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August 21, 2014
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Root Cellar

My section of Route 97

Driving up Doyle’s Hill on New York Route 97 my ears start to pop. I’ve heard many people remark on this common experience, which happens as a result of the climb in elevation as they drive out of the town of Hancock along this scenic, old road.  Read more

The Age of Wants

My daughter wants to curl her hair. Like me, she has straight hair without a thought of wave. Without a working electric curling iron, we have resorted to an antique iron held in the gas stove burner. I’m learning again how to use this old fashioned gizmo so that the curls come out fat and springy. She bounces around the house, enjoying this foray into curly-haired beauty.  Read more

Easy winter living

I have a terrarium of moss and ferns that we planted in a glass domed cake plate—the type of plate you see upon a diner counter with a carrot cake inside. My terrarium sits in the middle of my kitchen table like a green island of spring. I like to lift the lid off the pedestal and breathe in its moist, pungent woodland smell. It is a world unto itself. We planted it so as to have some green in the winter months, but without the contrast of winter whiteness it doesn’t have quite the same effect.  Read more

Games children play

Most of the games children play seem to be “chase” games. Tag, of course, and capture the flag are standards. But then there are all kinds of animal-themed chase games like the self explanatory “bear,” or a game in which one kid pretends to be the shark from “Jaws” attacking “swimmers” on the lawn. “Spy zombie brain hunter” sounds more like a popular video game than the classic playground girl vs. boy runaround that it really is. They are all variations on the same timeless theme of “chase” and “catch.”  Read more

Scrap Seekers

Scrap metal collection isn’t just the domain of teenagers looking to make an extra buck anymore. In years past, there were always kids asking to haul away your junk for free. It was like the paper route job of rural kids.

But now, as scrap metal prices continue to rise and people are feeling the pinch of a difficult economy, scrap collection is turning into a full-time job. It’s an interesting development in our local economy.  Read more

November kayak ride

The weather turned warm again, so after school recently Becky, Sam and I went for a kayak ride across Nevin’s pond. For Sam and I, it might be the last ride until next spring. My dear friend Becky typically takes her last ride the day after Thanksgiving when she pulls the kayaks out of the water and brings them home for winter storage. It is not your usual “Black Friday” tradition but a tradition nonetheless.  Read more

Say ‘cheese’

Last week I made mozzarella cheese. It put a new spin on the old nursery rhyme. Now I know what “curds and whey” really are.  Read more

New rooms

This summer we rearranged our house from top to bottom so that our daughter, Lily, could have her own bedroom. It involved a lot of sorting and throwing out—along with many trips to the Salvation Army and the town dump. My old poem notebooks, the napkin rings and the snow cone maker, all those little Batman toys and even some stuffed animals got the heave-ho. We had the vintage speakers from the record player appraised and gave away a lot of old photographs.  Read more

Fawns and farm animals

There was a tent at the Wayne County Fair off on a side alley where kids could pet and feed little deer fawns for three dollars. You could purchase a photo of your child with the fawns for $10 or pay extra to go in to take a photo with your own camera. It was a popular tent. Mostly the clientele was toddlers with their mothers. Babies petting babies.  Read more

Daylily days

Daylily days

Once you start to notice them, daylilies are everywhere. They grow thick on roadside banks and in fields. See a few here or there around a mailbox, lining a front porch or around an old gravestone. Their lush, tawny-orange flowers bloom and wither in one day.

So we have arrived at this moment. The sign at the Long Eddy Firehouse on Route 97 says: “Enjoy the summer—it’s short.” It reminds me that I should try to make the most of these daylily days of summer.  Read more