while they were out down at the beach on a tan, or lollapaloozing ocean waves, or reading war and peace umbrella side in the dunes, i turned researching corn. on the lookout for that farmer’s field growing honey and pearl, or any some such bicolored sweetness, ripe and ready for picking. the perfect location? preferably a short walk from the cottage. mid-afternoon’s survey had to be done on the sly, lest i’d be caught looking, suspected of theft, or worse warning wise done up with buckshot. after a time i found and noted a field in like question to return to later, before dinner some time after sundown. it is not for the fainthearted, picking corn road side, covertly, by the light of the silvery moon, all the while softly humming that tune which wouldn’t leave my mind and you know how that works. ducking headlights, hearing a rustling, if from a bunny, watching an owl silently light on a perch higher up, all that made two dozen ears priceless. submerged in a bucket of ocean water, covered with a dish towel, the corn and i rushed back to cottage and grill. i had fired up dry cherry wood earlier, its coals now glowing white darkly spitting the occasional spark. steaming my sea-soaked grand theft in its charring husk took all but a few minutes before it was stripped down below silks. chive-butter had melted ready for basting with a two dollar hardware brush. those sweet ears were champed to the core in the time it took to crust six strip steaks, as they say in freeeance: ‘en bleu’. all the while talking food, chatting beach news, drinking wine, chancing a date in the mellow night air, cozy, by the glow of fat flaring embers.