By Shelley Bennett
It’s full-on summer in the Bennett household and that means that mom is in Miss Lassen County pageant mode. This year we have eleven lovely young ladies to introduce you to, but that will come at a later date.
They have already been busy with workshops in speech writing and walking, attending a chamber mixer, and participating in a few community service opportunities.
When I saw that the fair office was looking for groups and families to sponsor flower beds at the fairgrounds, I knew that this would be a new project for the MLC contestants.
After a conversation with gardening expert (and my former middle school science teacher) Sherrie Thornton, we decided on a raised bed that contains a flagpole and memorial to a local Vietnam vet. (More on that later.)
Last week the contestants planted a variety of pink and purple flowering plants under the direction of Sherrie. They got right to work; organizing the plants by color and size, making sure the design was balanced and pleasing to the eye.
Some worked on cutting out an old rose bush while others dug holes and added fertilizer. They brought water over and planned for the next phase of repainting the brick and wooden planter.
Now it’s time to water and nurture them so they will “fill and spill”. That’s Sherrie-speak for the plants will grow and spread out, filling the bed with colorful blossoms to be enjoyed by fairgoers in less than a month.
It ended up being a great way to start our pageant preparations. Personalities were unveiled. Friendships began. Relationships were cultivated.
It also reinforced that community service not only benefits the community, it benefits you. It feels good to do something that others will enjoy. To make something beautiful. To realize a potential. It’s not just flowers, it’s fulfilling.
As I am reflecting on this, I realize that it is a great metaphor for what we do with our pageant contestants: plant, water, bloom!
Remember when news was ‘newsy’? When you read about weddings, family events and engagement announcements in the newspaper? If you have something that might be newsworthy, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to include it here in “The Good Stuff.”