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When you read this, we will almost say goodbye to April, not apparently to the April showers. That one wonderful week of summer sure spoilt us, and it seems even colder now than before. Even though it isn't, hail again today.

Still, the flowers are blooming everywhere, some even earlier than they normally should. For example, I have a lovely star magnolia which came into full bud near the end of that week. The buds have remained partially closed this week, so they will be around longer. However, my purple magnolia usually is a month later opening, and it has plenty of buds which will likely open this week if it gets to the temperatures forecasted.

Last week I didn't have space to mention the passing of a longtime friend of mine, Keith Bacon, with whom I went to Port Perry High School. The Bacons lived on the west end of Cragg Road, about halfway there. Once Keith got on the bus, it was non-stop teasing and joking around. He took over the farm from his dad while brother Earl was on the other side of the road. Keith was always involved in Jr. Farmer, 4H etc., some politics and the Uxbridge Fair, Greenbank church and other community activities.

He has a Sandford connection as his father was the brother to Alma Smalley, and grandmother to Ron, Stan and all their sisters. Another connection was Annabell Jones. A couple of times when I went to visit her, I found him ahead of me. When Annabell first taught at Marsh Hill School, Keith was one of her favourite students. He will be missed in many ways. Condolences to Carol and their children and grandchildren.

On Tuesday, the Seniors met at the Centre for another delicious lunch from Mary and her crew. Following the meal, a Durham police officer was in attendance to warn about and suggest ways, to avoid being the victim of a scam. Something which happens with increased frequency. His best suggestion was just not to answer the phone if you don't recognize the name or the number. The same applies to emails, messages, Facebook posts or other communications where it looks suspicious. Check it out, and don't click! He also assured everyone that courts and police officers do not demand money be paid out immediately or in gift cards and other strange ways. Be alert.

There were a few birthdays and other celebrations this week. Suzi Hilts Stanley was first on my list. The Hiltz family lived on the farm just as you are coming into Sandford. Suzi married a farmer, and her children are involved in many farm and agricultural activities. Her husband is a rock hound. Although picking stones was never a great past-time, pretty rocks can be.

Shirley Hewlett has reached the grand age of 88. Shirley and Don farmed and raised their family in Zephyr for many years and were part of the church community before retiring and moving to Bolsover and the river. Beating her in age is Barb Murphy, who danced into 96 this week. Barb is still busily engaged in the Lucy Maud Society. The Murphy family, with their eight kids, purchased my original farmhouse. At one later point, they gave shelter to the Banh family, who had immigrated to Canada. Cindy Risebrough also celebrated her birthday with a family party. Many years ago, when she was maybe 3-4, coming out of the Sunday school, she started to choke. The only time I have ever pummeled a child.

Best wishes to Ron and Mary Anne Herrema, who are celebrating their 35th anniversary. They have two children and a granddaughter. Hard to believe that Ron was another of those young things I met many years ago.

Forgive me for boasting about my great-niece, but I'm proud of Hayley Ashton. This is what her dad and mom say about her as she finished vet school, "She recently was named a 4-H Ontario ambassador, which will take her around Central Ontario attending 4-H related activities promoting the program! She just completed her final year at Ridgetown Agricultural College and then completed Eastgen's AI course in the last couple of days. Then 30 minutes after she got home, she was out milking cows so I could go out and finish some fieldwork. Ma 'n Pa are proud of all your hard work these past few years. Well done". The whole family is proud of her. I am sure there are other young people I would like to hear about as well this graduation season.

Lots of musical events and other performances are coming up. Foster at the Foster was a tremendous hit with a full house. This past Friday night, there were two events necessitating a choice. I went to hear One Voice at the Anglican Church, songs of Canada, just wonderful as always, with most songs by Canadian composers. Also taking part in the concert was Bella Nove, and this group of nine young ladies will be the last to learn under the tutelage of Jennifer Neveu Campsall. Only one more concert for them on Sunday, June 4th, at the Presbyterian Church.

Meanwhile, at the Leaskdale Heritage church Tom Baker, friends Ernie Mee, bassist and Ed Tait drummer, performed to a crowd of 60 happy folks. They will be performing once more in June, but unfortunately, that date falls on one of the Friday Nights at the Foster concerts. Too much of a good thing, but aren't we lucky to have such talent close to home? Friday Night at the Foster concerts begins May 5th, featuring the Ferrpost Jazz Ensemble. Volunteers for Friends of the Foster are desperately needed. Contact Bev. Northeast.

Church Sunday was a Sandford led by Rev. Dr. Bill Fritz. Ruth and Alayna provided some lively music before worship. The annual meeting followed it, this time of the Unified Board structure with both churches together. Several important motions were made for changes that will occur in the future.

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