Life in white springs there’s no place like home! opinion suwanneedemocrat.com electricity worksheets grade 9

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“There’s no place like home,” said Dorothy after her return home from her epic adventure in the land of OZ. As I write this on Sunday, a strong storm front with a line of thunderstorms and potential tornadoes is approaching White Springs, and the entire east coast of the USA is posting severe storm warnings. I hope that my choice of this “No Place Like Home” headline is in no way prophetic of having a traveling experience similar to Dorothy’s, which started with a tornado! I chose this headline in anticipation of the trip we are embarking on today, a trip to Vilano Beach, a favorite haunt of ours over the years that still has some hints of “Old Florida.” We’ll have to delay our departure today until the worst of the storm has passed.

Our destination, Vilano Beach is next door to St. Augustine, a place that first blossomed into a major tourist attraction in the 1880s after Mr. Henry Flagler built the Florida East Coast Railroad and the fabulous Ponce De Leon Hotel. White Springs perhaps deserves some credit for that. Mr. Flagler had visited here for political reasons over the years and maybe our budding tourism industry inspired him. Who knows? It may or may not be good history, but it is a good story and it might even be true.

At any rate, I’ll tell you in advance of our trip some predictable outcomes that will make me appreciate home. We’ll stay up too late and then sleep in a strange bed. We’ll eat a little too much and I may gain a little weight. Our visits to our favorite places will yield varying results, as “progress” diminishes the authenticity of a place that once qualified as “old Florida.” I can only hope that my fierce love for authenticity does not too much diminish my enjoyment of the places we visit. We are gathering for a reunion with our far-flung tribe of friends from all across the eastern seaboard, and their authenticity is unchallenged, so I know that we will have a good time. I can’t be sure that any or all of my hopes and concerns for this trip will come true, save one. Upon returning to White Springs, I know that my conviction will remain strong that “There’s No Place Like Home!”

As I said last week, since this is “Life in White Springs,” here’s a good reason for White Springs’ folks to stay home and for the rest of you to come visit us. In White Springs there will be a Native Plant Workshop at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park on this Saturday, April 21, from 1-2 p.m. You’ll be able to discover the benefits of using native plants for landscaping and you’ll be introduced to a few of the exotic invasive plants that threaten our natural areas. This program is free with park admission. For more Information, call Teri Graves-McKinstry, Park Specialist, at 386-397-2733.

The White Springs United Methodist Church has asked me to share with you that they will be having an Old Fashion Hymn Sing on Sunday, April 22, at 4 p.m. at the church, 16580 Spring Street (U.S. Highway 41). Whatever your denomination, don’t miss this opportunity for a shared musical experience because everyone is invited! We know we can sing together but knowing is not always enough, sometimes you’ve just got to show people!

Under the topic of “things I learned en route to learning other things. I went to the book signing at White Springs Public Library last week for Khrys Kantarze’s book, “Wisdom From the Suwannee.” It was a full house and the diversity of the crowd was gratifying. As I had hoped, Khrys gave some amazing insight into the creative process that went into the writing of this book. I went there to learn about the writing process, and learn I did, but while there I also was enticed to learn about something else by the knowledge of a new movement for White Springs. Craftivism!

Craftivism is a national movement that caught the eye of our friend and local educator and farmer, Roberta Lacefield of Lacefield Farms, and craftivism’s message inspired her to find a niche for it in White Springs. Because people have grown tired of so-called traditional ways of activism, they are looking for a way to connect and deepen their understanding of things. Yelling doesn’t change things, but dialogue does. Craftivism in White Springs is a developing concept, and was explained to me as a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper and your quest for justice more infinite. This is less about mass action and more about realizing what you can do to make things around you better. This is about doing things intentionally in order to learn about and better process the happenings in our town, our state and our world. And, perhaps most importantly, this is about creating dialogue with others in the hope for positive change. Wow! I love it that small towns like White Springs are not limited to small ideas. I’ll share more with you about the Craftivism movement in White Springs as it develops.

Some things are worth saying two weeks in a row. Don’t forget to vote! White Springs’ Election for Town Council is on Tuesday, April 24. The old polling place on U.S. 41 near the Baily Ogburn Sport complex is closed. As I said last week I’m not going to tell you in this column who to vote for, but I will tell you where to vote! The new voting place is the White Springs Library. Go there on Tuesday, April 24, and exercise your right to vote. It’s a right that others have fought and died for. Honor their sacrifice.