Browsing Archives for June 2010

My dear friend Hal Sears has departed this old world and he will be greatly missed by many, many people. He was a one of a kind, extremely unique person with a zest for life and a quest to understand it. If you peruse Hal’s obituary, you will rapidly discover a man who chose a decidedly cobbley path filled with interesting twists and turns. Talking to Hal was always an adventure.

Long time readers might remember the day that Hal and I made an echinacea tincture together.  I am so glad that I got to spend that time with him.  Years ago, when I worked at the cooperative grocery in Lawrence, Hal was my boss.  We became very good friends. He was a reader at my wedding.  I chose Hal to read the New Testament scripture during the ceremony and I picked Hal for a reason.  He was a man who was always willing to look at things with a fresh perspective as well as a man who sought forgiveness and who easily forgave.  (I chose Norma Osbourne to read the Old Testament, because to me, Norma was Job – a woman who had lost everything and still found a reason to fight hard to live and to love, but Norma is a different story for a different day).

I just wanted to pause and remember Hal.  Because he was my friend and to say that I am so very glad that I had the privilege of knowing him.


Hal’s Fantastic Obituary…

Hal Don Sears was born the youngest of three children on Turkey Mountain, near Clarksville Arkansas in 1942. His parents, Lowry and Evelyn (Jones) Sears, were farmers. His has two sisters, Rochelle and Phyllis, both still living. He joined the Marines in 1960 and played French horn in the Marine Band until 1964. After completing his service with the Marines, he attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he met and married his wife Davida. They moved to St. Louis in 1966 where he achieved his degree in History from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. In 1969, he was awarded a Danforth Fellowship and moved to California to study at Stanford University. After settling in Santa Cruz with Davida, Hal expanded his interests in natural medicine, herbs and wild-crafting. In 1977, Hal, Davida and their daughter, Laurel, moved to Lawrence, KS. He joined the Community Mercantile Co-Op in 1982, where he became their vitamin and herbal supplements specialist until his retirement in 2005.
Throughout his life, Hal was a writer. His works included The Sex Radicals: Free Love in the High Victorian Era, articles on herbalism, sports history, Dr. W.A. Quayle (founder of Baker University) and C.G. Jung. Lately, he was working on stories of his childhood in Arkansas. Hal was an avid reader and studied intellectuals and their writings until the end of his life. He was a devoted member of St. John’s Church, and loved to study and read the Bible and church history.
He has two daughters, Laurel Birdsong Sears and Saida Cora Bonifield. He is grandfather to Mercury Faye and Greer Posey. In the last few months of his life, he ran around joyously with his granddaughter Mercury, helped with a newspaper article on Elderberries, kept up the Adoration at St. John’s church and, from time to time, enjoyed a cold Free State beer. A funeral service will be held at St. John’s Catholic Church on Friday June 18th at 10:00 a.m. A memorial service will be held at a later date to celebrate his life and his many contributions to life in Lawrence.

Butterflies on a Coneflower

June 16th, 2010

I don’t always carry my camera around with me when I am working in my garden.

There are days when I pull weeds, fertilize, water, harvest and just generally

stare at the plants in my garden without a single thought of cyberspace.

But every once in a while I will have my camera with me and something will happen that is actually worth photographing.

A frog will leap, a praying mantis will become an atheist, a heron will pause for a shore lunch at the pond, or maybe…


a butterfly will land.

And perch in the center of a Tiki Torch Coneflower….

So that along with blurry photos of humping cucumber beetles, muddy tomato labels and half eaten eggplant,

there is also the occasional pretty picture of a butterfly on a flower.

Possibly making all the manure caked effort worthwhile.

This is me wee little onion patch.  I’ve got some volunteer tomatoes coming up between the rows and I have decided to let them live.  As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing better than a tomato that grows itself.  


On a recent visit to see my in-laws, I toured my father-in-law Joe’s garden and he told me that the secret to a big onion is to clear away the soil from the bulb once it starts to show a bit above ground.




So that is what I did.  I removed the dirt around my onions to expose about two thirds of the small white bulb.  

It was a trick that I hadn’t read or heard anywhere else, so I thought I would pass it along.  

Thanks Joe!