The merry month of May is full of excitement with birthdays, graduations, and Mother’s Day. The second Second-Saturday Swap Meet at Skyline happens this week at the corner of 76 and C Highways from 8 am until noon. It was well received and well attended last month with hardly any advertising. This time Helen says there will be raspberry plants and other good things. Even if you are not in the market for baby ducks or goats, jewelry or cinnamon rolls, it is a chance to meet neighbors and enjoy another lovely spring morning. While you are there, check out the progress on the new Skyline VFD Firehouse going up across the road. It will be a significant improvement for the community. The planned meeting room might be a spot for a shindig someday.

Andrew Harden says that Bud Hutchison’s Memorial Trail Ride is still on schedule for Wednesday, the 15th. He says he will make a trial-trail ride Saturday to be sure. It is exciting to see the square full of horse trailers and to see folks that only show up at Champion once a year. They saddle up and ride off about 10 in the morning and amble back in around 2 or so for ice cream. The reports of the adventure they share out on the wide veranda are of great interest to the porch jockeys who may not have been on a horse for decades.

Along with all the much-needed rain in Champion has come welcome visitors. Wednesday before last, Kaitlyn McConnell of “Ozarks Alive” stopped in with an oatmeal pie she was concerned about sharing, but then discovered that it would have been alright. She renewed some old acquaintances and made some new ones. Her friends here will welcome her, with or without pie, any time. Meanwhile, she is putting more miles on her car traversing the Ozarks for the joy of celebrating its past, present, and future. Last Wednesday, Ken and Barbie of Mountain Grove, out on a lark, succumbed to the lure of the Bright Side. It was a lovely day for a drive and a welcome opportunity to satisfy their curiosity about the fabled hamlet at the end of the pavement. Hopes are they will make it a Wednesday habit. They already have made new friends and made the acquaintance of The General.

The designated whistleblower in the Vanzant Chapter of the Booger County Advisory Committee has revealed that the body has yet been able to solve any local problems. He says they are, however, uncanny with their ability to create problems for good solutions. He harkened back to last year’s meeting of the Booger County advanced technology and waste management fact-check team where, “as usual, after all was said and done more was said than done.” Otherwise, Thursday’s jam at Vanzant is a welcoming community. Some fiddlers would certainly be welcome.

The prognostication for more mild weather pleases gardeners who say it is too wet to plow. All winter’s whining about drought is over and mud takes its place for complaint. By contrast, we have little reason to complain as we look at the storm damage many have endured. The world is in an uproar with terrible natural disasters and the ravages of war with its far-reaching implications. Meanwhile, we are mindful of many who are dealing with serious health issues and continue with our wishes for speedy recoveries and good outcomes for all our families and friends going through hard times. Compassion and optimism are some of the good watch words in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!