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Friday, March 31, 2023

Ed’s Many Old Hats – April and October


Above / Blankets of bluebells are known to bloom in Knoch Knolls Park in late April.

When I was younger with a wife, kids and a regular job, I didn’t have much time to think about things outside my immediate concerns. As I matured over the next 40 plus years, I slowly expanded my thoughts to things other than making house, car, insurance, orthodontist and utilities bills. In fact, I found time to “stop and smell life.” 

I quit working in 1995, but hung around the office until 2001. I felt it was time to go when my son, who had taken over the company, told me that it was time for me to enjoy my “golden” years. Translated that means “Please stop offering advice to everyone.”

Decked out in one of his many old hats, Ed Channell is pictured reading PN back in October 2015, a year after he’d wrapped up a decade of writing columns for the publication that he later called “Much About Nothing.” Who would’ve thought?

I wrote a column for this wonderful little newspaper many moons ago about October being my favorite month. I want to update the story now by covering my two favorites, April and October. April is the month that all, or at least most, dormant plants come back to life. When I see the first crocus peep its little head out in bloom I want to lay down on the ground and hug it. Same feeling grabs me when I see the first tulip. And then there are all kinds of life being reborn to where it left off last October.

I think to myself, “I want to savor this ‘new life’ feeling until October.”

When October shows its first glimpse of life needing a slow down, it usually accommodates nature’s request. All the slow poke plants in my garden make sure their fruits ripen before the first killer frost. In one’s Naperville life, there is a sense that something is about to happen. Bright, burnt-orange trees, flannel shirts, blue jeans, football games, tailgates, Oktoberfests, and friends get-togethers… it’s hard to keep up. And then, late in the month the gnawing reality of November lurking means shifting into another gear.

We start squirreling everything away and buttoning up for five months of anticipating the arrival of April… and so it goes.

Ed Channell
Ed Channell
Ed Channell has served on many boards, foundations and fundraising campaigns during more than 50 years in Naperville—and he loves feedback. Give it to him at echannell1@gmail.com.