Saturday, August 04, 2012

Summer Days With the Smuckers

Bright sunshine and a warm breeze.  Balers zipping around golden fields.  The first walnuts dropping.  Sprinklers constantly watering.  Weary, filthy guys shuffling in the back door and washing up in the bathroom.  Over 5,000,000 pounds of seed hauled in to our warehouse but once again the magic number of 6,000,000 was not attained.

But that's entirely ok.

The other day I was working in the kitchen and heard Paul's heavy footsteps come in the back door and then left into the bathroom, where I heard him rattling around, washing up, and then he came into the kitchen, where I was standing right by the counter cutting out a dress and concentrating on that but aware of him out of the corner of my eye.

I was a millimeter away from reaching out to give him a hug [or worse] as he walked by when I realized it was not Paul.

It was a son whom I won't name who walks and washes up just like his dad, and looks like him out of the corner of one's eye, even though he may or may not be an actual biological son.

The son and I both found this alarming, the son more so than me I think.

Speaking of scary.

A few weeks ago there was some thunder and lightning rumbling and flashing in the hills.  I was thrilled.

Of course it wasn't anything like a good old Midwestern thunderstorm, but still a satisfying taste.

I heard someone talking about this a few days later.  He was a grown man, in his 40s I'd guess, with his full mind.  He finds thunder just really scary.  Even a slight rumbling in the hills--that's just too much.  And a real Iowa-style summer storm with thunder right overhead and lightning cracking all around, which he may have experienced once, that's just plain go-off-the-rails terrifying.

Oregon is a different universe, in some ways, from the rest of the country.

Just fyi, I decided not to teach Vacation Bible School.  I am happy with that decision.

Yesterday I spoke to a group of small-town mayors and city employees at the Harrisburg gazebo.  The city manager of Harrisburg introduced me by saying, "You know, in Hollywood they follow the Kardashians, and in Harrisburg, we follow the Smuckers."

It was clever, I grant, and he is a nice guy who meant well and who was listening well in speech class when they said Make your introductions interesting.  He had no way of knowing that I am so nauseated by the Kardashians that I deliberately avoid reading anything about them in the same way that I swerve around road kill on my bike.

So to be mentioned in the same sentence was hard on my pride.

Yesterday a group of cousins went swimming in the creek with Jenny and ended up at our house playing games in that wonderful way that these things happen in the summertime along Muddy Creek.

I love an Oregon summer, and young cousins making memories with no clue that they're making memories.


  1. I'm with you about the Kardashians; I avoid them when I can. You, and your family, are the complete a breath of fresh air!

  2. Here in the Midwest we had one of those cracking lightning, rolling thunder kind of storms come through tonight. I loved it! Even though I got soaked as I was trying to finish mowing the lawn (and didn't QUITE make it). We've had far too few of those storms this summer, so it was a real treat!
    The QOTD cracked me up!

  3. The Baritone8/04/2012 8:40 PM

    2 years ago, when I travelled East with Gospel Echoes, we got into a storm in Kansas that had me wondering if the bus would tip over. The rain was going almost clear sideways from the wind, and the driver actually had to stop on the road because it was impossible to see more than 5 FEET in front of the bus for a couple of minutes! Normally I enjoy T-storms, but being in the middle of that one - even though I was in a dry vehicle - worried me a little. Otherwise, I have enjoyed every T-storm I've been, that I can remember. :-)

  4. I would have forgotten that OR doesn't have those loud, ferocious thunderstorms of the Mid West! They just don't understand what they're missing! :-)