All ears for cicadas, G7, fathers

Post 24/2021 Thursday 10 June . . . No cicada chorus has reached my ears yet. Let the boom begin. I will try to capture the sound if they indeed do crawl out of the ground in northern Indiana. We took an early walk today (to beat the heat) to the Goshen Dam, through the Beachy Forest, and back home on sidewalks and through the Goshen College campus. Just across 15th Street from Greencroft the Yoder family manages a pick-your-own strawberry patch, now in full swing. We stopped to pick two quarts, enjoying some at breakfast.

Oh, oh, oh, despite all the despicableness, devilry and nonsense afoot in the world, when is it ever warranted not to be grateful?


There’s a fine chorus stirring online (noted in last week’s blog). You’ll find children singing Gee Seven at May the G7 powers meeting in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, UK, June 11-13, be mindfully tuned to these young voices.

Apparently, weather conditions this morning (Thursday) prevented British PM Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden from crossing the tidal waters at Marazion to meet on St Michael’s Mount. Instead, they met at Carbis Bay. We know both locations well, having walked the 13 or so miles from Carbis Bay to Marazion at least a dozen times. May we, again, fair weather or not, get to do that wonderful St Michael’s Way walk from Lelant on the Atlantic coast to St Michael’s Mount in the English Channel.

I wonder, if besides talk, the G7 event includes singing? Would not that be a fitting way, with original lyrics, to sum up the deliberations? Seven world leaders singing in their own language? I can almost hear it.

Remembering Dad

Father’s Day lands on the first day of summer, June 20. I’m noting a few recollections of my Dad, Lloyd, and some of the memories he wrote about in 1983.

Lloyd and Leona were a farm couple who raised six children. Dad was enterprising, had a big appetite for work, transitioned from horses to tractors, listened every morning to the stock report, was church-minded, progressive, fortunate to have Mom as a spouse, and happily pursued a variety of hobbies in retirement. Before Dad and Mom took up farming in 1945, he had a number of jobs, including farmer’s market sales, operating a crusher at a quarry, and dump truck driver.

Problem solver: “My middle initial does not stand for a name; it’s just an initial. I gave myself the initial some years ago because mail addressed to L. Bender, would go to Lorne or Laverne. So I just added the initial so the mail would come to the right place without anyone else needing to open it first.”

Time for hobbies: In retirement Dad enjoyed repairing and selling horse-drawn wagons (buckboards). On one occasion he drove a buckboard with a borrowed team of horses in the New Hamburg Fall Fair. Other hobbies included auction sales, bowling, reading, woodworking, watching hockey on TV and youngest son, Mark, at the New Hamburg arena, and travel, including to relatives in Oregon and France.

Quarantine: “One time we were quarantined for scarlet fever. Clarence and I didn’t have it. The rest were in the house for four weeks. After it was over the house was disinfected with Sulphur. I don’t know how we got our meals, maybe from the neighbours. They had to do our milking. We had to stay away from the milk. We did the other chores.”

A Ford man: “After we were married in 1939 I got a Model T Ford. I bought it for $10. Then I bought the second one, also for $10. I made one car from the two. I took some parts from the one car to fix the other one, but could still drive both. I got an extra gear to put in the work car. It was called a roxel gear. With it the car had a lot more power. I could go through deep snow drifts then. I used the car during the week to drive to work and on Sundays we used the other one. It used to shine.”

Donor: I don’t know how long after my parents were married, maybe ten years, when Dad gave his wedding suit to Mennonite Central Committee for post-war relief. He put his name and address in one of the pockets. A good while later he received a letter from a gentleman in Poland who thanked him for the suit and said he had only just found the note after waiting until he had money to have it altered to a smaller size.

Two bumblebees have a “happy meal” at Café Thistle.

Jobs for his children: One job that Dad was keen to have us children carry out was hoeing or digging out thistles along the fence rows. It was not my favorite job, but we got it done. I thought of that when we came across a small crop of thistles this week on vacant land near where we live.

