Our Rural Roots

Sweet Tea and Summertime

One of the welcome signs of summer is sweet tea from a mason jar. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Meredith Bernard)

Far from the fury of winter giving way to spring, summer quietly pulls spring to a close, and with it come some of my favorite memory-making days. The schoolbooks officially close, and our children are free to roam and explore (with a healthy dose of chores, of course.)

As the summer days grow longer, they will once again be too short-lived. They are days of ATV rides to the creek bed with pups in tow, splashing our way over pebbles with eyes peeled for the occasional snake, and nets at the ready for the elusive crawfish.

The sweet smell of the now-empty silage pit is replaced with the even sweeter smell of freshly mown hay. Cows and calves will be worked in the corral and put out on fresh grass, happy to be free from the muddy lots they called home the last several months.

We'll work as a team finishing up planting and shuffling equipment from field to field for cultivating and applying fertilizer. Many a tailgate lunch of Beanie Weenies and nabs (that's Southern for crackers, y'all) will be shared, washed down with sweet tea from a mason jar, using condensation from the glasses to cool the perspiration on our brow.

The long, hot days will transition to muggy nights spent on the porch glider watching the kids chase lightning bugs in the yard and listening to the buzz of flies and a chorus of frogs almost too loud to speak over.

For all the hot and tiring work summer brings, without it, harvest would never come. And, without the memories these days end up holding, our story wouldn't be complete.

If winter is the bookends to each year, summer is the sweet glue that holds them all together. And for that, summer and all it brings with it is a welcome friend. (Well, minus the humidity and mosquitoes. I wouldn't mind if they forgot to visit.)


Editor's Note:

Blogger Meredith Bernard writes, takes photographs and soaks up summer from her North Carolina family farm. Follow her on Twitter @thisfarmwife and visit her website at www.thisfarmwife.com.