He was finishing breakfast when I arrived. “Good Morning! How is your egg today?” As I slid into a chair next to him he saluted me with his knife, slowly chewing a mouthful of toast. “Bad! You Americans can’t make eggs.”

“All of us? You mean as a collective country we fail in the two-minute egg department? Well that’s pretty harsh!” He nodded, winked, and went back to scraping the last bits from the eggshell.

We cleaned up and after a short snooze, headed outside. The sun was blazing but a stiff breeze kept the trees moving and the air comfortable.  “Are you sure it isn’t too hot?” I asked. He looked up at the sky, “You may get too hot pushing my chair but I will be fine.” There are new cows in the pasture with the goats. From our perch under the maple tree we could survey their field and the near by the chicken’s yard. His mood was playful as he sent me scurrying for his cap, a fresh peach off the tree and to pull a few weeds that bothered him. The peaches were still hard, but I managed to find a red apple and brought it to him. I cut us each a small slice, removing the skin from his. One bite and my mouth puckered. Grimacing, I turned to see if he had taken a bite. He grinned and held up his piece, untouched. “Too soon, I could have said so, but you wouldn’t have listened.You all just rush into things.” The twinkle was back in his eye for a moment. Nationality slur noted.

Lunchtime arrived and his wife spread a picnic for us. The farmer manager and a student joined us around the card table set above his knees. He dug into the cherry tomatoes, still warm from the vine as I piled his plate with salads and relishes. “What fine day for the 31st of August!” I quipped. He looked patiently at me and replied,”It’s a fine day regardless of the date.” Lesson noted…


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