By Karen Hendrix
For The Tribune
The Kum Join Us Extension Homemakers Club met Tuesday at St. Paul Lutheran Church Borchers with 10 members in attendance.
The meeting was called to order with everyone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and club creed. Members answered roll call by telling others what their grandparents’ names were. We were all quite surprised to find there were no repeat names from the 40 names given.
Michelle Wood gave the treasurer’s report, and Karen Hendrix read the minutes from the March meeting. Everyone laughed when Olga Otte read the Joke of the Month. It went like this: “I couldn’t figure out why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.” The Thought of the Month by Vivian Kamori stated, “Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce.”
The district meeting in March was discussed for those who were unable to attend. Tribune reporter Lori McDonald’s article about the event also was passed around for everyone to read.
Ruth Ann Hendrix discussed the upcoming achievement night May 16 at Spraytown Free Methodist Church. Ideas of items that members plan to present that night were mentioned. This year, the special project is a “Fairy Garden.”
Members were asked about ideas for the upcoming county fair events. Suggestions were given on sponsoring someone this year as our club’s fair queen nominee.
Olga calculated totals from the club for the Blue and Gold award. The clubs are given points for things that the club or members do, such as holding at least 11 meetings, inviting or signing new members, exhibiting at the county fair, attending or exhibiting an item made in the current year on achievement night and also submitting all club dues on time, among many other things. It was found the our club once again maintained gold status with 285 points. This was only achieved by everyone in our club participating so eagerly.
Mandy Otte presented lessons about spring flowers and fun facts about April. She also had word puzzles she passed around about flowers. The five most popular flowers consist of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, irises and daisies.
Tulips first reached Europe in the 1600s and were considered a status symbol among the wealthy. At one time, one tulip bulb cost the equivalent of a year’s salary for a craftsman. Most common people reserved their garden space for edible plants as this was one of their only means of survival while the wealthy used every inch of their tulip gardens to flaunt their wealth. Holland still honors the tulip with an annual festival.
Hyacinths are known for their distinctly fragrant blooms and come in a variety of colors. They’re known as a symbol of rebirth and adorn the tables of many Persian New Year celebrations held on the spring equinox.
Daffodils are rumored to have gained their scientific name, narcissus, from the Greek god. Thousands of colors and variations exist today and have become a symbol of Easter in many cultures. Daffodil bulbs also contain galantamine, which is a chemical used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. In ancient times, its scent was used to calm anxiety.
Irises were immortalized by King Thutmose III in Egypt. Another flower symbolizing rebirth, the three petals of the iris represented wisdom, faith and valor. The iris’ name comes from the Greek word rainbow, which refers to the plant’s many colors and variations.
Daisies belong to a family of flowers called Angiospermae with more than 23,000 species. They are synonymous with spring, brightly colored and energetic in appearance. Daisies also are edible. You may find these in your next salad or adorning the top of a beautiful cake.
Mandy also read some fun facts for April with the first being April 1, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. April 15 was famous for not only the Titanic sinking but also the day Abraham Lincoln passed away after being shot by John Wilkes Booth the previous evening. Thailand is known for having one of the world’s hottest Aprils in history with temperatures ranging from 86 to 104. Hawaii received the most rain with 49 inches in April 2018.
April also is known for weird holidays, such as National Burrito Day, National Pinata Day and National Penguin Day. Our only hope is that someone doesn’t decide to make a penguin-shaped pinata stuffed with burritos.
Carol Mansfield shared other fun facts from around the world. Residents of a town in southwest France celebrate Easter by cooking an omelet large enough to feed 2,000 people. Crowds gather every year to watch this omelet being made. The festival’s origin came about when Napoleon Bonaparte supposedly stopped by a small hotel nearby and was so enamored with the omelette he ate that he brought his army back the next day and ordered the innkeeper to prepare one large enough to feed them all. The current townspeople roll their eyes when hearing this story and say it’s really about community and friendship around the world.
In Finland, the young children dress up as witches. They go door to door offering blessings on homes and singing songs in exchange for treats, much like our children trick-or-treating here in the U.S.
Australia celebrates with chocolates shaped like a bilbie. Bilbies are a marsupial native only to Australia and are an endangered species. The first documented use of the Easter bilby was in March 1968 when a 9-year-old girl, Rose-Marie Dusting, wrote a story “Billy the Aussie Bilby.” Her book was published 11 years later.
Chocolate bunnies were initially created in Germany in the mid-19th century. An American shop owner, Robert Strohnecker, created a 5-foot-tall chocolate bunny as an Easter promotion in his drug store in 1890.
Michelle Wood read our devotion, “A Well Timed Rest,” from the book “Sacred Rests.” In Matthew 26:38, 40, Jesus said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”… Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Jesus knew he would soon have to suffer on the cross to pay the price for the sins of the world. He asked his disciples to come with him at his time of greatest need.
While he cried out to the father, begging him to spare him but willing to go on, the disciples fell asleep. When Jesus needed them most, they couldn’t keep their eyes open. How do we know when it is the right time for us to rest?
There are seasons in our lives for resting and regrouping and also times for laboring with all of our strength. I don’t want to be like the disciples and miss out on something important that God wants me to do because I’m too exhausted or too busy doing something else. It’s so important to stay in time with God. If we ask him, he will give us the discernment to know the difference.
Ask yourself this question: What are you wearing yourself out on? Is it things that really matter or are they of a temporary nature? Will you have regrets in the end? Is your schedule managing you or are you managing your schedule? If you continue on as you are now, will you be overwhelmed or empty most of the time? Do you need to give yourself permission to slow down? You don’t have to figure this out on your own. God’s wisdom is available for the asking.
Even if you are in a tough place, it doesn’t mean you are doing the wrong thing. As Christ demonstrates, sometimes, the work God assigns isn’t easy. Our work might include suffering, sacrifice, surrender, frustrations and loneliness. God knows we are human and need rest from the unavoidable strains of life: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29).
It costs us something to follow Christ, but the joy of an eternal reward and the opportunity to glorify him are worth it. Seek wisdom as your work, searching for God’s timing. Then you will be ready to go and ready to set aside everything and rest when he asks you.
Carol and her daughter, Karen Brigdon, brought another treat from Hawaii. This sweet treat is similar to Chex Mix with cashews, Cheerios and Cheetos for an added twist, made from the traditional recipe with a bit of sugar for a sweet and salty mix. They also had a scrumptious cookie brownie, grapes and strawberries.
Michelle ended the meeting with this prayer: “Lord, time is short and precious. Give me wisdom to know when to seize the moment and when to rest. When you put something on my heart to do, help me to respond right away before the opportunity slips away.”
Our next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. May 2 at St. Paul Lutheran Church Borchers. Anyone expressing an interest is welcome to join us. You may contact the Purdue Extension Jackson County office at 812-358-6101. They can put you in touch with a club in your area, or if you’re interested in starting your own club, someone can help you get your own started. There are seven clubs in Jackson County.
We were recently notified that one of the clubs was dissolving, and we would like to extend a warm welcome to any of those members who would like to “Kum Join Us!” We always have a fun evening when we get together. Hope to see you in May.