Friday, August 01, 2014



I had a choice of two seats this morning.  My recliner or the Jeep.  It was a no brainer so Pheebs & I were on the road before 9 a.m.  Figured I'd answer a question I surprisingly have never been asked.  How come Kelly doesn't go with you & Pheebs on these country drives?  Well, let me answer that for any of you who have probably wondered but never asked.  Poking around on back country roads is not exactly everyone's idea of spending a couple of enjoyable hours.  But enjoyable to me it is.  Kelly's idea of spending a couple relaxing hours is sitting quietly reading.  Of course that doesn't work for me.  I like the outdoors & wide open spaces.  Plus if Kelly comes along with us guys Pheebs doesn't get to sit in the front seat.  End of explanation………………….
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I guess the real reason for my country drives is simply a form of self therapy.  It's the only thing that seems to temporarily quell my restlessness during the summer months.  Gives me something to do I enjoy doing plus I know how much the Pheebs loves her Jeep rides.  We were out for about 4 & a half hours today with about half a dozen stops along the way.

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It's been an unusual summer weather season & it's very noticeable in the countryside.  Usually by the first of August vegetation is beginning to take on a hard look.  Leaves are a darker green with lawns & grasses generally browning from heat & lack of water.  Even the country roads are not dusty this summer.  Due to excess rain showers it looks to me like the farmers are going to have a bumper crop of everything.  The beans & corn are looking so green.  Corn is tasseling already.  Waving fields of golden wheat are now being harvested.  There just does not seem to be any signs of stress on anything this year.  And I've noticed the creeks & rivers are flowing well. No stagnant water in the creek beds.  I have a feeling Autumn colors could be a little later this year. 

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I particularly took note once again of all the fine looking farms that line our rural roads.  The landscaping, the flower beds, sweeping lawns looking like golf courses.  Houses, barns & out buildings looking like something one might find in the pages of Homes & Gardens.  Large farm machines looking like they were just driven home from the showroom.  Nice vehicles in the driveways.  Farm properties & their owners sure have come a long way from when I was a kid when run down & derelict looking farms were more the norm.  One can pick any country road they like here in Southern Ontario & drive for miles enjoying what the farmers of today have done with their farms & properties.

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I have also come to the conclusion one of the things that attracts me so much to the countryside is the wide open spaces & the ability to see for miles & miles over hill & dale.  It is one of the very things that attracts both Kelly & I year after year to the great South-West's sweeping vistas & never ending skies.   As cozy as our place is here in the Pine forest I so very much miss the open night skies, sunrises, sunsets & big fluffy white clouds in azure blue sunny skies.  I miss seeing storms & weather patterns traveling by.  When we lived in the old farmhouse years ago we enjoyed watching lightning based storm fronts moving inland miles to the south of us.  And then there are those great country smells & sounds.  New mown hay, cattle lowing in the fields.  Horses, the sounds of chickens & roosters.  And I have always liked the smell of a cattle barn or that fresh air smell after a passing storm.  Yes, it's where I find some contentment for a few hours each week.



Archive Memory::  In July of 2011 I wrote this about my memories as a young Boy.  Heating water on an old cast iron coal/wood stove for washing, once a week baths, bringing in water from a pump outside, coal oil lamps for when the electricity went off as it frequently did, no television, wind up clocks, buckled galoshes on cold winter feet , a hand crank phone on the wall, pee pots under the bed, wooden sided refrigerator where you put a big block of ice in the top part, no such thing as a supermarket & fish was pedaled on Fridays by a man pushing a wagon around my little home town of Tavistock Ontario, Canada.  Knives could be sharpened the same way & milk was delivered by a horse drawn wagon.  I can still see our local happy smiley faced chicken farmer standing just inside our door with his wooden basket of freshly killed chickens.  A folded white cloth covered 2 or 3 at a time & that is how my Mother selected & bought our meat in those days.  A big old wooden floor model radio was the main source of entertainment in our house & my Mother, my Grandfather, my Uncle Fred & I would gather around it Sunday night's for 'Our Miss Brooks, Fibber McGee & Molly, the Great Gildersleeve & many other great old time radio shows. Arthur Godfrey in the mornings, Gunsmoke & Gangbusters on Saturday nights. Friday night boxing matches sponsored by Gillette.  We had an old crank up Victrola which could play big round 78 RPM records.  I listened to those records over & over. My Mother could play piano by ear & it was always a great treat for me to sit on the piano bench beside her as she played my favorite, Greensleeves. Our house always had music in it & I'm very grateful for that to-day. Whether it was the radio, the Victrola, my Mother on piano my Grandfather bought one day or an old record player years later, there was always music in the house. To this very day I still surround myself with music from dawn to dusk. Sometimes I would like nothing better than to just climb aboard a time machine to go back & turn on that big old wooden floor model Crosley radio again.  I'd like to tune in Amos & Andy & gather round in the living room with my Mother, my Grandfather, & my Uncle Fred to listen & laugh once more to a simple humor that is all but lost now. A way of life, a way of family, a way of remembering.  And some days those old memories just keep on coming & coming......and I like that:))


GROANER’S CORNER:((  I walked into the music store to buy a CD of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto.  I found the Hiphop, R&B, Country and Jazz sections, but no area where I might look for Rachmaninoff.  "Excuse me," I said to a young store clerk. "Do you have a classical section?"  After a brief hesitation, he asked, "You Elvis?"


  1. That description of your location is very similar to where I live here in the "tropics" of southern Indiana. Lately those nighttime insect noises are what is keeping me awake. I admit I like the smell of a fresh cut yard or hay but I'm not real wild on the smell of cow farms or in my case, the turkey farms up two fields behind me.

    Maybe the hounds and I need to start those local trips through the area to calm down my restlessness.

  2. We love our drives in the country, although it has been too hot here lately ( mostly 90+ F) to enjoy much of anything outside. Love your description of the sights and smells of the country. We had thunder and lightening here last night but no rain to go with it. Sure would like some of your nice summer weather!! Glad you and Pheebs get out to enjoy those drives.

  3. The country drives are our favourite, this weekend in the city not our favorite place to be, but we have fun with the family.

  4. I love the wide open spaces too!
    The last picture that is black and white with the single purple flower is very pretty!

  5. Well you sure got a great pic of this cranky looking crow along the way. And I love all those other country-side pictures. Gives a good impression of summer in southern Ontario. And your little-boy-memories, yeah I have them too. So much has changed. Some to the better, but much has gotten lost as well. Well we still have it up in our heads - a memory.

  6. Enjoyed the photos of the country homes and their nicely maintained lands - it's always uplifting to see an area doing well and feeling good. A redwood forest is one of my most favorite environments, I could spend hours in the shaded peace. But I couldn't live there, as I too need "to see up and out".


  7. Like those farm pictures, really nice to see, often lawns and flowers weren't a priority.

  8. " cranky looking crow"

    Where is Judy, The Bird Lady of Blogland, when needed; looks like a blue heron to me.

  9. Ahmmm, looks like you have been 'busted' on THE CRANKY LOOKING CROW... Don't feel bad, everything I know about birding, I learned at KFC!!

    Sure can relate to those memories, and the sounds/smells/tranquility of country life. Miss it sometimes, but things change and IT is not IT anymore!!! Just the memories remain.