It’s summer now
Jessie Veeder Scofield
It’s summer now and the days are long, the sun moving slowly across the sky and hanging at the edge of the earth for stretched out moments, giving us a chance to put our hands on our hips and say “what a perfect night.”
It’s summer now and before dark officially falls we ride to the hilltops and then down through the cool draws where the shade and the grass and the creek bed always keep a cool spot for us.
Because it’s summer now and things are warming up. The leaves are out and so are the wildflowers, stretching and blooming and taking in the fleeting weather.
It’s summer now and the cows are home…and so are we, home before the sunsets. Home to get on a horse, to check on things, to ride the fence lines.
It’s summer now and the dogs’ tongues hang out while they make their way to the spot of shade on the gravel where the truck is parked. They are panting. They are smiling. They just got in from a swim.
Because it’s summer now and the water where the slick-backed horses drink, twitching and swiping their tails at flies, is warm and rippling behind the oars of the water bugs, the paddle of ducks’ feet, the leap of a frog, and the dunk of a beaver’s escape.
It’s summer now and we keep the windows open so even when we’re inside we’re not really inside.
We can’t be inside.
Because it’s summer now and there’s work to be done. We say this as we stand leaning up against a fence post, thinking maybe if we finish the chores we could squeeze in time for fishing.
Because it’s summer and we heard they’re biting.
Yes, it’s summer and we should mow the grass before the clouds bring the thunderstorm that will wake us in the early morning hours of the next day. And it’s summer so we will lay there with the windows open listening to it roll and crack, feeling how the electricity makes our hearts thump and the air damp on our skin. Maybe we will sleep again, maybe we’ll rise to stand by the window and watch the lightning strike and wonder where this beautiful and mysterious season comes from.
And why, like the storm, it’s always just passing through.
Mason Jar Ice Cream
Summer calls for ice cream, and, if you ask for summer memories out on the farm or ranch, so many of them are attached to the act of not only eating, but making ice cream. Back before everyone had a deep freezer, ice was chipped from the river or the low spots on the prairie and used to make the sweet treat. These days, even with the Schwan’s man at our service, there’s nostalgia attached to the process.
In a mason jar with a lid add:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of salt
1 tbsp sugar
Add sprinkles and a couple drops of food coloring to make it festive
Screw-on lid and shake for five minutes. Freeze for three hours.