|Mum with her oatcakes and white bread, me with "Snow Shoe" and wildflowers.|
"I think you should bake some stuff for the Cumberland County Exhibition," I told her. Yes, I told her. I wanted her to participate because she's a good cook and her bread is amazing and we can't eat enough of her oatcakes and Aunt Lila's Chocolate Cake is one of those cakes that you can't just stop at one piece. She didn't have to do it alone; I was entering flowers and arrangements (anything I bake is simply what I learned from my mother).
So Mum spent all yesterday baking and I was tromping around the field and through the ditches looking for unusual wildflowers.
I did wonder at one point if I was going to wake up the next morning with some unsightly pustules and body-enveloping rash but so far so good. Just a whole bunch of new bug bites.
Why did I insist my mother spend a day baking just to submit those goodies to a competition? Because it supports this county exhibition, this end-of-summer fair, this way of life. It supports the tradition, the pride, the accomplishments, the skills of generations of people who raise the livestock and grow the food the rest of us enjoy.
We didn't grow up as farmers or even as country folk but as the saying goes, when in rural, do as the rurals do.