A final walk: Dad was able to stay at home on the farm in his latter years. One strong memory for me is walking with him to the end of the lane and back. It was winter and the snow and ice covered the lane. We donned various layers of clothing, Dad took his walker and off we went. We had no work or errand to attend to, just a slow walk in the brisk winter air. That was the last year, 1998, of Dad’s life.

Lloyd L Bender

Thanks, Dad, for the lessons of work, leisure and thoughtfulness toward others, especially those less fortunate. Siblings, grandchildren and great-grandchildren walk in your and Leona’s steps. We are blessed.

A couple days in LaGrange County last weekend

Swans swoon over Oliver Lake.
The stones at the back, to me, look like arms, head, knees and feet embracing a slim child maybe. An inuksuk (or inukshuk) historically represents a stone landmark or cairn built by indigenous peoples in the Arctic region of North America and Greenland.
May Monarch butterflies find these essential milkweed plants to lay their eggs and feed their young.
It looks like this turtle has dug a nest in the sand to lay eggs.
When a tree snaps in a storm one follow-up response is to carve something out of the trunk left standing.
Marty calls this, The Old Man and the Sea.
Country roads are country roads, slower, dusty, closer to the natural world.
The Woods Too Restaurant and Lighthouse Lounge at 6500 S. 1170 E., Hudson, Indiana, can be readily found via GPS. It was too hot for us to sit on the deck. It’s in the far eastern and southern reach of LaGrange County, just across the line from Steuben and Noble Counties. Good food, friendly service and location in a country setting make this one of our favorite places in that area.
Raking hay with horses.
Shopping for groceries at Miller’s Supermarket in LaGrange, Indiana.
A marsh at Oliver Lake offers a home to birds, turtles, rabbits and other wild creatures.

Back to today

This horse, at a small farm next to Beachy’s Classified Forest, repeatedly kicked at the shed gate. I presume he was knocking to get into the shed. We did not wait to find out more.
I like this tree trunk and stump at the Reith Interpretative Center, the farthest point on our walk this morning. I imagine it as a haven for insects and other creatures of the wild.

Happy New Moon day today at 10:53 UT (I had to look up Coordinated Universal Time, and still am not clear about how Sandford Fleming came up with calculating how to track UT time based on the Earth’s rotation). Sir Sandford Fleming (1827-1915) was a Scottish-Canadian engineer and inventor. Among his achievements was the design of Canada’s first postage stamp.

What wonders lie in the world we’ve inherited. Let us cherish the good from every era of time and add our best to it.

Time to call it a day (morning).

Solar light on the balcony at Oliver Lake. Stars beyond.


8 thoughts on “All ears for cicadas, G7, fathers

  1. I was given the task to take Dad for his drivers license tests after he turned 80 and then to celebrate we would go to Tim Hortons for coffee and a donut. Then one summer he said no more tests and was wise enough to know he was finished driving. Precious memories.


    1. So good to know about the responsibility to which you were “tasked.” To stop at Tims for a coffee and donut takes the cream of it, tooo. Keep noting your memories and come visit, maybe when I’m due for a drivers test. Maybe we’ll have flying cars by then.


  2. Interesting to learn that the G7 will be meeting in Carbis Bay, an area you know quite well from all your walks. I think Biden’s presence will be a unifying factor and strengthen this alliance.

    Please let us know when you hear the first cicadas!


    1. No cicadas sounding off at all around here as of 16 June. Yes, Carbis Bay got put on the map with G7. Hope the return of normal life there stays normal. All things normal and exciting to you and Ginger!


  3. Oh my goodness, I love the “Gee Seven” song from the Truro Cathedral, which we visited with you in 2019. We heard the choir then. It looks like for the video they removed all the pews.


    1. Who would have thought, Steve, that the wonderful sounds of the choristers from Truro Cathedral would reach our ears at the time of G7? Powerful message. Here’s hoping we can get back there in 2022. We hope sleepy small Carbis Bay will not have changed too, too much.


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