Summer and All That It Offers

I hope by the time this issue hits subscriber’s mailboxes and newsstands the weather has improved in the Finger Lakes Region. This spring has been one of the wettest that I can remember in recent times, and as I’m writing this I’m sure there are many frustrated local farmers who still haven’t planted their fields because they’re too wet. When we do get a nice day it is definitely not taken for granted and everyone is outside enjoying it.

I’m looking forward to a beautiful summer, with warm sunny days and the heat that’s almost therapeutic to some degree, although my body still doesn’t like the humidity. Even when I was a skinny little kid I can remember having trouble dealing with the higher humidity days.

But, those also seem to be the days that we hear curious buzzing sounds in the trees most often. To those of us not schooled in what that noise is, Ralph DeFelice tells us a little bit about cicadas and his experiences with them from childhood. To Ralph, the buzzing cicadas symbolize what summer is. I’m sure we all have personal symbols of what summer means to us. Read more about his observations on page 27.

Summer can also be a time set aside for visiting family. On page 89 Kristine Meldrum Denholm writes about her visits to Skaneateles when she was a child. She lived in Cleveland with her family, but her grandparents and other relatives lived in the Finger Lakes. They would make treks every summer over that long distance. To Kristine, summers and visits to Skaneateles will forever be linked.

I’m sure Kristine’s visits to Skaneateles coincided with time on Route 20, which connects with Route 5 several miles to the west in Auburn. Locals call the combined roads Routes 5 and 20. The roadway goes all the way to Avon, where they split again into their respective route numbers. Routes 5 and 20 is sort of a local version of the famous Route 66. There’s a variety of curious shops and tourist-related stops along the way. Many visitors to this part of New York State typically breeze through the area on the New York State Thruway, but taking a little extra time and driving on 5 and 20 takes you through towns and villages that epitomize what this region is all about. The true spirit of small town America is still present and lived every day by local residents. Writer and photographer Kristian Reynolds presents a beautiful pictorial of 5 and 20 on page 42.

Jason Feulner once again brings us excellent examples of culinary and wine combinations on page 70. We focused on Knapp Vineyard, Cayuga Ridge and Sheldrake Point Wineries. Their delicious culinary examples showcase top-notch chefs and winemakers who typically would be at the top of their game in larger metropolitan areas; we are lucky to have such talent available in the rural Finger Lakes.

After visiting family, driving along historic and interesting roads, sampling fine foods and wines and listening to the sounds of summer, you can then unwind by reading some Finger Lakes related books. Laurel Wemett reviews some great books on page 76. Check out what she thinks about them and make your own decision on which one to read first.

Happy summer!


by Mark Stash