Life is blossoming. New plants and trees are appearing to bring us joy. The recent rain brought new life and beauty. At the same time, we lost a few who brought joy to our lives. John Kramolis was a true trooper. I recall him singing in the choir, even when he had to breathe with extra oxygen attached. Gene Brevold was a loyal member of our Bayfield Lions Club even when it was difficult for him to hear at our meetings. And then there was the nature-lover, Jim Ramsdell, who was taken from us far too soon. His partner, Lori shared her last letter to him, giving us such sweet insight to an amazing man. Many friends spoke at his service, which overflowed with love and admiration. Memories remain dear to us.

The Washburn Library has begun to share films. We totally enjoyed the classic, “African Queen” with Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. Those were the days when stories were simple, love triumphed, and there was no extra violence thrown in to maintain our attention. Simply a good story.

This week I return to the volunteer slot at Encore, after a long time away. I had almost forgotten how special that place is for many of us. I met Kim, who has now joined the staff and will be an excellent addition. Of course, I left with clothing for our upcoming trip, items for grandchildren, and a few “most necessary” house items. We are fortunate to have high-quality resale shops in our area. The world seems less materialistic when one can reuse items versus buying new.

This weekend we will drive to Amherst so stay with Mike’s cousins and learn more about his relatives whom we will visit in Sweden and Finland. Kristine and her husband made that trip many years ago. She is a family ancestry recorder and more valuable than the Internet. I just lost the person who played that role in my family. Uncle Bob Saveland was 96 and a few years ago drove across the country to stay with relatives with whom he had kept in touch. How I value the book he created for our family, complete with articles and stories.

There are many activities now being held at the Wild Rice Retreat Center. This special place will host an Open House on June 4 from 4-10 pm. The new owners will offer health services with a spiritual touch. This has become an essential part of our busy and often-mechanistic lives.

On May 31 CORE presents a Mediterranean Lunch for “Friday Friends” (on a Thursday) at 11:15 a.m. at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Bayfield. Call CORE for reservations, if you are interested (779-3457). The crew of cooks is outstanding, and the camaraderie fills the room.

It is early Friday morning as I write. I must get ready for lap swimming, so will keep this brief. Do enjoy summer and remember our lost friends with fondness.

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