Out and about

Friday, May 7, 2010

Today's editorial, on the other side of this page, offers just a glimpse of the events, happenings, performances and celebrations on tap this weekend and the rest of May. It's great to know there are so many choices.

One thing that may not be on your radar yet is strawberry season. Sweet, juicy strawberries are being picked by nearby growers, and this year's crop seems to be tastier than ever. Find your favorite patch and enjoy.

Last year the part of the yard at our house nearest the patio sprouted new growth. At first the vines didn't mean much to me, because lots of things grow in the wild hedge that I can't identify. These vines put out small yellow flowers in early spring. By late spring and summer, the vines were sporting dabs of brilliant red. They were tiny strawberries.

The strawberries are back this year, and they're much thicker than before. My mother's yard in my favorite hometown in the Ozarks over yonder was thick with these vines. She called them wild strawberries. But I think they are really wood strawberries, the difference being wild strawberries have white blossoms that produce larger and tastier fruit, while wood strawberries have tiny fruit with no taste.

In addition to stocking up on fresh-picked strawberries last weekend, we also went to the Oliver House in Jackson, where a wine-and-cheese fundraiser was being held. There's a big dose of history there. The best part of the refreshments might have been the dried-tomato cheesecake, which was scrumptious.

If you haven't been to the Oliver House -- and a lot of folks who have lived here all their lives haven't -- check it out.

Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Cape Girardeau had a choral evensong Sunday afternoon followed by tea and crumpets and wine and cheese and other goodies. An offering was taken for the Shelter of Hope, a serious and practical approach to helping the homeless in our community. Chaplain Terry Wildman from the Shelter of Hope spoke plainly and honestly about the need.

Evensong, or evening prayer, is one of the four Daily Office services in the Book of Common Prayer that also include morning prayer, noonday prayers and compline, which are bedtime prayers.

Choral evensong is one of the most beautiful settings for prayers, and the Christ Church choir did a first-rate job. I hope they will consider doing it more often.

The Bedell Performance Hall at the River Campus got quite a workout this week, including the stunning symphony performance Tuesday featuring violinist Liesl Schoenberger. Students in the orchestra played well above the level of most professional community orchestras. What amazing talent we have here.

And Wednesday night Garrison Keillor kept a full house mesmerized for an hour and a half. Keillor is the master storyteller of our time, and the audience appreciated every minute.

Is this a great place to live, or what?


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