Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

Pat’s Bits and Pieces: Mid-summer – fairs, festivals and reunions!

Another holiday is over and the middle of summer – on my calendar anyway – is almost here.
Actually that is kind of depressing.
I count the summer season as three months long: June, July and August. The 15th of July is only a little over a week away already!
With Clare’s Summerfest and Harrison’s Fourth of July celebration over by this weekend, we should be in for a few quiet summer days before the next big holiday at the end of the season.
So far it has been an unbelievably hot and humid summer. AccuWeather on the computer warns us often of an “excessive heat alert,” projecting temperature highs back in the 90’s soon. They are predicting a sunny 4th of July Thursday and Saturday and Sunday should be a bit cooler. The highs listed are only in the 80s.
Officially, AccuWeather says we are in for rainy weather today, a sunny nice 4th of July in the 80s, rain and showers in the 70s on Friday and Saturday, sunny and nice in the 80s again Sunday, and thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday with temps around 80 degrees. In other words, be ready for anything!
Of course, there’s a bit more fun to add in the mix before the season ends. Farwell’s Lumberjack Festival, with gets bigger every single year, is coming up near the end of this month.
And, in just a bit over two weeks it will be time for the Clare County Fair, one of the longest running old fashioned county fairs in the State if not the country.
It is always a good time for everyone who attends.
Meantime, the flowers are blooming, kids are making the most of their summer vacation and we are all planning our summer activities.
With the multiple rainstorms recently, gardens – and the farmer’s corn – will be growing like mad now. Jack’s grandpa told me once that on a quiet night you can stand in a field and “hear” it growing.
Hay is down all over the county and the wheat looks about ready to harvest.
Now it is reunion season. We usually have my family reunion in July and Jack’s is in early August.
I used to be the kid at the family reunion. It doesn’t seem that long ago either. These days, Brother Jim, and I are the “older generation.” When did that happen?
Each year there are more and more youngsters there, all having a really great time. I always get to meet some new members of the family every year. At least I know most of the people there.
At Jack’s I have to keep asking who some of those people are…
Then comes the annual class reunions.
The all-school reunion for Roscommon High School where four generations of my family and countless cousins have graduated, is coming up next. We usually try and make a trip up north for that one.
It is always fun to back home again and see who turned gray, who is bald and who got old [certainly not me!], and who stayed in shape and who didn’t!
Most of us have managed to put on just a few pounds here and there…
It always amazes me to see the kids wegrew up with. Those I always thought would be important members of their communities are often just plain folks like us.
This year is my 60th. I haven’t heard about a class reunion, but am thinking of going to the all-school reunion. Now that should be interesting, although we do see, or keep in touch with his classmates fairly often. They have a monthly breakfast meeting in Jackson, and occasionally we try and attend, although it is quite a jaunt to get there.
When we first started going to class reunions, the discussion topics were careers, (who was a success, who drove the fanciest car) with everyone trying their best to impress all the rest. In the middle years, it was our kids and how successful they were and later on the talk revolved around our grandchildren. These days, grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) are still topics, but the main one is our health, with lots of talk about operations, procedures, ailments and doctors…
But of course, the best part of class reunions always is looking at pictures and talking about the memories we all share…
I can’t wait!

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