Tag Archives: Gladys Taber

It Hardly Needs to Be Said

IMG_9804First and foremost, a very happy fifth wedding anniversary to my daughter Shannon and to my son-in-law Mike.  It hardly needs to be said that they are my favorite couple, but sometimes it is good to state what is so obvious. They will be coming over on Sunday for a special meal, and we are even going to grill steak for them, a rare treat as we seldom eat beef. We’ll also have grilled bread, Farmer Kev’s red potatoes, Stevenson’s corn on the cob, and cake, of course. An August meal. And such a lovely month in which to be married.

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I am reading Glady’s Taber’s Stillmeadow Seasons, published in 1950. For years, Taber lived in Stillmeadow, a 1690 farmhouse in Connecticut.  Gladys Taber wrote many nonfiction books that followed the seasons at Stillmeadow, and her writing revolved around nature, home, food, dogs, and family. Sometimes she would add a dash of social commentary, mostly progressive: “There are many things we cannot do—we cannot make all people rich, or intelligent, or noble—but all people should be fed.” Is it any wonder that she is one of my favorite writers?

Here is a link to the Gladys Taber entry in Wikipedia, and it provides a bibliography of her work.

In the summer, I usually read on the patio when I have my afternoon tea, and that is where, appropriately enough, I am reading Stillmeadow Seasons. As always, my reading is interrupted by all that is going on. I watch mourning doves patrol the lawn until Liam chases them, and they fly away. I watch the trees, in summer deep green, move as the wind blows. Above them, is a bit of bright blue sky.

A bit of bright blue sky above the patio
A bit of bright blue sky above the patio

The grasshoppers seem to know it’s August and have begun their buzzing song. I have come to associate this sound with August, and I look forward to hearing it every year.  At night, the crickets, with their high, sweet song, take over. I have heard some acorns drop—not many—just enough to remind me that fall is around the corner.

Along with the falling acorns, there are other reminders that fall is coming—the gardens are starting to look a little ragged, but along the edge of the woods, the jewelweed twinkles like tiny lanterns. Jewellweed can be fairly invasive, and I have to pull it back to give the other woodland plants some space. But what a welcome glow it is in August.

A little jewelweed lantern
A little jewelweed lantern

Then there was this: The other day, in Rite Aid, I was looking for Hershey bars to tuck away for s’mores for when Dee comes to visit in a couple of weeks. A woman, who was also eyeing the candy, said to me, “They’ve got Thanksgiving decorations out.”

“Get out of here,” I replied.

“Look up,” she said.

Sure enough, along the top shelf above the candy, was a row of ceramic pumpkins, scarecrows, and other fall decorations.

“I don’t know about you,” I said. “But I’m not thinking about Thanksgiving yet. No way.”

She laughed. “Me, neither.”

No, no, and no. We still have half a month of beautiful August to enjoy, and after that, September, which in recent years is nearly as nice as August.

Autumn and Thanksgiving will come soon enough. No need to rush them.