Peggy the Pig

Finally a hot summer day without rain. With friends we set out to explore and look for antiques/collectibles/junk. At one of our stops we were greeted by free range chickens who flapped their wings and clucked chasing after us. We thought they feared we would steal their feed.

Antiques/collectibles/junk was stored in silos, barns and outbuildings. This was a former farm converted to a great place to explore and look for that special, unexpected treasure. Old, rusted farm tools, signs, boxes and so much more to try to visualize in your home.

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I ventured into a barn filled with stuff piled on top of more stuff. Cupboards, tables, benches and old baby equipment lined the abandoned stalls. Cats, kittens and bunny rabbits slept quietly among the clutter. Pigeons and raccoons scurried above my head, so this is not for the faint of heart. A new door was open, leading to a hay mow and I could see more treasures in there. With a little effort I was able to hoist myself into the mow and was delighted to see more wooden boxes and furniture. Turning one corner I stopped in my tracks and stood still in shock. Laying across the straw path was a large pink and dark, grey spotted pig. Flies crawled and hovered around her eyes and snout but she never moved. She was breathing so I did not fear that I found a dead critter. I later learned this was Peggy, a family pet who apparently would not have minded if I stepped over her or even on her.

Walking back across the yard I found a beautiful seed mill that sent me hurling back into memories of childhood. The mill is about the size of a small trailer and was used to clean grain before it was planted in the fields. The wooden sides were red, painted wood with a fancy scroll design much like some German folk art. This was a much hated job during the Easter break from school where we were sent to the barn to clean the grain. I took it upon myself to explain to the folks standing around how this piece worked. Grain was poured into a hopper on the top and when the mill was turned on the grain was shaken through a set of screens to remove the chaff and small weed seeds. To demonstrate I did a shimmy. Apparently the watchers did not understand and asked me to do the shimmy again…….hmmm.

After all the shaking and shimmying takes place the clean grain is removed from the mill and bagged for transport to the field.

We went into the house and the silly chickens tried to follow but were chased away by the owner of the business. A few treasurers were purchased but the highlight of the day was Peggy the Pig.

The Sweet Spot

At the end of a hot summer day there is a time I call ‘the sweet spot’. It is short and should not be missed. Recently I had the pleasure of experiencing it with a friend in a small, hospital garden. This inspired me to write the following poem. Now, for those of you who know the rules for writing poetry, you will say, “she broke all the rules”. I don’t care. I am simply putting words to my experience.

At the end of a hot summer day there is a sweet spot

The air becomes soft and gentle

The breeze caresses your face

Despite this breeze the garden is still

A raised garden sports food for future dishes

Tangy dill, pungent cilantro, tiny green tomatoes

Perhaps a salsa in the making

Puffy, white hydrangea gleam in the shade

Tiny, red roses climb with abandon, yellow day lilies in constant bloom

All ignoring the tall weeds that crowd into the garden

Wasps flit under the wooden table to build a nest

A sidewalk winds its way around the small space

Quiet relaxation to soothe the soul

Dampness creeps in to chase the sweet spot away

Scant minutes and it is gone

The sweet spot is not a time to pull weeds, or take on other gardening duties. It is a time to savour a glass of wine, a cup of tea or coffee and best of all to spend time with a friend and engage in quiet conversation. Don’t miss ‘the sweet spot of summer’.