Spring has officially arrived -- the first daffodil bloom in my garden opened Monday. With a little rain and a lot of sunshine, more will open their bright faces this week before Easter.
What are your favorite Easter memories? Several years in our youth, we acquired Easter pets. There was a large white bunny named Silvia Tinkerbell Lilly, and numerous fuzzy little chicks dyed blue and pink and green. They outgrew their colorful coats and lived in the back yard until they were deported to the farm. The largest chick grew into a rooster we named Big Milt. He would perch in the willow tree and crow.
I don't recall any organized Easter egg hunts from my youth. We had eggs hidden in the house, and hidden baskets, too. After the big search, and with very little candy consumed, we would put on our new dresses, hats and gloves, white stockings and patten leather shoes for Sunday School and church. Thinking back, how did our mother get three of us dressed and out the door at the same time?
We know it's Spring when we start acquiring packets of seeds. This month the Our Iowa magazine included some sunflower seeds. They are "Russian Mammoth" sunflowers form Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah. The envelope of seeds, which features a Dave Carpenter cartoon, says "Plant them in your garden and watch 'em grow?" This is an heirloom variety that grows to 12 feet or taller, with seed heads as big as dinner plates. We might be seeing a number of sunflowers growing in gardens this summer.
If you are looking for somewhere to go this month, here are a couple of ideas from Jessica O'Riley, Tourism Communications Manager with the Iowa Tourism Office:
Fort Dodge Vintage Market, Fort Dodge -- April 21-22
More than 25,000 square feet of vintage, primitive, antique, retro and unique items. Twice a year vintage, primitive, antique, retro, unique & more market with 48 vendors plus food. Located on the east side of Fort Dodge at the East Campus of Iowa Central Community College; not at the main ICCC campus.
Take a Bite, Amana Colonies -- April 21-23
A 3-day food fest. A culinary event that features cooking education, hands on instructions, sampling, special menu items, and special dinners at our food businesses. It's a "foodies" dream come true. Located at the Amana Colonies, 622 46th Ave.
Coming up this Spring: 10th Anniversary John Wayne Birthday Celebration in Winterset on May 26 and May 27. Ten years ago, members of the Wayne family gifted the community with a magnificent bronze statue of the iconic actor on what would have been the 100th birthday of the most popular movie star of all time. The celebration continues. More is available at information: www.john waynebirthplace.museum