June 21 – The appreciation day for paternal parents was a resounding success. The internet was graced with the images of many a fine old gent in his younger days, many of whom have passed on, though the mystic chords of memory hold them close to us no matter how long they have been gone. All those fine fathers and father figures with us now, who work to perpetuate the lessons and values of their predecessors, either want to be the kind of dad they had or want to be a better one. The negligent, hard hearted and heavy handed ones do not get much celebration. Hooray for you good guys and mighty men, and thanks for all you do to teach, guide, protect, strengthen, encourage and inspire your off spring.
Jake is a three and a half month old blue healer who has made a home with Bob and Ethel. He is helping them get over having recently lost the old dog that had been their companion for 16 years. They have been in the hay these days and all seems well with them. That is the good news we hope applies to all our friends and kin. With still only three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Douglas County, we are considering ourselves fortunate while we still take safety precautions. The primary election coming up in August is one of those opportunities to participate we do not want to miss. Any registered voter can get an application for an absentee ballot in the mail, by calling the County Clerk’s office (683-4714) or by stopping in at the court house. When you return your ballot by mail, it will not need to be notarized if you are 65 years old and if your reason for voting absentee is your concern over the coronavirus. If you are mailing in your ballot, it must be there 13 days before Election Day. A person can also request an application for a ballot on-line at the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, where there is a lot of helpful information. Some folks are most hopeful that the whole Country will be able to vote by mail at the upcoming National Election. Some are deeply opposed and so it goes.
Mail to The Champion News (Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717) suggests that the whole earth is such turmoil, that perhaps we need a common enemy to draw us together. This crack-pot would like to see real aliens show up and he says they should easily be identifiable by color, not our Earthling red and yellow, black and white, but some different color like blue or chartreuse or purple. He also thinks they should be configured differently, like people but with lizard heads and hands, and either really big or really small, so there would be no way they could pass for human. They would come in nasty, people eating swarms and it would be okay to hate them. Everybody in the whole world would hate them. Earthlings would stop hating each other and just hate the nasty aliens. While our cracked-pot is out looking for space aliens, the rest of us can work on trying to get along with our fellow humans here on the only planet we currently have at our disposal.
“Wildflowers don’t care where they grow,” according to Dolly Parton, who is a favorite in Champion on account of her great music and her terrific Imagination Library. She has given away millions of books now. She has also been reading bed time stories for children on-line during the pandemic lockdown. Cleomes, zinnias, marigolds and even poppies have become wild flowers as they reseed themselves and grow with no encouragement. They say a weed is just a plant whose virtue you do not know. We know the virtue of these beautiful blooming things among the peppers, potatoes and okra, and while we might thin them, we will still be pleased at their presence. The garden is brighter for the serendipity. A sight-seeing tour out along Highway 14 showed Kirk Dooms’ garden thriving on the other side of a wide, elegant lawn. It looks like he has successive plantings of corn waving at us as we go down the road.
At home, three crows harassed and harried a hawk all across the sky above a Champion garden early on the first morning of summer. They have their own worries and dramas and we have the leisure from our garden bench to observe, assess and judge without the exact perspective of either party. The birds might say, “Mind your own business,” but they hardly pay us any mind anyway. So the best we can do in these stressful times is what Mother said, “Act like you have good sense.” We are doing the best we can out here on our garden benches. Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!