Is it a time for tassels or “tossles”?

Published 7:41 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I received my first invitation to a graduation the other day. Actually, there was no invitation on the card. It was more of an announcement. Pretty girl, and I’m glad I received it, although it might have been more of an invitation to send a gift. Glad to do that, too.

I’ll get a few more, I expect. It’s that time of the year and I have gotten to the age where I am surprised that he or she has grown up. Most of the ones I get are from church members who I remember as preschoolers. I have been fortunate to have stayed at the same churches for over 15 years.

It’s possible, if I stay a few more, that the same little ones I remember being born are the same ones that I will see graduate from high school. That’s a great privilege.

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May is the month for graduations. I can still remember my high school graduation, but it occurred in early days of June. School calendars are a little different these years. Now, instead of having an entire summer to enjoy, school children seem to get out for a few weeks and start their new year in late July or early August. We were still working at summer jobs during those weeks.

My first graduation invitation got me to thinking about tassels. Tassels are those threads or cords that hang off the square hat that is worn during graduation. Its purpose is to get in the graduate’s eyes as he or she walks in those hard-to-walk-in gowns, especially if one is wearing high heels. I did not wear high heels at my graduation. We also had pretty clear instructions for bathrooms!

After the reception of the diploma, the graduate makes a big deal of the tassel by switching it from one side of the cap to the other.

The graduation tassel is not the most important tassel of the year for me, however. I get a much more gratifying feeling towards tassels as I drive down our country roads and see the tassels on the sweet corn. The only thing about those tassels is that I don’t know how to pronounce them. Is the corn “tosseling” or is it “tasseling?”

Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the corn’s tassel shows me that it is not too long before the ear will begin to silk and that silk turns brown. I hope that one of our sweet corn growers will remember how much I like corn on the cob. I know I can get it at the store, but it’s just a little sweeter when I pull it off the stalk all by my lonesome.

Johnny Cash used to sing “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.” That’s okay when one is walking the line, but, for me, it’s keeping a close watch on these corn fields of others. Or the tomatoes.

I attend the Bainbridge Farmer’s Market as many Saturdays as I can and I can already see the new crops of vegetables. I saw George, one of our town’s veteran produce growers, at the Farmer’s Market last week.

George was beaming, “I may have the state of Georgia’s first homegrown tomatoes this year.” That may be and “Congratulations,” if that happens. I will look forward to a tomato sandwich to go with my corn on the cob.

It’s that time of the year when tassels are prominent. They may be the tassels on your favorite graduate’s cap. So be it, but I like another kind of tassel, too. Or is it “tossle?”