The Prune: Morning ride brings back memories

POTATO BUDS blossom on a plant. Todd Sharp photo

by Todd Sharp

As I was pedalling by some lake cottages Sunday, July 5, the smells and the feeling of the breezy ease of a summer morning were comforting and serene. 

The smoky bacon, the combination of sweet syrup and oily frying wheat of pancakes, brought me back to the simple leisurely pace of a weekend morning when extra time and family was by my side. 

The casual ease to whip up a batch of pancakes, taking the time to perfectly crisp the bacon, squeeze some oranges, brew a big pot of coffee to share with the family’s fresh-day perspective.

Reminiscing about the past day before accentuating the prospects of the day ahead.

I envision the freshly sunned faces of the kids, some wide-eyed and bright, some sleepy in casual, flowing comfortable clothes. All the stuff of summer vacation. If you’re lucky enough to live here all year, this is a way of life; if it’s vacation, the memories come back as light as the breeze.

We are halfway through the summer and it feels like it’s just begun, as though we just woke up for a hearty breakfast.

The summer pivot point of the Fourth of July can be a glorious marker. It always comes faster than expected. “Knee high by the Fourth of July,” buds on the tomatoes and potatoes means we have a chance at a healthy harvest this fall.

As the momentum of summer ’20 gets rolling full swing, I’m glad to have made it over another hurdle, to pause in a comfortable, safe space to gather enough information and the energy needed to have a better second half of the year. It’s been a tough year.

Looking to the future with assurance is a futile waste of time. Attachment to a future blinds the view of what is happening to us today.

We’ve all been struggling with the changing times, new rules to live by, suggested behaviors to follow so our fellow travelers hopefully make their way safely.

Although my nose has gotten larger as I’ve grown older, perhaps from telling these stories, I’m proud of my talent to be able to distinguish what’s cooking as I ride by.

Sunday afternoon I could smell the barbecue grills roasting chickens and pork roast, searing steaks and burgers, grilling some fresh veggies and all the wonderful smells of an afternoon on the lake.  I could envision the sunny, worn out faces of those same kids, exhausted from making lake memories to share in their futures.

Life goes on. Take a big bite out of each day, savor the zest, spice and the extraordinary flavor, and take care of the ones around you as you eat, dance, and experience the best of summer.

Editor’s note: When not taking in summer, Todd Sharp sells advertising for the Green Laker (, Express and The Ripon Commonwealth Press (