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Finneran: Don’t Blink

Friday, June 22, 2018


Don’t blink!

Grandparents already know this rule of life.

Blink once or twice and that tiny newborn in your arms is asking for the keys to the car. Once an infant totally dependent on you for everything, she’s now independent enough to engage the world on her own terms. She only needs your car and your cash.

Don’t blink.

Once upon a time that little girl with gorgeous hair and that beautiful smile only had eyes for you. You were the center of her universe, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end of her world. Now she has a million friends---classmates, teammates, beach buddies---so many friends that it’s hard to keep track of them. They are the new center of her growing world. Along with your car and your cash...............

Don’t blink.

Surely you know that today is June 22nd.  For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, our daylight hours have already begun to shrink, starting their remorseless march to December’s winter solstice. Huh? It seems so unfair. A small part of April and all of May seems so exhilarating, so full of promise, so full of light, gliding into June. And then June reminds us—don’t blink.

So here’s to June, a celebratory toast to a beautiful month. Long days, beach days, deck days, cookout days. The furnace is quiet now! I don’t have to check the ten-day forecast for the next Canadian Clipper zooming down from the North or the next low pressure area forming off the Carolinas. I can put away the snow shovels (and the Christmas lights)! I have forgotten the price of heating oil.

Now I check the ten-day forecast for golfing opportunities. Now I check the tide chart so I can plan a kayaking day with the kids. By the way, IMHO, the very best tides are at 6:00 or 7:00 o’clock for I can go enjoy a very quiet peaceful morning swim anytime from about 5:00 AM  ‘til 9:00 AM and then come back in the early evening to do it all over again. The morning swim let’s me capture the sunrise and the evening swim lets me capture the sunset. Heavenly stuff.

You know who understands the rapid passage of time? God’s creatures---honeybees, chipmunks, squirrels, bears. They use these bountiful days to the max, loading in stores that will carry them through the harsh New England winter. The bears—Ursa garbage disposals--will eat anything, simply packing on as much weight as possible before their hibernation. The bees and chipmunks and squirrels are hoarding as much as they can into their hives and burrows. Those hives, those burrows become their personalized version of Amazon or Wegman’s, loaded with all that they need for the months ahead.

The honeybees are tireless---in and out of the hive constantly, from dawn’s early light until the last rays of the day. They forage for nectar and for pollen and, in a good year, they will pack the hive with more food than they can use. They are fun to watch.

A home improvement project has upended my annual effort to have an overflow of homegrown garden tomatoes. But, over Memorial Day weekend, I raked, weeded, and tilled a sufficient clearing for 14 plants. Twelve of the plants are of the Sun Gold variety, a fabulous tangerine-colored cherry tomato which generates raves from tomato lovers. The other variety is Cherokee Purple, a full-sized red/purple color. It’s an “heirloom tomato” which means it has not been bred for commercial production. It lacks the uniformity, eye appeal, and shipping strength of the crappy commercial tomatoes—which have no taste at all. Heirlooms are the real deal with that indescribably fabulous garden tomato flavor. I’m hoping for a big bushel of homeruns from my Cherokee Purple beauties.

I will of course keep you updated on the strength of this year’s crop and harvest. Just don’t expect any home deliveries. And don’t blink............

Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio


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