing a baby stroller walked up our street!
Among the comforting messages I received was this one from my friend, Jean Winegord of Columbiana, who quoted from a book on kindness: “In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.”
I truly believe this also applies to our love of our animal companions.
As the Great Indian Chief Seattle said, “What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts will soon happen to man. All things are connected.”