May is Mother Nature’s gift to Rim Country. It comes wrapped in bright sunshine, tied ’round with warm breezes, decorated with greenery. May is a sensory delight — the serenade of songbirds, radiant blossoms that delight the eye, the good feeling of soil in the garden, the fragrance of lilacs floating through the air.
With lilacs blooming profusely, it is hard to imagine anything more American, but lilacs are not native to this country. They originated in mountainous regions of Rumania, the Slavic countries, Asia and Greece. The shrub was introduced into Europe in the 1500s and is believed to have been brought to the American colonies before 1750. Its hardiness and adaptability to varying soil conditions made it popular with the colonists. Very likely, pioneer women took shoots of the plants with them as families traveled westward across the country. And aren’t we glad they did?
When I was a small child, growing up in the Wisconsin countryside, there were two large lilac bushes in the back yard of my grandparents’ farmhouse. The blooms were an official welcome to spring after a long, cold winter. Even today, when I see lilacs in bloom, they bring back fond memories of that time and place.
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
A new exercise program, Gentle Stretching, is being offered starting at 11:15 a.m. Wednesdays at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. Following a short explanatory film, Pam Way will lead participants in stretching to improve balance and increase range of motion. For more information, call (928) 474-4876.
Another new activity is that bingo will be played from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays at the Center. The games are open to the public and cash prizes will be awarded to winners. Players may come early to enjoy lunch prior to the games; reservations for the meal should be made 24 hours in advance by calling the above phone number or stopping in the Center Lobby from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. A snack bar also will be open during the games.
Legal assistance for seniors will be available beginning at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 13, provided by Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens. Advance appointments are required.
Needy WIC (Women, Infants and Children) as well as qualified seniors can sign up for food assistance from 11 a.m. to noon May 14 at the Senior Center. Call the Center at the above phone number to learn what requirements must be met.
The Diabetes Support Group will meet at the Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, May 19. John Hancock, RN and diabetic educator, leads the group. For information, call (928) 472-9290.
The Nan Pyle Award was recently presented to Kathy Morgan for outstanding service to the Payson Library and Library Friends of Payson. Kathy is secretary of LFOP and has twice been chairwoman of A Taste of Rim Country, the annual major fundraising event of the organization. She also has been manager of the library’s used bookstore.
Speaking of the bookstore, now is the time to stock up for your summer reading. Regular size paperbacks are eight for $1. Regular hardcover books are three for the price of one — you pay only for the highest priced one and get two more of lesser value free. Be sure to check out the books on the 25-cent table in the entrance to the library as well; you might find a treasure. The bookstore is located just to the front right of the circulation desk inside the library.
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there.