MARTHA SEZ: ‘I hope Keene Community Day does become an annual event’

This rain! Every few years we get one of these wet summers. The world is green and lush. Some of the garden flowers love this weather (zinnias don’t). I love the sound of pouring-down rain, especially when I’m lying in bed listening, without anything I have to do or anyplace I have to be.

As I write this it is 5:30 in the morning, and outside in the yard the following birds are singing in the rain: red-eyed vireo, white-throated sparrow, American robin, song sparrow and black-capped chickadee, which I can tell you thanks to the Cornell Merlin bird app on my phone. Jupiter the cat would like to go out on the porch. He does not care for the rain and is meowing at me to make it stop.

My grandchildren, Emma and Jack, came to town on the first of the month, accompanied by their parents, Molly and Jim. We all went to see the fireworks at the Keene Community Day event on Marcy Field July 8, as did most of the rest of the town from the looks of it. The event was a great success according to general consensus, thanks to the collaboration of the town of Keene and the Ausable Club.

Many people around town, myself included, were gloomy about its chances for success, predicting that the first historic annual Keene Community Day would be called off due to thunderstorms predicted for that Saturday. Indeed, great dark roiling cumulo-nimbus clouds loomed threateningly over the field for the entire duration of the event. Lightning might have struck at any moment, or, failing that, we might all have been soaked in a sudden deluge. But guess what?

It never rained. It stormed on Friday, it rained all Sunday, but on Saturday, as if by divine providence, Keene Community Day was rain free! Humid? Yes. Buggy? You could say buggy, yes. But I didn’t feel one drop of rain.

It was a pleasure watching the children — dozens of children, of all ages — running around on the freshly mowed green, accompanied by a few dogs, all having the time of their lives. The field contains as much wild thyme as grass, and the dampness in the air held and carried the scent. My daughter Molly remarked that the prevalence of thyme growing wild in mowed fields and lawns in the town of Keene is a beautiful thing (or words to that effect).

The fireworks were spectacular and plentiful, with few pauses between bursts. They just kept them coming, right through the grand finale, which was cheered and applauded by the crowd. And, almost as surprising as the fact that the rain held off, parking and traffic before, during and after the event was apparently trouble-free.

I enjoy seeing my grandson Jack swim, race around and play, especially as I often see him looking at screens. I do understand that the future for today’s children will require knowledge of electronic devices, and that any child deprived of education and practice with computers will be at a loss, just as people who never learned to read are handicapped. Emma understands phones and computers too. She likes to cook and make jewelry and do gymnastics. I’m completely at a loss trying to comprehend what they’re doing with my old iMac or the new MacBook or even the television set. Wait, I say, how did you do that? Is that a TV channel? Is that a real Whopper ad?

Whopper whopper whopper whopper … No, Grandma.

Some of what they watch isn’t bad, but seems kind of cynical. I mean, compare animated Spiderman parodies with “Leave it to Beaver.” Not that the Road Runner and the Three Stooges and even the old Mickey Mouse cartoons weren’t violent, because they were.

I’m concerned that my laptop will have all kinds of new bizarre viruses and advertisements on it now. Don’t worry, Grandma, it’s OK, the FBI won’t come after you.

Are you sure?

Children, stop annoying Siri!

Ha ha ha ha we’re not annoying her.

Stop asking Siri those personal questions! That’s very rude.

Grandma, Siri isn’t real, Siri is artificial intelligence.

Yes, but still.

Why does it bother me to hear Siri cross-examined? I couldn’t tell you why. But mostly I enjoy the whole experience. It’s going to be way too quiet around here when they leave. I don’t want to think about it.

I hope Keene Community Day does become an annual event.

Have a good week.

(Martha Allen lives in Keene Valley. She has been writing for the Lake Placid News for more than 20 years.)

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