“Y’all come back now, ya hear?” - Mississippi

Good morning, afternoon, and goodnight SCA! This is Frankie, your favorite crew member from Southern Cali and late arrival to Mississippi. This has truly been a memorable summer to say the least! Sadly this past week we have lost two members as they have left for school. Nakeda left for Arkansas Pine Bluff and John went back to University of Tennessee Martin. The house has lost some of its southern charm and a bit of personality since they left. Nonetheless the show must go on as they say. In the same time we were able to welcome a new member to the group, Annie, although she is new to us, she is an experienced veteran of the SCA Survey Program with her previous experience coming from being a lead in the spring season. The surveys had been quieting down as summer comes to a close and school starts, yet with the warm southern climate, it’s still a great day to enjoy the lakes and campsites. With the dwindling numbers, we have witnessed the seasoned visitors to the areas. We have heard stories of their fishing trips or how they retired in the campsite. All together, it was very entertaining and helped the survey periods go by faster. In our first conservation day we returned to the Oxford community garden. The group helped by clearing out a community harvest plot and preparing it for the next season’s seeds. Then the team moved on and helped clear a pathway that was overtaken by weeds and was unsightly. Right as the sun was coming up and warming the Oxford garden the rest of the time was used clearing out the blueberry bushes of weeds and grass. Overall, it was difficult with the early warmth and humidity but we were able to tough it out and pull through defeating the weeds at the garden. That same day the team was able to travel down to Grenada for the Balloons over Grenada Festival. The festival featured carnival rides and food fit for a fair. It also included the hot air balloons and at the end of the night a fireworks show. That night also greeted us with a little bit of a natural light show in the sky with some lightning but thankfully, for us, no precipitation. In between the crew gained a new member and when Frankie and Brenden went to pick up Annie, they decided to use the opportunity to explore the sights and food that Memphis has to offer. They had authentic Memphis BBQ along with traveling to Beale and Union Street. Overall it was a great experience leading to welcoming Annie (albeit better late than never) to our Oxford family. The next day was our last conservation day. It was at the Oxford Community Garden again. This time it was harvest day so Brenden, Frankie, and Keith all took part in helping harvest the cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Time was also spent cutting the basil, trimming and cleaning up plots that are currently without owners, and turning the compost pile. The day finished up when the group organized the leaf and wood mulch, then with the weeding, laying cardboard and wood mulch. The crew was able to beautify the garden once more. Within a week, we will all finish our last surveys, clean the house, and enjoy the last days with each member who we have all established such beautiful friendships that will last a lifetime. Our house was not perfect by any means, we had the arguments, the laughs, the dance parties, games of munchkin, the highs, lows, blah blah blah but in the end it worked out to be our own crazy family that learned to coexist and produce a quality product for the SCA.  We will all go on our own ways, whether it is continuing work in conservation, SCA, or whatnot but we will never forget the summer we worked together in Oxford. It was truly a memorable summer.