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What Floridian doesn’t love the month of April? I mean besides the fact that it can be bright and sunny out at 1:15 p.m., and by 1:20 p.m. you can have a monsoon outside – it is the perfect time of the year. Spring is upon us bringing with it crisp warm weather, the bright blossoms of the azalea, and the anticipation for school to let out for the summer. It brings with it the joy of pulling the boat from under the shed where it has collected dust all summer, and spending countless days attempting to rid our vehicles of the nettlesome Florida “snow” (or pollen as some people like to call it).

Growing up I too was very fond of the month of April however it may not have been for the reasons you think. When a lot of people were pulling boats and jet skis out from their sheds, I was helping my father pull out our potato harvester and getting it ready for the upcoming harvest season. While I was anticipating the end of the school year, it wasn’t so I could spend my days at the beach. I knew that once school was out I would be able to spend everyday at the farm doing what I love. My favorite part about spring was when those huge potato plants starting to bloom. Looking out into that field and seeing those white flowers topping those big leafy plants was mesmerizing.

Now I haven’t always enjoyed looking at those little white blooms. But I remember one day when my grandfather and I were out riding the fields I asked him, “Grandpa, why do you always ride so slow by the fields? If we drive faster can’t, we check more in less time?” I remember the way he looked at me and replied, “But if I was to drive faster, I would miss the chance to enjoy the beauty of every plant.” At the time I thought the old man was crazy but as I’ve went throughout my year of service I realized maybe he actually had a point (or that I was just as crazy as he was). A lot of times we are so focused on seeing the big picture that we tend to forget to focus on the little things because we think they aren’t as important or wont make a difference. We forget that it’s the little things that make the bigger picture possible.

Whether it’s the simple white bud on a potato plant, or when you’re at your next CDE enjoy spending the day with your teammates rather than worrying if you will place or not I want to leave each and every one of you with a challenge. That challenge is to slow down, take a step back, and enjoy the little things everyday has to offer.

Forever Blue,

Stephen Singleton
Area 2 State Vice President

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