April Today vs. Last Year vs. Next Year

Last year on today’s date was the Junior Prom for our youngest son. We went to get photos at a park that lays alongside the Mississippi River. No one knows this, but it is the first time we ever went down as parents to take photos of our son and his date at the park. We have two older boys, both of whom went to prom. We never went to the park for them. This made the occasion memorable. My son wasn’t planning to go to prom this year. Good thing, too, I think it was supposed to be last weekend.

Today, was another day of staying home under the Safer at Home order in Wisconsin.

Last year, I was working part-time at a local Land Trust. We had an insanely busy schedule that was set before I started my time there. My job was to organize our outreach events and start to plan some educational offerings. Last April, I was busy getting speakers for events and managing a manual to digital transition in our registration system that caused some confusion for participants.  Our Hike and Write event held on April 20th was somewhat of a bomb, with only 8 participants including myself showing up. The weather was poor and we had to move the venue at the last minute that precluded a hike on the bluffs and replaced it with 5-10 minute outdoor observational sessions at a local park.  It was too bad. Our hike leader was phenomenal! She was a published author and on the board of directors at a local writing center. To this day, I remember her telling participants to look right under their feet for something to write about instead of always looking off at the beautiful vistas (and we do have some here that are hard to ignore).  I wrote about stones I saw in the garden.  It was a very valuable experience – one that I wish more people had come to partake of.  I was proud of that event because it was the first one that I had complete control over organizing (other than the selection of the date). Although not well attended (it was also the Saturday before Easter), it was memorable and fulfilling for me.

This April I was scheduled to present at three local schools, for a sum total of 1,150 students! These were Environmental Day and Earth Day presentations that included the topics of Monarchs and Milkweed, Citizen Science, and Conservation for Kids. Three different venues, three different topics, three different student bodies!  I miss seeing children for the purpose of sharing my passion for nature with them.  No worries. I’m invited back next April to all three schools. However, I am a tad sad that I will not be talking about conservation on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! That would have been so cool!

On this date next April, I am sure things will be different still.  Sure, some things stay the same from April to April. The ground thaws, the snow comes and melts quickly, and the birds return singing to welcome us to the day. There’s yard work to be done, flowers to order or start from seed, and borders to tend.  For now, those are the things we can count on.

One thing is for certain, last April I could not have imagined this April!  So one never knows what is in store for next April.  We can only hope that it’ll be less eventful than this month has been!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

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