Lebanon Reporter

Columns

June 27, 2014

Summer ramblings and thoughts of cooler times

Oh, I think I’d rather have cold weather than all of this murky, sticky and sultry weather. I would not have thought that would be the case back in January and February. Of course, it would be rather difficult to grow flowers and vegetables with a foot of snow on the ground, and diving into Lebanon’s new pool could be a bit painful if diving in with a thick layer of ice covering the surface of the water. Just imagine, the weed epidemic that my garden is suffering from would be just an unpleasant memory. Mosquitoes would most likely be grounded, since they would have a severe icing problem on their wings. But wouldn’t lightning bugs give a unique and different aspect to a winter’s night. I could just imagine seeing the glow of their tiny bodies reflecting on the pristine snow.I saw something the other day that I surely wouldn’t see in the dead of winter. A sparrow dived down and picked up a cigarette butt off of the road and flew away with it in its beak. I’m surprised that I didn’t see him with a pack of cigarettes tucked under his wing. What was even more enjoyable happened early Sunday morning while I was sitting, I mean sweating, on our patio. I observed a honey bee working diligently inside one of our flowers gathering nectar and collecting pollen all over his body. He was very efficient as he worked his way from flower to flower in our tire-shaped planter box.I have always enjoyed watching Mother Nature as she goes about her daily task of keeping things in order on our planet. But something happened a couple of weeks ago that has caused me to take a closer look at everything around me. One Saturday evening I was taking Ginger (our dog) for a bathroom break, and as I came off of my ramp I was suddenly and violently thrown from my electric buggy. Before I knew it, several neighbors had come to my rescue along with my wife and Ginger. I ended up taking a ride in one of our ambulances to Witham’s E.R. just to make sure nothing was broken. During the process of running several tests, the doctor saw something that concerned him in the CAT scan that he had ordered. He told my wife and me that I should seek advice from our personal doctor, so that hopefully she could rule out cancer in my pelvic bone. Luckily after taking a few days to find an MRI machine that would fit my girth, I was informed that I had no signs of cancer. But I do have a severe case of arthritis.I guess like with most people, when I was faced with the possibility of my demise, it woke me up to the fact that my time might be short, and I should pay more attention to my surroundings. Maybe that isn’t really true and I pay more attention to details that surround me because I have a lot of free time these days. I guess none of what I have said really matters one way or another, and I should just keep enjoying all that God has created.I nearly destroyed some of God’s delicious fruits last month when I got the hairbrained idea to spray weed killer on the weeds in my tomato garden instead of manually hoeing. I thought I had protected anything edible by using a cardboard box to block any over-spray. Well, a few days later I began to notice the familiar signs that I had made a mistake. Many of my plants had begun to show a sickening yellow color that gradually killed many of the new leaves that had just begun to take hold. Thank goodness for fertilizer and lots of water. I think most of the plants will survive.I spied some raspberries growing along the train track this week, and they are gradually beginning to ripen. I only wish that I could reach them so that my lovely wife could make me a fresh raspberry cobbler. I used to love to spend hours at a time picking those deliciously tender fruits that inhabit many of our abandoned train tracks and the edges of our vanishing woodlands. When I was a boy, I used to take my dog Prince with me to pick berries, partly because I felt he would protect me, but mostly because I loved hanging around with him. He was my best buddy, but just like ourselves, the tomatoes and berries of summer, he and my other dogs can not last forever.Email Raymond Snoke at shark_guy2@yahoo.com.

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