Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Catching Up

We meet again!

Another summer has come and shall soon be gone. The ferns in the field have begun to turn brown, and the treetops across the pond have the fintest tinge of red to them. Can it be?

Of course here in Maine they're already quoting the Farmer's Almanac. "Gonna be a bad one this year," says the woman at the antique shop on Congress Street. "They say heavy snow starting in October," she says, only it comes out as "stahhhting" and "Octobah." She continues, "They says it'll be snow through April."

We stare at each other silently, each picturing our own version of cold winter gloom.

I'm not ready, I never am. But we already have our bushels of potatoes, harvested from the garden and curing in the barn. I'm waiting for the onions to bow their heads in final surrender, which should come any day now. The peach tree, so fecund in the past, yielded just a handful this year. The green beans made up for it, prolific enough they were to feed a family of six.

We abandoned it all last week, speeding away suddenly in the dark of early morning, bags barely packed, to be with Clare's sister in the hospital. We both packed black, but by all forces of grace and luck, we didn't need to wear it.

Now comes the grand end to the summer, the Blue Hill Fair. Its creaky Ferris wheel punctuates the skyline, beribboned quilts and tomatoes and gourds proudly on display, hawkers urging you to step right up, just give it one try, win a prize for the little lady, one toss is all it takes. The bumper cars are my milieu, and I have big plans.

This is E.B. White's fair 62 years later, the outlines somewhat changed but the heart still intact. Last year I even spotted two plump happy little pigs snoozing in the shade. Wilbur?


Jen Hagan said...

So funny--I was having a coffee and decided to check my blogroll (which I hardly ever do) and what do I see but a post from Clara. So nice. Thanks for filling in some blanks from watching your posts from all over everywhere else. I hope Clare's sister is greatly on the mend. Bring on the autumn!

kmkat said...

Local TV station did a reality check on the Farmers Almanac weather prediction earlier this week. FA says they are 80%+ accurate, but reality is their predictions are in the 50% range, roughly equal to chance. So this winter will be whatever it will be, cold/not so cold, lots of snow/not so much snow, etc. As much as I have enjoyed summer, I'm ready to wear some woolies!

Lorna's Laces said...

Delightful to see you back. Glad all is right in the sister-in-law world.

MCC said...

Love the reference in this post to the Blue Hill Fair and E.B. White - it's been 20+ years since we've been able to get up that way, but the last trip was a pilgrimage that took us to Blue Hill, a drive past what was once E.B. White's house, and the same at the Wooden Boat School. Thanks for your new book and your blog; both so fine.