Earth Day beauty…

It is Earth Day and we are glad to be living on it even in these peculiar times. Earth and heart are spelled with the same letters. So take heart! We will persevere. Meanwhile, goldfinches are in Champion in swarms and the poke is coming up. If you do not know how already, you can learn how to harvest and cook poke via the internet. It might be better if you could learn those things from your mother or your grandmother, but if that is not possible, it may be a comfort to them just to know you are interested. People seem to be doing a lot more cooking these days. The General himself made a big breakfast of biscuits, gravy, sausage, and coffee. He said it was enough to serve at least two people with big appetites. Three of his friends came to eat, but he guessed they were not too hungry because he had a lot of leftovers. He was hoping to share those leftovers with friends early (before daylight) the following morning. Sherry Bennet offered apologies for not being able to attend. She is a fan of possum gravy. Greg Thompson pledged to bring the Pepto Bismol in case something went haywire. Robert Mull does not like so much protein, thinking that the fast moving squid looking things in the gravy could be tad poles. Lonie Upshaw chided that his Mother surely had taught him better than burn-and-serve biscuits and squid gravy. Joy Ann Coonts Ferrell is just pleased that she does not have to clean the kitchen after he cooks. The good thing is that The General is keeping the community entertained. One’s Champion Mother might say, “Well, thanks for what little you did do.” But she would say it with a smile and maybe a wink. Little things mean a great deal these days. Asked for a comment, he said, “I’m not one to start rumors.” An Old Champion said, “If it weren’t for The General, you wouldn’t have much news at all.”

A musician from Texas quotes someone saying, “O, but to have the wisdom of an oyster, that I might take an irritation and make of it a pearl.” Musicians need to pull those old guitars out from under their beds and lift their voices and their spirits. While it may be a little irritating to those with whom they share tight spaces these days, there is relief that at least it is a guitar and not a banjo. Someone has suggested that ‘perfect pitch’ is when a person throws a banjo into an accordion. A local accordion player, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been channeling conjunto music and enticing frogs to unusual behavior. Dan Kintner, of the National Banjo Association asserts, “The banjo is kinda like the random onion ring you find mixed in with your fries. You don’t realize how much you love it till you find it.” He attributes the remark to Adam Lee Marcus. Banjo virtuoso, Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers, can explain three bluegrass banjo styles. That is very interesting, but can he make a frog dance? If you look up ‘Dave Medlock Banjo’ on the internet you will find a nice video of him at the Friday Night Jamboree with Dennis Shumate on the mandolin and Montana Howerton on guitar playing “Lost Indian”. You will also find that the Google people located him in The Champion News. From the archives, July 17, 2017 we read, “Music has health benefits in physical, mental, emotional and social ways. It reduces stress and anxiety and may help with pain relief. Studies show that it may improve immune functioning and may aid memory. It is also a big help with exercise, if it is only patting your foot. “Put your little foot, put your little foot, put your little foot right out…”

Big green field.

Terri Ryan posted, “I’m ecstatic from this morning’s Walmart visit! There was rubbing alcohol, Angel Soft toilet paper, AND ramen. Having one of each in my cart made me feel so happy. I hope that I remain thankful for these things I took for granted and the wonderful people who had any hand in providing them. “ Marjorie Carter says they are still hanging in and continuing to make cookies. “Our bluebirds didn’t make it. But there is another family in another box, see what happens.” She said they saw their first hummingbird and got their feeders out. Hovey, in Houston, said, “4/20/20 first hummingbird at 3731 Brookfield today, hope he informs his friends. Peace and tranquility, Hovey” For some peace and tranquility a couple of Old Champions took a slow ride through the countryside and found the Race Track Memorial up north of Denlow. There are still plenty of Alsup descendants in these parts and lots of other parts of the country who can tell you all about how that quarter mile race track drew more attendance than the state fair back in the day. The monument sits next to an incredibly green field that one can imagine full of revelers. It is amazing to see how much beauty is all around us as we meander down new/old roads right here in Booger County. We live in an interesting part of the world and, now, in an interesting time in the word. Harmony and Chaos have always been around. Find a way to enjoy it. Get out in the garden and sing real loud while you are working up your rows and beds. Beets and radishes are coming up and potatoes are beginning to peep through the mulch. Last fall’s cover crop of turnip greens will provide one more good dish before they get plowed under. Put some bacon and onions in those greens, make a pan of cornbread and enjoy a nice glass of buttermilk.

Finally the heavy coats are taking their place in the back of the coat closet. The pockets have been emptied of cough drops, loose change, tissues, and gloves. They have had zippers zipped, buttons buttoned, and then a through brushing before finding their places on good wooden hangers. They will be ready next fall. Next fall seems a long way away here in the middle of sweet Spring. We will wait for the time when we can all be together again and in the meantime we reach out to those we are missing. Graeme Laird sings his plaintiff song, “Rosina.” Sometimes even a sweet sad song can make us feel better in Champion. Looking on the Bright Side!

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