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Along the Lakeshore: Nov. 20

Beginning of winter, some thoughts on eggs

Lemon has had a hard time realizing that going-home time is not 4:30 p.m. just because it is dark. Monday and Tuesday of last week he moved to the door shortly after 4, indicating that it was time to go home and have some supper.

There appears to be little change in the water level this week according to my north dock. My dock preparations are complete, but if we get a freeze-up I will install an agitator to minimize the ice around the dock and hoist.

Sometimes the three-day-a-week paper has some significant information other than auto wrecks, shootings, and national and international news from the wire services. One such notice was in last week. New York State farms produced 109 million eggs in August, down 2 percent from last year. The article also states that nationally, hens produced 8.04 billion eggs in August, up approximately three percent. How many eggs is 0.04 billion? Seems like a lot. Mr. Lemon really likes to clean up a dropped egg when it hits the kitchen floor. He has a big smile as his long tongue cleans up his nose and lips when finished.

Eggs have always been a staple for us. Sue and I have two eggs four times a week and our consumption has not varied for at least 15 years. I know, as I cooked every last one of them. Sometimes I even have eggs for lunch at the Hilltop. From 1959-64, we bought cracked eggs at three dozen for a dollar from our neighbor Ginger Tanner whose farm was across the street from our home on Old Seneca Turnpike. We moved to the village in 1964 and started buying eggs in stores, as there was an exposé about salmonella in cracked eggs.

Ginger and his wife Frances were heroes to me. After they were married they camped out in the maple forests of northern New York. They cut maple chunks which were then split into blanks. These were rough-turned into bowling pin blanks that were finished and marketed by Brunswick. There was a huge pile of maple scraps in Tully where the rough turning was done. They accumulated enough capital to build the chicken houses and get into the egg business in a big way. I felt it was courageous to finance and build a business with their own work and sweat. They were great neighbors and were always there when I screwed up something and needed help. As far as I know, there was no government aid or handouts in their story.

Joseph Spalding is a long-time Skaneateles resident who enjoys sharing his observations about the Skaneateles lakeshore and community. He can be reached at 685-6937.

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