Publisher’s Corner

A Time To Grow      

June is one of my favorite months. Spring has really sprung, summer is almost here and life is blooming again as the covid-19 pandemic is waning. We should be cautiously optimistic. If you have not gotten vaccinated, you better wear a mask and stay away from crowds. If you are fully vaccinated like I am, life is opening up. The pool of people who can catch the virus has decreased and the virus will be looking for maskless, unvaccinated people to prey on.

On a more joyful note, my garden is growing by leaps and bounds now that the weather has warmed a bit. I planted tomatoes from seeds this year, so they are just the height of a popsicle stick. But my cauliflower, corn and gourd plants are going crazy. All my garden is provided from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, the best around. It feels so good to watch something grow. I love to nurture my garden, pull weeds, and water when needed. And most of all, I go out every night after work and just spend some time with my plants. I think they appreciate my company.

As I walk my backyard in search of more work to be done, the neighbor’s dog Henry sits at the back fence and whimpers until I go and pet him over the fence. Henry is a real dog, feisty and rambunctious, always running and chewing up something in the neighbor’s yard. He has some Jack Russel terrier in him, but he is getting much larger than that breed. Off he goes again to grab a rope and drag it across the yard. See you tomorrow Henry.

In our side yard we have some yellow roses next to our butterfly bush. I stop and smell them every time I pass. Nothing smells as sweet as a rose. The best is the white JFK rose but our JFK bush in the front yard passed a few years ago. The yellow roses will have to do for now.

I put up the hummingbird feeder but no takers yet. I heard the cooler weather slowed their migration. They will be here soon, perhaps along with the hoard of cicadas that are coming this year, too. I love the songs of the cicadas. Since I have a condition called tinnitus, I hear a sound like cicadas all year long in my head. The only time it is droned out is when the cicadas sing in the summer. I guess the sound is so similar it cancels my ear ringing out. I was just remarking to my wife Niki that we don’t see the crows coming home to roost in the large oaks in Webster Groves on their way back from the cornfields. It’s been a tough few years for crows. I know a lot of people don’t like crows, but I have a respect for something as smart as a crow, the Einstein of birds. We do have a family of sparrows who have made a nest the size of a beach ball atop our ceiling fan on our covered deck. One family has already hatched and another is taking hold of the grassy property. As nests go, this is an apartment complex. I guess good property is hard to find these days, even for sparrows.

My daughter Natalie is having her second child, a brother for Jackson named Cooper in July. She and her husband Matt will be happy when he arrives and becomes a welcomed part of our family. My other daughter Stephanie is having her second child too in November, a daughter named Elinor to play with her older brother Joey. This will be my first granddaughter as I will have three grandsons by the time she arrives. I enjoy being a grandfather. It completes me in many ways. I get to watch my children, my grandchildren and now my garden grow with great pride and joy.

There is something about the circle of life that keeps us all going, even when times get tough. I know that every person is their own story, complex and unique with a plot that thickens as life unfolds. I am turning 70 this summer and every day I appreciate as a new adventure. I hope you create your own adventures too, never to forget where you came from and where you are going. Even if it’s just to backyard to pull weeds in your garden or pet the neighbor’s dog over the fence.

J.B. Lester; Publisher