Farm crops

Be on the alert for a large increase in farm traffic on local roads. The warm weather has prompted farmers to get the job done soon, as planting season came on quite suddenly. We have seen tractors with discs and planters and fertilizer trucks passing by in recent days. None of them has been small. Be on the lookout for them and for motorcycles, too. 

Undie Sunday

May 15 will be Undie Sunday at Vasa Lutheran Church. Sometimes women and their children arrive at The Haven of Hope domestic violence shelter in Red Wing with almost nothing. The church will accept donations of packages of new underwear, socks, and toilet paper on May 15. Since children often accompany their moms, both child and adult sizes are welcome. Thank you.

Epilepsy Foundation

Bring used clothing, bedding, or towels to the Lutheran Center by May 15. They must be bagged and will be given to the Epilepsy Foundation, along with similar leftover items from the recent rummage sale.

History Museum exhibit

Currently the Goodhue County History Museum has on display a traveling exhibit, "Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories." It will be open to the public during regular museum hours until May 25. 

Red Wing founder

Frederick Johnson will bring a local perspective to the History Break on Wednesday, May 18. His topic this month is Edward Larrabee Baker, an early Red Wing founder and leader. He was the mayor when the Civil War broke out, so he left his thriving Main Street wholesale hardware business to fight and defend the Union. After the war, he planned construction of Diamond Mill, Minnesota's most modern flour milling operation. It is a story of success and challenges. For more information about these History Break programs and other questions, contact the museum.

Blood donations

The Red Cross says that blood donations are "critically important this spring." The bloodmobile will be at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in rural Welch May 12-13. The hours will be noon until 6 p.m. on Thursday and 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Farther into the future, it will be in Cannon Falls on June 7 and 17 and in Red Wing June 9-10. Registration is required. Check out the Red Cross website to make an appointment and learn of other upcoming blood donation sites and dates. The need is continuous, since blood products have a limited shelf life. Thank you for doing what you can.

Aid for Ukraine

The news from Ukraine continues to be horrifying. Lutheran Disaster Response has joined with Lutheran World Federation and Church World Service to provide shelter, basic necessities, and pastoral care for people impacted by war in Ukraine. It's possible to donate through local Lutheran congregations or send a check directly to ELCA Gifts Processing Center, PO Box 1809, Merrifield VA 22116-8009. Write "Eastern Europe Crisis Response" or "Where needed most" in the memo. One hundred percent of the money raised will go directly to help the refugees. For more information, visit ELCA.org/disaster. Thank you for doing what you can.

Odds and ends

The Vasa Museum is open for the season. Regular hours are on Sundays, from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. It's also open by appointment; contact the church office or any member of the museum board to make arrangements. 

To keep informed about happenings in Vasa, check out the church's website. The office phone number is 651-258-4327; be advised that office hours are limited. Please leave a clear message and phone number, and someone will return your call. Email the church at any time: office@vasalutheran.org. Reach Pastor Maureen at: pastor@vasalutheran.org. Masks are optional at all events. The Vasa Museum is open by appointment only. Contact any member of the museum board or the church office for more information. And thanks for saving those canceled postage stamps for veterans.

Looking ahead, the word is that the annual tractor parade will be happening on June 26.

Seemingly overnight, the forest floor is turning green with gooseberry bushes sprouting leaves and wild ginger and geraniums emerging, too. Trees are budding. Very colorful birds are returning to their summer homes. We have seen Baltimore orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks, scarlet tanagers, and indigo buntings. They have joined the brilliant yellow goldfinches to create a rainbow in the yard. 

And so, Dear Readers, until next week, may your joys be many and your cares be few.

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