Pharos-Tribune

Columns

July 17, 2014

ABBOTT: Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high

Driving home from work for lunch I noticed a billboard for the county 4-H fair. How can it be that time already? How can summer be almost over when it just began? Is it a phenomenon of aging that time seems to move faster and faster?

When I was a child, we could not wait for school to be out. When I was very small, the end of school meant the opening of Lancaster’s Pool, our neighborhood swimming hole. School dismissed before Memorial Day, and mornings and evenings were still cool as days soon heated up.

June meant 4-H projects and club meetings, and summer vacations to Civil War battlefields and museums and national parks.

Weekends were peppered with trips to the lake — Lake Wawasee to my grandparent’s rustic fishing cottage when I was very small and day visits to Center and Pike lakes in Warsaw as a I grew older.

Weekends I often spent at the farm with my grandparents. Grammy had a huge garden and put up beans. I can’t say I was ever enamored with using a hoe, though I did enjoy snapping beans.

If I had an orthodontic appointment in Fort Wayne, my grandfather often took me. He had an office in Fort Wayne for his farm management business. On the way back from the dentist, we might stop to talk to four or five farmers and inevitably arrive home later for dinner. My grandfather often incurred the wrath of my grandmother, but enjoyed the undying respect of his customers.

I watched him closely as he reached his big hand out to shake hands with his customers. He was never a hugger, but taught my brother and me the proper way to shake hands and greet people. He asked his customers questions and stepped back from them and listened. He had an easy way about him, an engaging smile that drew you in and made you his friend for life. We often stood outside in a farmer’s lane for an hour, Grandpa talking and laughing and listening to what was happening in our community.

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