After schools closed, the school lunch program had to be reorganized in the Brookwood School district.
My neighbor Amanda Wallerman saw an opportunity to support the program with healthy dairy products. Through her guidance as leader of the Valle Ville 4-H Club, members voted to participate in what has come to be called Milk Mission, dairy products donated to 400 children 18 years and under.
Donations from more than 30 individuals and corporations that Amanda contacted have made it possible to supply a gallon of milk weekly to each family plus cottage cheese, butter and everyone’s favorite, cheese curds.
Amanda, borrowing the van from Carroll and Mary Wallerman (her family in law) picks up 140 gallons of milk every week, distributed at food sites on Fridays. 4-H club members help make deliveries, too.
This local program is ongoing; donations, welcome. Write a check to Valle-Ville 4-H and send to Amanda Wallerman, 21617 Jitney Ave., Norwalk, WI 54648 Support 4-H. Support the dairy industry. Most of all support the children.
“Go today,” my friend Alice Brandau said.
I was talking to her on the phone about bluebells showing up this time of year in the Kickapoo Valley. When Alice was writing her news column from South Ridge, one of the highlights was her account of Sunday afternoon drives she and Bob would take this time of year to see bluebells. Never alone, they always were inviting another couple to ride along.
Sunday, the day before our phone call, Alice had gone for a Mother’s Day ride twice that afternoon; first, daughter Ann showed up for a road tour. After Ann left, daughter Mary Jo came by and Alice was ready for another drive through the countryside, both times seeing bluebells in bloom.
So when I called Monday morning to ask about bluebells, the memory of seeing them with her daughters was still so fresh in Alice’s mind, she gave me what sounded almost like an order: “Go today.”
So I did.
I stopped in Norwalk first, having ordered a takeout Mexican dinner from Bailey’s Café….my plan: have a picnic in the middle of the flowers. Driving south on Highway 131 toward Rockton, I turned left on County P. There were bluebells, bluebells and bluebells, carpets of bluebells on both sides of the winding road plus shiny green skunk cabbage growing in low-lying swampy areas, and clusters of yellow marsh marigolds. Spring is not canceled.
After a mile or two on P, I backtracked to 131 and drove to the lower park at Wildcat Mountain. I started out on Hemlock Trail, which borders the Kickapoo River, quietly flowing with no canoe or kayak traffic. Delicate, fragile bluebells were in bloom on both sides of the trail, a sea of dainty blue, their blooming undisturbed by thoughts of Covid-19. I ate lunch at the park and drove home. Tuesday morning I called a friend, gave her directions and said, “Go today.”
We, also, can find beauty in our own backyard. Bonnie and Wayne Edgerton invested in three big jars of grape jelly and are feeding seven Baltimore orioles. Wayne has been a successful hunter this turkey season, bringing home two turkeys on two different weekends. James shot one turkey early in the season but since then turkeys on our land have remained disinterested in turkey and owl calls. Grandsons Jacob and Jared, in the woods early morning and late afternoon, enjoyed the opportunity to be outside and in the fresh air but that’s about it.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Pastor Bob, assisted by his wife Dorothy, served drive by communion on Good Friday and then again on Mother’s Day Sunday at Ridgeville for members of St. John’s, St. Peter’s and St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church. The cars line up in the driveway, social distancing a given, and drive up to be served. Bread and wine were received in a plastic packet while Pastor said familiar and beloved words; “Take eat….Take drink.” He also offers Sunday morning devotions while sitting in the living room at the parsonage. St. John’s member Lisa Gille has the technological expertise to set this up on Saturday afternoon, ready for a Sunday morning service that I can watch and listen to on my computer.
The oldest person I know and the oldest person on the Ridge is Anna Miller Anderson, who celebrated her 101 birthday May 6. More than a century old, Anna lives with her daughter Leanne Moore Allen just down the road from me. At last year’s centennial parties a couple hundred people showed up, coming from Texas, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska and throughout Wisconsin. This year, said Leanne, “family and friends came every day of the week two or three at a time from Ridgeville, Madison, Mauston and Rochester.”