After a prolonged absence or a short one, the joy of coming home is a joy that almost everyone gets to experience sometime in his life time or maybe many times in a life time. Home is the most venerated of all human traditions. It is that place that you know where you are known. The poet, Robert Frost, said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” The privilege of calling Champion home is one that none take for granted. It is where the heart is.
Fifteen Cherokee high school and college students from Oklahoma joined up with seven riders from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Echota, Georgia on May 30th and began the 950-mile ride to commemorate the forced move of Cherokees from Georgia to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears in 1838. They arrived in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on Friday the 21st. For some of them it was a home coming. For the rest it was the experience of going to a strange place. Many of them said it was an amazing trek, but that they never lost sight of the fact that for the survivors of that original trip the experience was much different. Thousands did not survive. The trail passes through many states and at various times of the year many motorcycle riders, some of them Cherokees, retrace the trail as a reminder of the difficulties of those long ago times. One of them said that he makes the ride to remind himself that now the country has a great many different people in it from all over the world. He thinks people should be less quick to decide that they are very different from anyone else. Everybody comes from somewhere and “The moon shines tonight on Pretty Red Wing.”
It is obvious that the past ten days have been busy ones for the haymakers. Some fields look like they have produced three times last year’s yield. It will be interesting to conduct a survey of the increase if those guys ever get down off their tractors. Barns are stuffed and the bounty is greeted with gratitude even considering the hard work it takes to collect it all. Gardens have leapt ahead in the meantime for those fortunate enough to have a garden husbandman at home willing to water from time to time. The weeds seem to have made a great success of themselves as well. A few days of remedial weeding will have it all looking just right. Linda’s almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood says that the 28th through the 30th will be a favorable time for planting late root crops and for transplanting. These are also good days for vine crops, for setting strawberry plants, for pruning to encourage growth and for applying organic fertilizer. There is always so much to do that a person can forget how important it is to get down to the creek!
City girls have come to the farm. They are excited about the garden, the full moon in the country, the fireflies, the frogs croaking at night, the whippoorwills, the neighbor’s cows and horses, and the wild flowers. Penelope says, “When I grow up I want to be a teacher!” Country girls have moved to town. One of them has had the interesting circumstance in life to have a General for a father. He has provided direction, if only sometimes the way not to go. He has most likely been responsible for an enormous amount of embarrassment from time to time and certainly much entertainment. He did, however, offer a steady hand of positive guidance that has resulted in a confident, capable young woman who can pull up her big girl tool kit, pull out her own needle nose pliers, walk into O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and get what is needed to do what has to be done to fix her own car. Admittedly, it was a simple ‘fix,’ but it marks willingness to take personal responsibility and that is a sterling trait of any girl from the country or the town. Champions!
Descriptions of sterling traits are welcome at Champion@getgoin.net or Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717. Look in on www.championnews.us for some visual poetry. “ A hush surf sound sighs and a quiet light glides through dense bows overhanging the deep, cool, soft sand. Dragonflies dance while small spiders dangle by sticky silk threads in the still air.” From the sands of South Padre Island to the broad inviting veranda of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square just to the west of the wild wooly banks of Old Fox Creek, at the bottom of the hill where the pavement starts it is good to be home—in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!