It’s the afternoon of the Saturday before the time change, and it’s a calm, cool day, with a bright sun that warms us only a little bit as we sit at a picnic table outside NN Burger in Tappahannock. The pups are leashed up and watching the boys play cornhole. You can tell it’s all locals now, the year-round people, not the summer people, from their trucks and caps and functional outerwear.
Lots of kids running around asking for Freak Shakes but nobody’s ordering them. We’re just all drinking beer and taking a break from the last of the harvest. Our burgers buzz up at the counter, along with one order of twisted chips (truffled and parm’ed, if you must know) and we lay into them with a side of ketchup. The pups get their snacks too, loyal friends.
On the drive back, my love thinks one tractor is a combine and I say no, it’s just a thresher, but then I look at it again and the way they build combines these days with the cab tucked into the body of the tractor instead of perched up like a control tower–I just didn’t recognize it. Yep, a combine.
Welcome to the slowing of the year, in the land between the two rivers.