Saturday, April 19, 2014

Memories made and remembered

Several days ago my better half and I were visiting Taylors Falls. We stopped for coffee at Coffee Talk. While we waited for the barista to finish doing her thing, I poked around to see what looked interesting. To my surprise and delight, there on the counter was something I haven't seen since I was a child in the last millennium. They had maple (sugar) candy from Don's Sugar Shack. I bought a package containing two pieces of maple-leaf-shaped candy and wondered if the sap came from the sugar bush I photographed back in March.

sugar bush near Wild River State Park
sugar bush near Wild River State Park     © harrington

As I recall from my younger days, maple candy used to appear in Christmas stockings and, sometimes, in Easter baskets. Anyhow, after we finished our coffee and exploring, the candy sat untouched in the house for a couple of days, until we shared one of the pieces. At first bite, my mouth became at least half a century younger. At second taste, I flashed back to some of the Vermont country stores that I used to visit when I was in my 20s and poking around the nooks and crannies of New England. All of this makes me wonder what other treats in my back yard I've been missing because I haven't done enough exploring. Marcie R. Rendon (Mahnomen County), in her County Lines poem "grandmother walks," makes it clear that exploring can be remembering as much as traveling.

Marcie R. Rendon


grandmother walks


          grandmother walks moonlit trails
          sucking maple syrup cubes
          birchbark wraps itself around her
          while black bear guards her path

at the water's edge,
in a rock upon the path
flickering in an evening flame
i see her face

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