A flower, a book, a five-year-old cheddar

This curb- appeal-flower has survived in front of our house for more than a month. I've no idea how it came to be. One neighbor thinks it's from a bird. Tree and shrub trimmings wait for the city to pick up.
This curb- appeal-flower has survived in front of our house for more than a month. I’ve no idea how it came to be. One neighbor thinks it’s from a bird. Tree and shrub trimmings wait for the city to pick up.

8-8-2015–It looks like a petunia, but what is it? It’s a flower that has grown where only weeds tend to grow. I think of flowers of the field, but here it’s  flower of the avenue. As I write rain has started to fall; drink up curb-side bloomer.

For a few years I’ve worked off and on at getting rid of books from our library. That would be boxes and boxes of books that have gone to charity shops, used bookstores, extended family and friends, and 10 boxes to the library at Indiana State Prison. Pruning is getting harder. More will move out the door as will some paintings and prints. We’re getting ready to move to smaller quarters, but not imminently. An upside of the exercise is selecting, book by book, the ones, for various reasons, we treasure and count as dear friends and want to keep.

One such book is On the Art of Writing, by Sir Arthur Quiller Couch, published in 1916. He was Fellow of Jesus College and King Edward VII Professor of English Literature. The book records the series of lectures he gave at the University of Cambridge in 1914. Where I found it I don’t know. I think I got it in the 1970s. In the Preface he writes, “”It amounts to this–Literature is not a mere Science, to be studied; but an Art, to be practiced,. Great as is our own literature, we must consider it as a legacy to be improved. Any nation that potters with any glory of its past, as a thing dead and done for, is to that extent renegade.” Such gold survives in texts of old. Let’s hear from those who work to better Shakespeare or, as Sir Arthur notes, “some part of him.” I was pleasantly surprised some time back on visiting Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, UK, to find Sir Arthur buried there. Keep Calm and Sort On.

The cheddar, oh the tasty cheddar, comes from the Bright Brand Cheese & Butter Company in Bright, Ontario. We stopped at the factory on Tuesday on our way home from visiting family and friends. They’ve been making naturally-aged cheese and butter since 1874.We also picked up some cheese curds, dill and garlic quarter, and butter tarts. I think I know what I’ll have for dinner tonight.

In Ontario we stayed with niece Amy and husband Al Harder and family in Cambridge. We were able to take walks from their home each morning. We enjoyed lunch and an afternoon with brother Sandy and sister-in-law Joy in Guelph, a day with Ray and Marianne Schlegel that included a play at the Blyth Festival, Sunday afternoon with extended family that included brother Mark and sister-in-law Christa in the area briefly from their teaching/living post at Bavarian International School and a scrumptious dinner at brother Brian and sister-in-law Vivian’s home in New Hamburg. . Mark and Christa’s son John Lloyd was home from teaching three years in Korea; he’s now teaching third grade at BIS. What grand days! I have to comment, yet,  on the zoom, zoom traffic on Highway 401–well, it’s not a slow down and smell the roses drive, even on the August 1 civic holiday. We took mostly secondary roads where you could drive for some distance at night on high beam.

Manufacturing cheese and butter near Bright, Ontario Canada, since 1874. The factory has an outlet in Shakespeare.
Manufacturing cheese and butter near Bright, Ontario Canada, since 1874. The factory has an outlet in Shakespeare.

On the way home we stopped at a roadside stand for Michigan Red Haven peaches, sweet corn, tomatoes and juicy plums. Some of those will be part of dinner tonight–with the cheese. Reminds me of a sign I saw at the Cheese Lady shop in Muskgeon, Michigan three weeks ago: “Stay Calm and Eat Cheese.” Some of the peaches ended up in a cobbler Marty baked for guests Willard and Alice Roth who came to dinner on the deck on Thursday.

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Willard and Alice Roth, coffee after cobbler.

Coffee on the Piazza today again proved just the right touch as part of a Saturday morning walk. The musicians play from the loggia (l-o-ge, a covered passage something like a pergola) while we listeners occupy the  piazza. Ruthmere is a 1910 Beaux Arts Mansion built to overlook the St. Joseph River, The concerts continue through August. Ah, it’s dinnertime. See you in the funnies. Thank God for family, friends, flowers, books, and, yes, factories that practice the science and art of making fine cheese and butter. -John

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