Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea)

The spring flowers blooming along the roadsides earlier in the year were mostly purple.  Today there are white ones and yellow ones along the edges of expansive mowed fields.  The tall waving grasses are now bundled up in great round bales and the country side hums with hay making equipment.  Farmers do what has to be done when it has to be done.  That makes it a demanding profession. & Along C Highway north of Champion purple coneflowers, Echinacea, is blooming profusely.  It is glorious to look at and it is said to have medicinal properties.

Black-eyed Susan

Ashley Meiss is a 31 year old combat Veteran of Iraq who has been missing from her Ogden, Kansas home near Wichita since the middle of May.  She has PTSD.  Anyone with information about her is asked to call the Riley County Police Department at (785) 537-2112.  The Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department shared a video on line that says that June 1st is the beginning of PTSD Awareness Month.  It is reported that 20% of firefighters and paramedics suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.  They join many of our returning military Veterans and a host of civilians, maybe friends, neighbors, or family, who have had an emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury.  Psychological trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope.  So, at least during the month of June, as we observe people acting ‘badly’ we might think to ourselves there must be some reason for this kind of behavior.  Perhaps a kind word in lieu of harsh judgement would make everyone feel better.  Being kind feels as good a having kindness shown to us when we need it.  It seems that many people are feeling defensive and anxious these days–from politics, fear, illness, grief, trauma or unknown reasons.  It is good that firefighters and first responders are aware of the dangers to themselves because of the nature of their work and, hopefully, they have the training to recognize the symptoms of PTSD in those whom they are there to help and protect.  Out here in rural America we rely on the generous nature of these volunteers who give their time and energy to serve as fire fighters and first responders.  Thanks, folks.  Angie Keller posted pictures of the EDCVFD yard sale/swap meet/farmers market held over the weekend.  She said, “We had a great time, and visited with a lots of nice folks.  Thank you for your continued support.  We are blessed with a wonderful community!”

Looking back to June of 2008, Champion was wound up in great excitement for the coming wedding of Staci Krider and Dustin Cline.  They will have their tenth anniversary on June 14th.  Back then the concern was that a certain uncle might show up in a kilt with an accordion.  Then there was an uncle from Illinois who attested to having had a long, successful marriage (to lovely Barbara) on account of having worn white socks to his own wedding.  He allowed that the socks must figure prominently in all the wedding photos for them to have the desired effect.  The pictures of their day on the website at www.championnews.us do not show Dustin in white socks, but he wore a bright pink tie.  The tenth anniversary is considered to be one of the first marital milestones.  Traditional gifts for the occasion are tin and aluminum, also diamonds.  Tin and aluminum are significant for their flexibility, a major requirement in a lasting marriage.  Diamonds are for beauty and strength.  The couple lives in Tennessee now where they are raising Drayson and Carson.  Their Champion grandmother gets over to see the little boys often and the family makes it back here as often as they can.  On these nice warm days it is pleasant to sit out on the veranda remembering good times with young friends and hoping that they know that special song made popular in these parts by a favorite fiddler:  “I wouldn’t change you if I could.  I love you as you are.  You’re all that I would wish for if I wished upon a star.  An angel sent from heaven, you’re everything that’s good.  You’re perfect just the way you are.  I wouldn’t change you if I could!”  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Champion Hay