Unlike all of my previous stories, most of this story takes place in June 2022.
On the first Monday of June, I worked in my garden in Westborough. Finishing around noon, I sat in my chair and reflected that the only way to describe the day was “delicious!”
I went home and said to my wife, Alice, “It’s too nice a day to take a ride, so let’s take our chairs and go to Lake Whitehall and sit and read.”
After lunch, off we went. After surviving a gigantic pothole on the edge of the parking lot, we arrived at the lake.
We had no sooner set up our chairs when we looked up, and around the corner came a perfect single column of geese, with an adult at each end and six small ones in the middle. They proceeded to head over the rocky banking directly toward us. They circled around within 2 feet of us, eating grass like we weren’t even there. The geese continued eating for about 30 minutes, with one of the adults always keeping a watch for danger.
They then waddled halfway down the banking and took a 15-minute “siesta” before filing into the water and swimming up the lake.
Right about then, two ducks swooped in for a landing like a couple of seaplanes, about 50 feet in front of us.
When they all had left, I told Alice about what this area was like around 70 years ago. My friend Billy and I used to go swimming there when we were 10 or 11 years old. His sister would give us a ride over, and my father would pick us up at 5 p.m. on his way home from work. We would dive off the gate house — the water went all the way to it then — and swim around the point past Edmunds’ Boat Rental Pier, and dive off Castle Rock.
One June day in 1953, my father got us about 30 minutes early, much to our disappointment, saying there was a bad thunderstorm on the way. It was the day a tornado went through Shrewsbury, Westborough and Southborough! As usual, our parents knew what they were talking about.
So much for reading on that day this summer — I think we each read about two pages of our books. But the geese show was better.