Saturday June 16, 2012

DALTON

J
une must be the favorite month of schoolchildren and teachers everywhere.

It certainly was mine, and things haven’t changed because I’ve traded in my eraser and chalk for a new laptop. June is still a very special month.

It’s special for more than one reason. We welcomed our younger son on June 6, 29 years ago. That was a memorable day. Traveling from Harwich to Jordan Hospital in Plymouth was an hour-long adventure; but not as worrisome as what we had projected. We figured we’d be stuck in Memorial Day traffic on the Sagamore Bridge, and had planned to call the State Police for help. We arrived uneventfully, and Michael Joseph made his appearance at 6 p.m.

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June is also notable for graduations, and we’ve seen our share. Something about a sea of colorful academic regalia and those crazy mortarboard caps turns a group of young adults into something amazing. Commencement focuses on the beginning of a new life, full of challenges and possibilities; but for most it is an abrupt end to years of fun and friendship with a few nerve-wracking exams thrown in for good measure.

June is full of beginnings: birth, graduation, vacation, and harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden. Surely, a surfeit of happiness. We are taking a few days off from our backyard staycation to visit a cousin who lives near the shore in Rhode Island. While we don’t miss the Cape traffic for a second, we do miss our proximity to fabulous fresh seafood, so we plan to eat our way through the days at local clam shacks, lobster shacks, and waterview restaurants. Once upon a time, my idea of fish was tuna noodle casserole or codfish cakes. Now, I turn up my nose at any seafood which comes canned or frozen, and that is all thanks to the men and women of the late, great Chatham Seafood Coop.

June’s garden bounty is beginning with snap peas -- the ones planted on St. Patrick’s Day. Strawberries are also coming to the table, if I don’t eat them in the garden as I walk along the rows. The raspberry crop looks to be prolific this year, as do the more recently planted blueberries. Bush beans and pole beans have been sown and squash and cukes are starting their race around the garden.

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Of course, the prima donnas of the garden -- which always take pride of place -- are the tomatoes. I have two new varieties this year: Early Annie and Oregon Spring. I always try something new: so many vegetables, so little time!

Finally, this is the month to honor Old Glory, which had its own special festival day on June 14. As a symbol of our country, the smartly waving flag reminds us of our American heritage and the patriotic history of many generations who have come to be called Americans in these United States. No country is without problems; but it is good to reflect on the strength and resilience of our countrymen and women down through the years.

The stars and stripes represent all loyal citizens who continue to strive as "one nation, under God" for "liberty and justice for all." June is a month so packed with momentous events and milestones, it’s a wonder they all can be jammed into 30 precious days. And let’s not forget the picnics, ball games, and fireworks, all leading up to the granddaddy of all celebrations on the Fourth of July.

So let’s all get out there and party like it’s 1965. We all know how fleeting the days of summer are; we can’t waste a single one.

Anne Horrigan Geary is a regular Eagle contributor.