I was driving back from an out of town open house today and noticed a sign saying, “Fresh Sweet Corn for Sale”. I drove past and and decided to turn around and purchase some. From the time it was in my car, I could smell the freshness. Many memories of past years summer afternoon and evening gatherings I have attended offering some of the most scrumptious of meals. Some of my favorites have always been oven fried chicken, barbecued ribs, corn on the cob with real butter and salt,baked beans, fresh summer salad made with shredded cabbage, onions, peppers, and tomatoes; of course grilled hamburgers, baked potatoes, real dill pickles, home made lemon bars and anything else that was worthy of free space left on the picnic tables. People seem to be more causal with conversation as well a a bit more filled with mirth. Then everyone gets into the spirit of the celebration of summer, there seems to build a level of real enjoyment with each others jokes, laughter, teasing and counter-teasing. The raging wit that sometimes comes out from the mouths of normally the quieter ones is often the most delightful.
I’ve noticed these past years that many people who attend summer gatherings don’t stay very long. The affairs seem to be too formal and the attendants more guarded with their interaction with others. I don’t stay very long at gatherings like those as they tend to quickly become tedious. There seems to be the lack of storytelling among participants; likely because they fear saying something that’s not politically correct. Everyone has to let their hair down and go shoeless. Getting into the whole experience of summer includes awakening all the senses. To smell the barbecue grill, to feel the soft grass between your toes, to see the collage of all shapes and faces, and to savor the goodness of summer’s fare.