Goodbye July

Featured image: The Regulator clock keeps up with the time in the narthex and library at Cassel Mennonite Church. My grandparents, Solomon and Rachel, were for many years caretakers for the church and wound this clock each Sunday morning.


Cogitation 31 Friday 3 August 2018   Saying “goodbye” in person often includes a hug.

Bidding farewell to the seventh month of the year, though, requires a virtual embrace. That means figuratively putting arms and mind around the 31 days just gone by–and musing about the longer ago, including ancient names for July,

In Dutch, July was known as hay-month. In old Saxon as the month when cattle were turned out to pasture. In the French Revolutionary calendar as harvest month (19 June to 18 July).

July was named by Mark Anthony in honor of Julius Caesar–a bit of history way beyond my intentions in saying goodbye to July 2018. Sometimes one has to let the mind wander far afield to come to terms with the present.

My main focus in the month gone by was family/friends. Together we face the loss of Brian–sibling, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend. Our time with, and hearing from, family and friends has been heartwarming and reassuring. Goodbyes were wrapped in the word’s ancient meaning (late 16th century) of “God be with you.” Thanks to all. Peace to you and to your house.

Photos in this salute to the close of July include blooms, bridges, birds, and, ahem, members of the extended Bender clan.


Blooms from the last week in July

Are these seats taken? Photo from a Master Gardener-tended rest stop along I69 in eastern Michigan.




This classic bridge spans the Nith River in New Hamburg, Ontario.
Main bridge to downtown New Hamburg.
The New Hamburg Heritage Waterwheel in Scott Park opened on October 8, 1990. The 50-foot wheel was built to commemorate the first industries in the area–mills–which were powered by water diverted from the Nith River. Water spouting from a pipe turns the wheel. 
View to the bridge from the footpath on the north side of the Avon River in Stratford, Ontario.


Extended family

Fire pit, with pizza, at the home of sister-in-law Vivian.
Plank ends from the barn on the farm where we siblings grew up help cook the sweet corn.
I was put in charge of boiling the sweet corn, a Mmm, Mmm staple in celebrating July birthdays on 28 July  (brother Brian would have been 71 on 27 July; he passed away July 10). It was also a “Welcome Home” event for Mark and Christa after ten years at Bavarian International School in Haimhausen, Germany.
Corn, sausage–or veggie–burgers, salads, and desserts made for a memorable feast.


Sashay along the Avon in Stratford, Ontario

Tucked in for a nap on the Avon.
Is this a gull convention or just a convenient roost on the roof of the William Allman Memorial Arena?
DSCN6089 (2)
Not anxious at all about takng flight from its lunch plate as walkers pass by.


Homeward bound

A field of sunflowers in Ontario.

On our return home from Ontario we took secondary roads for a good stretch. These former main highways brought countryside and village into view. The roadsides were distinguished with more wild than mown verges.

Our road took us through Flint. We saw signs of hard times, but also the central presence of the University of Michigan-Flint satellite campus, an expansive health center complex, and neat neighborhoods.

Oh yes, the corn in this Michigan field gulps water. and sometimes shares a hefty cannon load over the road.
One of our hydrangeas welcomed us home, proclaiming itself to be a late bloomer.
Two bows, Thursday evening, after a storm.

If it has to be so, goodbye.


5 thoughts on “Goodbye July

  1. Our cl0ck on the Pike Church wall didn’t keep the preachers from keeping onnnnnnnnnnnn. And the preachers who responded felt they needed their time. I’m glad Pr. St doesn’t call for so many to give their thoughts about the sermon. We have time to ponder. I like the picture of THE OLD CLOCK, I’m hungry for a ‘ROASTING EAR”, and some “Family Hugs.’


  2. Thanks, John. Your sweet corn boil over the open fire looks great. One of the joys of harvest and summertime!

    Monty & Ginger



  3. Your double good-by to July and Brian is beautiful with words, pictures, and family. A sweet memory for family and friends.
    …just another thought from Monty and Ginger


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