As Jake and I started on our Labor Day morning walk, the temperature was a nippy 52 degrees, and it felt distinctly like fall. Of course, later in the day the sun warmed things up considerably. However, the bracken ferns and other understory plants in the woods all had that tarnished look that tells you that summer is definitely winding down.
The tomatoes and cukes are finally slowing down, so we no longer have to keep guests captive until they agree to take some home. Mike was mowing the lawn on Monday, and all of a sudden I heard what sounded like gunshots, and the mower stopped. Of course, it was a backfire, caused by a worn connection to the spark plug, a condition that he was later able to remedy. But not before we had a few startled neighbors.
On Sunday we had a family picnic at the Garden of Eden. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that our Boston family would join us, too. Kate and Ken took their older son, Owen, back to UMass/Amherst on Friday for the start of his sophomore year. Then on Saturday they brought younger son, Robbie, with them for an overnight visit, and they joined the picnic on Sunday. Cousins Eric and Lucia Schwarz; nephew and neighbor Peter Schwarz and his wife, Kathy; Martha and Kirk Siegel, with Andrew; Kate, Ken, and Robbie Griffin; Cyndy, Paul, and Louisa Stancioff, as well as their Danish exchange student, Renée; the Inmans from Flat Road; and later Molly Siegel were all there to play croquet, eat burgers, franks, a variety of salads, and a blackberry crisp made by Martha, not to mention watermelon and ice cream.
It’s always lovely to have the youngest generation around and get caught up on their latest doings. Having an exchange student in the mix just adds to the fun. We also had a short visit from Chris Schwarz, on his way back to UMO for the year. Nick Schwarz and Caili Inman missed the party, because they were involved with activities at Gould Academy.
Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from Hollywood, Calif., last week. Ray Coulombe, who used to live on the Flat Road and now calls Tinseltown home, had a question about a birthday celebration I mentioned a while back, and I referred him to someone who, I hope, would be able to answer his query. Ray wishes to say a big hello to everyone who remembers him.
Word from Pauline Applin is that this past weekend was the winding down of the Grange’s flea market sales with Monday, Labor Day, being the last day. She says they'll be packing everything into storage until next July.
Grangers will now be turning their energies to displays at the fairs. Several members will be at Oxford County Fairgrounds on Sept. 10, 11, and 13, installing a display in the Ag building. Everyone is encouraged to visit the Agricultural Center at the fair. You will see fancywork, crafted items, baked goods, preserves, and all the “fruits of the harvest” from individuals, as well as Granges. The display hall will be open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Sept. 15-17, from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 18, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Seniors Day is Sept. 16 when seniors will be admitted at a reduced rate of $5.
This week the Outing Club was having a family outing on Songo Pond Monday evening, as well as a business meeting and potluck supper. Plans are under way for this year’s big ski sale, Oct. 29 and 30.
On Wednesday the Western Mountains Senior College held its annual meeting and class sign-up, followed by an old-fashioned summer camp-style picnic, including s’mores, and a sing-along. Good times were had by all.
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