It all happened too soon, the end of Summer. When I was a child, summer started June 1, and ended August 31. We went to school until Memorial Day and went back on Labor Day. No more. These days kids, thank God, are already in school and have been for a week or two. The collective sigh you hear is their parents. We were cheated out of last summer, so this short one has been crammed with airline trips, traffic, and a general order thus, discontentment to “have fun at all costs.”

It ain’t happening. Airlines have clogged up the air, traffic has crowded the national parks. Heck, even the bears are complaining about the tourists. For those of us who try to predict the future, I chose to stay home and celebrate with friends. The ability to see each other over a meal is irresistible to me. Now, Don, I know you said I speak too much of food, so I will save the recipe for the end.

I belong to Route 66 Arts Alliance. Members are musicians, writers, and fine artists of many stripes. That means “different.” We have wood workers, cloth artists, fine artists, and craft people. The commonality of these folks is their love of creative purpose. When we can get together in person, we share malarky, moods and magic, all within the confines of art. We had a patio party at my house in June and are planning another in September.

We consider what we can do for our community, so, recently we had tables for children to make art at the summer Party in the Park. While we do hawk our own products, our group is dedicated to spreading, “Art as the Heart of the Community.” I went as a storyteller, Mary Poppins’ sister, Mary Popout. It was hard to compete with the water slides, but I cornered three high school boys and told the tale of, “Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like.” When they left, they knew too!

Our discussion at our next potluck will be the Summer Arts Camp for kids, happening this year Sept. 18 and Sept. 25. Find our ad with details in The Independent. No recipe here Don…

This weekend we held a Congratulations Potluck supper for the Edgewood Lions and specifically, to honor one of our most dedicated members. Debbie Bryan has been a Lion over 30 years and served as last year’s District Governor, 40-N. It’s a tough position to hold if there is no pandemic. Deb fulfilled all her commitments with the help of her also Lion husband, Bill Bryan.

The Lions, as an organization, started in 1917 and was dedicated to becoming “knights for the blind.” This was at the invitation, in 1925, of Helen Keller. Keller is famous as a writer who was born blind and deaf, but overcame these disabilities with education and training. Here it is Don: The food at our potluck was wonderful. Most of the Lions had come hungry from handing out free hot dogs at Rich Ford, something we have done for years as community service. After all, our motto is “We Serve.” But that night “We Ate” everything and… wait for it. Red Jell-o was served with strawberries. Don, you take a pack of red Jell-O, add boiling water. Add cold water, add fruit, put it into the refrigerator and cool till solid. Eat and enjoy. We did!

Both organizations can be reached on the net, Route66artsalliance.org, or facebook, Edgewood Lions Club of New Mexico. Roaring Mouse, burping up strawberries, out.