Publisher’s Corner: Spring into Summer!

There’s something magical about the seasonal transition from Spring to Summer in June. So much is growing and blooming while midwestern storms share their tears and tantrums. The bees bounce from clover to clover and the butterflies seem to be making a come back. My family recently took a day trip to La Vista CSA farm in Godfrey Illinois overlooking the Mississippi River just north of Alton. Our good friends, Crystal and Eric Stevens, farm the land and run a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Which for those who don’t know, a CSA is a weekly subscription to fresh vegetables, herbs, and sometimes other products like meat, cheese, etc. Crystal and Eric held an Open House in mid-May and we took our daughter Natalie and grandson Jackson so we all could experience life outside the suburbs for at least a day. The minute Jackson hit the grass he was off running like a young colt in the pasture. He was mesmerized by the tractors, the rows of vegetables and berries and of course the playground and other children. Crystal, Eric and their two children have made a life working the land sustainably and holding true to the belief that we should honor the earth that provides to us each season its bounty. If you would like more information about the La Vista CSA, please visit online at www.LaVistaCSA.org. Jackson loved the drive along the river road watching the tugboats moving the long barges up the Big Muddy. Here at home, our vegetable garden is coming along with tomato blooms, lettuce, beats, cabbage, eggplant and pumpkins. Jackson helps water the with Nini and loves the trek back an forth between our rain barrel. We found a ground squirrel hole in the yard and Jackson tried to poke his hand down to find the little chipmunk, but Hopete told him it wasn’t the best idea. Jackson spends some of his time on our front porch counting a group of smooth river rocks and moving them from place to place. We showed him how to stack and balance them and explained the meaning of a “cairn”. Nini knew this from her days as a girl scout and I from my mountain hikes in wilderness areas. These human-made pile of rocks (cairns) are very helpful to hikers in the wild as trail markers. Jackson seemed more interested in piling them up than he was in the meaning. He is almost three years old after all. But he does have a growing interest in Nini’s Gnome collection. There’s the big Grampy Gnome, the HOPE Gnome that Aunt Pretty gave Nini for Mother’s Day, the teenie weenie Gnome in the flower pot, the Mushroom Gnome and of course the Whitey Herzog Gnome and Yadi Gnome we got at Cardinal baseball games. He also has a fascination with blowing dandelions. He has a hard time blowing them all off the stem, so Hopete employs his gruffy puff and we watch all the parachute seeds glide away on a wishing wind. Dried tea roses make colorful confetti and Jackson likes to enhance a hello to neighbor Janet with a shower of pink petals. Much better than a jug of Gatorade. The winds and rain have weathered and worn a tattered shutter and many slats have fallen to the ground. This would be a good look for a Halloween house, but we will have to order a replacement before the neighborhood association gives us a citation. lol. This is the ideal time to be outside. It reminds me that life is abundant. Everything grows. And we are all a part of the program. Enjoy, share and honor as the seasons meld. The days are long and the memories many.

Happy Spring to Summer! J.B. (Hopete) Lester