Old Mission Flowers on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Old Mission Flowers on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Do you know that Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day? It began as a way to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. After WWI, it honored all men and women who died as the result of military action, but was not called Memorial Day until after WWII. Until 1968, it was celebrated on May 30, regardless of the day of the week.

When the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, the three day weekend we know today came into being. On Memorial Day Monday, it is tradition to fly the flag at half staff from dawn until noon in honor of those who gave everything for our freedom.  

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“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”John F. Kennedy

Peninsula Community Library will be closed Saturday, May 27 through Monday, May 29. The Bayshore Marathon makes it difficult for staff to get in on Saturday, so instead, some of us will be volunteering at the Friends of PCL’s Aid Station and cheering on the runners!

Our gardens are in need of caretakers! This is a way to help out at your community library on your own schedule! Email me if this is something that interests you. We will find you your very own section! You can use our tools or yours! 

I am also looking for a volunteer to refurbish the Children’s Little Free Library in the Children’s Garden. It needs sealing at the seams and a fresh coat of paint. Pat Sharpnack and Deb Lange did a fabulous job on the adult Little Free Library out front! Let me know if you are handy and want to take this on. The house may be removed from the post to work on at home. 

As you are planting summer gardens, don’t forget to save your extra seeds for our Seed Library in the old card catalog in the foyer. This is a great way to share. The first drawer contains envelopes. Just be sure to mark and date what you are donating before you leave them in the basket. Bought too many commercial seed packets? Those are welcome, too. Many thanks to Judy Heffron for caring for this collection!

Teens who still need volunteer hours should not wait until the last minute! Let me know now! Of course, we welcome their help even if they don’t need hours. Don’t forget that they have their own room in the library as well!  The library is a great place to hang out! 

Much is happening at PCL this summer. Our quarterly newsletter will be in the mail this week.

In the meantime…

Wing Watchers. Kay Charter of Saving Birds Through Habitat joins us June 5 at 6:30 p.m. Our new birding group meets monthly on the first Monday of the month. Bird walk – June 1, 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Pyatt Lake: Bill Carl’s Nature Preserve – meet in the parking lot on Pyatt Lake.

Summer Time FUN. Patrons of all ages are invited to enjoy four weeks of reading, songs, games, crafts and fun with PCL’s Summer Reading Club. Sign up at PCL beginning June 15.

  • Week 1 (July 10-15) is Camping FUN with stories in a tent, 7/11 at 11 a.m.
  • Week 2 (July 17-22) is Bubbling over with Water FUN – story hour, 7/18 at 11 a.m.
  • Week 3 (July 24-29) is FUN on the Move – Story Hour, 7/25 at 11 a.m.
  • Week 4 (July 31-August 5) is FUN with Friends featuring Music FUN with Miriam Pico, 8/1 at 11 a.m. 

All programs are held outdoors weather permitting. Teens, join us 7/27 at 6 p.m. to make a drip art masterpiece and for pizza! Adults can craft a recycled card wreath 7/6 at 6:30 p.m. Details, displays and prize info at PCL!  

AI is NOW. Patricia Henkel teaches us – hands on – how to use Chat GPT and other forms of artificial intelligence from your iPhone, June 19, 5:30-6:30. RSVP – space limited!

OMPS Students Rock History! June 20 at 2 p.m., a local history talk features select students from the OMPS third grade class to share their winning coloring artwork from our “Once Upon a Peninsula” activity book. Tim Carroll will share one room schoolhouse tales as well. Light refreshments will be served.  

Swaying to the Music. Our garden concert series kicks off with a Summer Solstice event sponsored by the Friends of PCL, June 21 from 5-7 p.m. with Irish music by Doc and Donna Probes. Free ice cream, too! Nicholas Veine, a music scholar from Manistee, joins us June 30 at 7 p.m. with a little bit of blues, jazz and country. July 14 at 7 p.m., Doc and Donna return with popular songs we all love. August 9 at 7 p.m., Ruth and Max Bloomquist offer up “rootsy acoustic Americano folk!” Pack a picnic for all! Rain venue is the community room, no picnic. 

The Night Library. Families are invited to stop by June 27 at 8 p.m. after hours for bedtime stories, s’mores, and a night craft. Come in your jammies! If the night is clear, take a look at the sky through our telescope!

Michigan Medicine. We are proud to continue our collaboration with University of Michigan Medicine. This series features physicians renowned the world over. On July 17 at 3 p.m., Dr. John D. Bisognano, M.D., Ph.D. talks about preventing heart disease as we age. August 21 at 3 p.m. brings Dr. Christopher D. Lao, M.D. on new treatments for melanoma and advanced skin cancers. Dr. Lao will be joined by Dr. Christopher Keram Bichakjian, M.D., who is the chairman of the dermatology department at Michigan Medicine. Looking ahead to October 2 at 3 p.m., we are joined by Dr. Martin G. Myers, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., who shares recent research on diabetes and progress toward a cure. Each hour-long program will be followed by a fireside chat with time to ask personal questions. You MUST register at victors.us/MMPeninsula. Register early, as space is limited! 

Our Friends are Your Friends! The Friends of PCL have hot summer plans! Beach Bundles for summer reading are offered for sale in the PCL lobby 5/30-6/30, puzzles & games too! The Annual Book Sale starts August 9 (members only) and opens to the public August 10-16.  

A traditional poem popular for both Memorial and Veterans Days is In Flanders Fields. It was written by Canadian physician and poet John McCrae, who watched his friend die at the Second Battle of Ypres during WWI. Legend says that McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem and discarded it. Fellow soldiers retrieved it. It is because of his poem that the poppy became a symbol of remembrance. We honor those who gave their lives for our freedom. 

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I wish you a safe and happy holiday weekend.  – Vicki

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A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


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