Oscar tried corn for the first time the other night. fresh corn, local, sweet and tender…manna from heaven, this stuff. it’s been a poor growing season here this summer, with a cold, cold spring and a dry, brief summer, but the corn – unlike last month’s pitiful strawberry crop – seems to have emerged unscathed and hardy. so we had corn on Friday, and some corn on Saturday, and some leftover corn again at lunch today. because in another week or two it will all be gone, and the only corn left in the grocery store will again be those bright, supersweet, woody cobs that come all the way from California in what must be flavour-leaching containers. those, and the cans, and the dessicated niblets sold as a toddler snack…plenty of options, really…but none of them bearing much resemblance to the crisp, fresh corn straight from the field.

these vestiges of seasonal food are rare in today’s world, this sense of what lands on my table having any connection to my calendar, to the turning of seasons, to the weather outside my window. i like anticipating corn season, waiting for it patiently, resisting the lure of imported cobs, the temptation to jump the gun. only in this small window of my life do i have any understanding of what those who advocate saving sex for marriage may be on about…what sense of satisfaction they get from their choice, from their abstinence. what titillation prolonging pleasure brings. with corn, i am a born-again virgin.

my son, though? no virginal delicacy for him. within minutes giving him his first taste of, we’d graduated from shearing the sweet, wet niblets off the cob for him to handing him the whole damn thing to devour whole. and he’s taken the experience in an entirely different metaphorical direction. my boy loves his corn like it’s a drug.

(please refrain from showing these pictures to Children’s Aid)
first hit on the corncob pipe
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the after-corn giggles
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too much corn, dude
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in other, non-vegetable-enthusiast news, i have finally begun to reconstruct my nice collection of buttons that lamentably disappeared last month when i updated my WordPress installation. i am still digging for some in the bowels of my email account…but i’m trying. and, thanks to the estimable Mrs. Chicken, i have a new one to add…the Power of Schmooze award.
shmooze thing

i am delighted, and honoured, but bemused.

in real life i completely lack what i think of as schmoozing instincts, despite being a friendly soul. in face-to-face conversations, i will ask a lot about you, and tell too many rambling and often self-deprecating stories about myself, but i will not ‘schmooze’ you, not so much. i lack the instinct for sales, or for furthering my own agenda with any grace. i’m sensitive to the jockeying for content and control that shapes social discourse, and while i’m quite happy being acclaimed as centre of attention (oh, stop now, don’t…stop…:)), i’m uncomfortable pushing for my piece of the pie. schmoozing usually feels painfully inappropriate to me. it’s not that i specially mind being inappropriate (anyone who enjoys publicly discussing corn in comparison to sex or her child’s initiation into the corn-eating set as a parallel to smoking up can’t in any honesty pretend to respect all social niceties), but i like social exchange best when it’s reciprocal, not one-sided. i’m a better liaison and facilitator of conversations than i am an initiator.

but schmoozing in the blogosphere works differently. this unbounded world of connections functions, in a sense, like a giant dinner party, except where we can all have our space in the conversation without impinging on anyone else’s. if you don’t want to read my ruminations on corn, i’m not pinning you to the wall yakking your ear off against your will…you get to click on by and i don’t even get my feelings hurt. but if you’re saying something over in your little space in the conversation that i want to support or encourage or giggle at, i can. and others will too…thus facilitating conversations and explorations that many of us may never have in our real lives, in the exposed world of face-to-face conversation where we fear taking up too much space in a conversation. i see commenting, out here, as facilitating conversations…and thus i’m proud to be a schmoozer, thrilled even. especially because i’ve been a bit of an (unwilling) skinflint with my comments this summer, stretched thin as i’ve been feeling…i’m grateful to Mrs. Chicken for seeing what i’m wanting to do with the few words i’ve spread around lately, rather than what i’m necessarily succeeding in. because i do want to be involved in this community, passionately.

my little real-life corner of the world is known, at least to itself, for polite hospitality and webbing together of tales and tellers into rich mythologies…in many ways, for the same emphasis on drawing together communities around locii of need that the Power of Schmooze award is honouring. and out here on the eastern shores of Canada, poor and proud, we have a rich if small community of bloggers who foster deep, heartfelt attachments and connections and support for the larger community, who both lay themselves bare with beautiful words and raise up others who need words too. so, i pass along the love to Mad Hatter, Sweetsalty Kate, and Thordora, my triumverate of Maritime schmoozers, all of whom have held me up with generosity and wit and warmth, and do the same for so many others…plus new coastal blog buddy Hannah, who i’m so happy found me.

don’t we make y’all want to come to a downhome BlogHer East festival next year? with fiddles?