Summer’s bounty

There’s only so much one can eat.  While sailing through the countryside today for a Sunday afternoon drive I revered the sight of the yellow-crowned emerald corn stalks reaching to the blue sky, row on row, up and down the expansive fields. But the thought of having to struggle with bits between my teeth after gnawing on a fresh cob of boiled corn rapidly diluted the romanticism of the project. There are so many less preposterous ways to dine! Anyway the more pressing obstruction is that for two people living alone there just isn’t the threshold for nature’s summertime bounty.  At roadside stands the crops are persuasively sold in bulk from the piles of freshly gathered vegetables. The measure of my daily consumption is plotted in halves of tomatoes, half a green pepper and half an English cucumber. Besides if I had much more I’d have no place to store them properly. The best I can do to subscribe to summer’s bounty is to look at the grocer’s for the Ontario label and grab what’s available.

It was peculiarly quiet on the highways and byways today.  I know it is a Sunday and for that reason things are normally less busy, but a glance at the golf club made me curious.  While I certainly haven’t a ledger of how packed the club house parking lot normally is on a Sunday afternoon, the place looked to me to me abnormally unpopular.  A quick look inside the clubhouse further disclosed that the kitchen was closed. Perhaps the impending rain forecast had succeeded to diminish enthusiasm for a game.  But in the past hour of driving about the countryside, to Renfrew County and back, there was no rain and the sky had started to open.  But the day was getting late, it was after four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon.  I didn’t bother dipping into the Pro Shop to ask.  What did it matter?  If we find tomorrow morning the patio is closed for breakfast, we’ll simply go elsewhere.

Whether the fair will transpire on the agricultural grounds – or for that matter at the Village of Middleville – this year is another of the perfervid questions in my mind. The pandemic has already transformed the way many events are managed. The thought of crowds at almost any congregation – whether galleries, museums, theatres, places of worship, fraternities, funerals or fairs – is not something to which we are even remotely drawn. We’ve managed thus far to maintain a mocking veneer of urbane involvement at the grocer store, the pharmacy and along the bicycle paths. The chats and socializing are always conducted at a distance and with a degree of embarrassment.

In our limited domain the increasing gossip is that venturing into the United States of America is subject to prolonged limitation. This has naturally caused the reversal of other associated agenda affecting people within our immediate sphere. The business of reshuffling residency every six months between countries is a studied art, including not only what to do but also what not to do.  Many of the humdrum domestic decisions have far-reaching consequences. Nearly all the essentials have time limits, the alteration of which precipitates buckling and sometimes urgency. Over the years we’ve been straddling the borders we’ve learned to purify the transition by eliminating surplusage. The paramountcy of the departure soon evolved. It was invariably thankfully echoed at the other end.