479 Tuscany Drive
Portage, MI 49024

Tel: 269-365-0401
Cell: 518-222-6622

​Hope all of you have been enjoying our relatively mild Winter. Just under one month from today is the first day of Spring, which many welcome. In many ways, it is a “rebirth” or awakening, as flowers begin to bloom and trees begin to “green up”.

​In our religious lives, Easter on April 12, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ for the Christian world; in the Jewish tradition, Passover on April 8 is celebrated as God’s protection of His people and for how He freed them from being slaves; and in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, which begins April 23, is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.

​​In our Grange lives, April is Grange Month. Traditionally, this has been a time for Granges to celebrate and to invite the community to their events to learn more about the Grange. Even if you are not the Lecturer of your Grange, this is an opportunity for you to make suggestions to your Lecturer about ways to involve the community and spread the message of the Grange.

​Ideas for action:
  • have an Open House (with food!) where you display your typical Grange activities, 
  • have an awards program for Grange members longevity in the Grange that might include presentation of a Very Important Patron award, and/or present the Community Service Dedicated Worker award, and/or present the National Grange Dick Patten Community Service Firefighter of the Year, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, or the Teacher of the Year Award,
  • submit a press release to your local news media regarding your Grange, including an invitation to your events,
  • coordinate with your local church to have a hymn singalong at the Grange Hall,
  • customize and create a program for your Grange and your community.
Spring trivia: Did you know that baby birds must learn to sing? Although they are born with the ability to sing, they must learn the songs of their species. An isolated baby bird will learn simple songs, but not the complex songs of its species. A bird must hear in order to learn. Only a few birds can sing the songs of other species. The mockingbird seems to be the best at imitating the songs of other birds. (Source: https://withgia.com/assets/files/Spring%20Trivia%20Quiz.pdf)

​Another program or activity idea could be wrapped around Earth Day, celebrated April 22. Many communities have activities to celebrate this day that you or your Grange could participate in. Your Grange might want to sponsor an activity for the whole community. If you are looking for possible ideas, I recommend going to your public library, or if you have Internet access, check out this link: 20 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in 2018 – MERS Goodwill: mersgoodwill.org/20-ways-celebrate-earth-day-2018/.

Don’t forget to have some fun at all your events!


Time to Create and Grow After receiving about four inches of snow in the past week, I was wondering if we really would have Spring. However, today is a beautiful Spring day. My daffodils survived the cold weather and snow, and even came back with more blossoms, and the weeping cherry is absolutely loaded with flowers, which the bees have found and are enjoying.

​Today, I knew that I needed to write this article. I am always telling everyone to work on their State Grange Contest entries, so decided I need to practice what I preach! This afternoon, I completed an entry for the Deaf Awareness Essay Contest. Luanna has three different topics you may choose from, and are limited to 300 words. It is not necessary to develop a topic into a long story as this is only about ½ page typed. I also have experimented making a new recipe of quick breads in the last week that I have enjoyed eating that might be a potential candidate for entering in the Family Activities Baking Contest.

​Of course, I hope that you might consider creating something for the Lecturer’s contests. With time on our hands, this is a great opportunity to bring forth your creative side – perhaps in drawing. Contests are not designed for experts, but instead to help members grow their talents. For those that have access to the In t er ne t, there have been an abundance of art related resources online as a result of the kids being out of school that could provide some ideas. I found this website that is designed for kids, but could give adults ideas for drawing as well: https://craftwhack.com/100-crazy-cool-drawingideas-for-kids/ . For those with limited computer access, often magazines are available in the household and can provide ideas for sketching a drawing. For the two-dimensional drawing/painting contest category, pencil drawings are an option, so it is likely that you have supplies on hand to create that kind of entry. Looking forward to what you create!

​The COVID-19 situation has meant more time spent within family for many. In an effort to keep everyone busy and engaged in a fun activity, you might try creating a scavenger hunt. Some of you may have a tradition for doing this Easter morning to find the Easter surprises, but it could be done any time of the year. This is especially fun when there is some sort of reward that is at the end of the hunt. The hunt could be done indoors, outdoors, or both. Depending on ages involved, it could involve taking photos of “found” items. It could be an individual or team event – lot of options for some fun.

​The word “persevere” came to me during the “stay home” as I was considering my particular scenario. And while watching our church service on Facebook Live, where Hope was discussed, the light bulb went on in my head. The Fifth Degree in the Grange ritual emphasizes and has lessons on “hope and persevere”. Let us move forward in the days ahead doing exactly that – Hope and Persevere! New ways of doing things, and new things to do are likely to evolve as we proceed in the months ahead.