two thousand twenty
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SUBMITTED by Carol Elaine Deys, Our Common Heritage (17-Aug-2010)

I don't know about you, but I can never seem to get enough strawberry shortcake. Luscious red fruit piled high on our morning cereal or a dish with cold milk and sweet sugar just waiting to be devoured on the nights when the munchies hit around 10:00 p.m. are experiences to be treasured along life's way. How do you feel when someone hands you a beautiful quart basket filled with these rubies of the earth? I feel just plain blessed! Did you know that the inspiration for strawberry shortcake can be traced to the Native Americans who prepared a sweetened bread from strawberries and cornmeal? At least, that is the story that I once heard.

We took a ride east on Route 31 last month and saw a planned celebration of fireworks for the 14th of June - Bastille Day in the old country. I heard that when gunpowder was accidentally discovered in China over 2000 years ago (and I would believe beyond that), that this prompted the first man-made fireworks. In the beginning they were more like extended candles with a yellowish glow. When the 19th century rolled around, pyrotechnicians were able to produce red, green and blues. isn't it amazing the sky works that we see today? All over our area in the country people gather to not only celebrate our mutual heritage, but also to gaze in wonder at the kaleidoscopes of color that hold each and every one of us - from the very young to a bright and shining one hundred years of age - hypnotized by their flamboyant show. Would it be so that the only sky fires would be for celebration!

1845 - A year to remember! An estimated four thousand boats passed through the Erie Canal. If my math is correct, that is an average of almost twenty-two a day for the six months it probably was open. That was long before the eighteen wheelers of today. Along with the canal boats came the Irish immigrants who laid the first rails for the New York Central Railroad. With all of the new construction going on around here it looks like history is now recycling its impact at a brand new level of encouraged direction. Let it be so!

By the time this letter reaches you, we will be well on our way towards longer nights and shorter days. The rhythm of life will silently start to shift towards the beckoning fall, and we shall find ourselves hungry for pumpkin pies, cider and freshly sugared donuts. The strawberries will be in the freezer if we are very lucky, and the late corn, summer squash and crisp green beans will be enthusiastically received on our dinner tables. There will still be plenty of fishing to do, and long leisurely bike rides dowm some of our beautiful canal trails...and we shall be thankful for all that has been provided for us - friends, home and extended families despite ALL rumors to the contrary. Take precious care, each and every one of you. Celebrate the day!


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