It was great attending the Chautauqua of the North concert at Sand Lake Township Hall. At first glance, the invitation said, we are holding our third concert this year, come, bring a dish to share and enjoy our music.

Well, first we had to find out the time, then check our schedules. I emailed Richard Lacher and basically told him, he would be attending! Concert is Saturday night, you are going right? Well, he did find out the time and said see you Saturday night, also he would be at the “Hill” in Squaw Lake, Sunday for Nancy Shaw’s visit with neighbors and friends.

So, Saturday night during a beautiful ride up North to the Sand Lake township; weather was sunny and humid, road was dry and MPR radio played a comic routine out of Chicago.  I Arrived at the event carrying a store bought box of éclairs. A question to myself , would I know anybody there beside Richard and Elinor Wright?” First person, greeted me and said “Welcome Back!” . I was so relieved.

A lot of people greeted us as we went through the line to get some food. We sat at the end of a long table and enjoyed the fellowship of those around us. A lot of the tables had wine bottles brought in by the guests. Lights came down and the show started. Four ladies sat at the two piano and started out with a favorite When Johnny comes Marching Home. It was wonderful. The poems and stories were right on! Americana was the theme, the decorations and music fit perfectly. Why Sweetgrass?


Sweetgrass is the hair of our mother;

Separately, each strand is not as strong

As the strands are when braided together.

                                         Quote by Mary Ritchie


Sweetgrass has a sweet, long-lasting aroma that is even stronger when the grass has been harvested and dried and this is moistened and burned.

Sweetgrass is used to “Smudge”; the smoke from burning Sweetgrass is fanned on people, objects or areas. Individuals smudge themselves with the smoke, washing the eyes, ears, heart, and body. Sweetgrass is one of the four medicines which comprise a group of healing plants used by the people in Anishinabe societies. The other three are tobacco, cedar, and sage(Mary Ritchie 1995)

Many Native tribes in North America use Sweetgrass in prayer, smudging or purifying ceremonies and consider it a sacred plant. It is usually braided, dried, and burned. Sweetgrass braids smolder and do not produce an open flame when burned. Just as the sweet scent of this natural grass is attractive and pleasing to people, so is it attractive to good spirits. Sweetgrass is often burned a the beginning of a prayer or ceremony to attract positive energies.

Frances Densmore (1974) explains that Among the Chippewa (Ojibwa), “stands of sweet grass were made into “coiled basketry” by means of cotton thread. This took the form of bowls, oval and round, and of flat mats. Birch bark was sometimes used as the center of such articles, the coils of sweet grass being sewed around it.”


Defination: an annual educational meeting, originating near Lake Chautauqua New York in 1874, providing public lectures, concerts, and dramatic performances during the summer months, usually in an outdoor setting. The work is also used for any single organization pursuing this activity.


Special evening planned by the “WOW” Women of the Woods! Thanks for all your work to put on such a special evening!