Did you ever have an old catchy tune all of a sudden come into your head and just would not go away? Remember the song about the rubber tree plant and the ant? I had trouble remembering it, but I did recall it had a story behind it in regards to ants…people. 

Ants can be bothersome nuisance at times, but we need to give credit if it is due. What that tiny creature can accomplish is beyond belief.

Have you ever wondered how that little ant can move so much dirt, as well as wonder how long it takes them?

Maybe this all came to mind because as I wondered how come my peony bushes had not yet bloomed this year. My Grandma, who found good in everything, used to tell us how the peonies needed ants for their blossoms to open. It seems it has something to do with the ants taking away the "sticky stuff" that keeps the blossoms from being able to open.

Another life lesson: everything is here for a purpose.

Ants are comparable to our own lives and there is much we can learn from them. They make use of everything in their quest for life.

Ants are remarkable little creatures. They have two stomachs, three eyes and require no food or water to exist. They are incredibly industrious and can lift over three times their own weight. They irrigate the soil by digging endless trenches or tunnels. They work cooperatively to get their jobs done.  They have no government and tasks are divided among workers. Amazon ants make slaves of other ants. There are nurse ants, housekeeping ants, cleaners, food selectors, defenders, carpenters and renovators. They share food and make contact with nest mates.

There are more ants living on earth than any other insect. They are found in all parts of the world except the North and South Poles. Some colonies are somewhat similar to our cities; hundreds of thousands must live together, hopefully in harmony. There are 15,000 species, different in their jobs and habits. They have leaders and workers. They feed each other and work together and where they live is to their species or liking.

Ants are intelligent in exceptional ways but also vulnerable in that they sometimes don't know enough to break trails and in so doing will continue on until they die. 

Sound like people?

Ants cluster and hibernate in the winter inside their nests. They are musical playing insects that make high-pitched sounds that other ants hear through their feet. They congregate with other insects like crickets, cockroaches, beetles, flies, silverfish and caterpillars.

If they're annoying, please don't kill them with pesticides. There are natural methods you can use that will work as well. There are tiny ants that can invade your food supply — like sugar and grease. Keep things in insect-proof containers.

Grandma had a big black ant that frequented her breakfast bar in the kitchen. Kindhearted, Grandma made a pet of it, and enjoyed seeing it leave with a bit of bread she put out every morning. O.K., everybody has “their thing.” I don't recall what happened; maybe that ant brought friends, but Grandma and her ant parted company. It was good while it lasted.

Frank Sinatra’s song, "High Hopes" still reminds us:

“Next time you’re found with your chin on the ground there is a lot to be learned so look around.

Just what makes that little old ant think he'll move that rubber tree plant? Anyone knows an ant can't move a rubber tree plant.

But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes, he's got high, apple pie, in the sky hopes.

So anytime you’re gettin' low, ‘stead of lettin' go, just remember that ant, oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.

When troubles call and your back's to the wall there is a lot be learned; that wall could fall.

Once there was a silly old ram, thought he'd punch a hold in a dam. No one could make that ram scram, he kept buttin' that dam.

'Cause he had high hopes, he had high hopes, he had high, apple pie, in the sky hopes.

So any time you’re feelin' bad, 'stead of feelin' sad, just remember that ram, oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.”

We are a community of high hopes, and that is why we choose to live here!

Birthdays and anniversaries:

• Thursday, June 19th: John Jerome Olson, Josephine Ann Olson, Julie (Vanden Heuvel) & Dale Horihan, Ellen (Johnson) & Mark Johnson, Al & Carol Schultz, Julie & Chad Cornelius, Guy & Tracy Cromwell, Fred & DeLoyce Schmidt, Melissa & Scott Anderson, Tammy & Jeff Busho, Rich & Susan Hanson, Cesar & Heather Rosas, Ashlie Pence, Johnathan David Schewe, Maryann Stone, Jean Pelzl, Theresa Kasper, Monty Spurr, Erica Van Kampen, Tracy Cromwell, Erica McClaskey, and LaVerne Calverly

• Friday, June 20th: Adelyn Grace Quaintance, Jean Ahlstrom, Kari Vanden Heuvel, Christopher Wayne, Patti (Stadheim) Bell, Chris Jensen, Alan Schmidt, Dianne Jensen, Madison Renae DenHerder, Mike & Kirra Hanson and Rick & Karla Kelly 

• Saturday, June 21st: Shirley & Greg Tennant, Dorothy Kilian, Terry Van Kampen, Robyn Schmidt Beckler, Harmony Mattson Anderson, Greg Ramaker, Jay Ditlevson, Teri Jahnke and Haley Katherine Meiners

• Sunday, June 22nd: Jessie Cleven, Marilyne Donahue, Travis Broskoff, Bruce Hunter, Barbara Haberman, Cheryl Peterson, Becca Schei, Mark & Sharon Sorenson, Chris & Linda (Harding) Newgard and Dale & Suzanne Boverhuis Jr.

• Monday, June 23rd: Ralph & Alyce Randall, Carlie (Thompson) & Joseph Sevcik, Greg Bartsch, Ann Farr, Amanda Wacek, Rhonda Reichl, Rebecca Schei, Alley Mae Hammett and Avery Ella Hammett

• Tuesday, June 24th: Rhyan Rebecca Fritz, LuAnn Hanson, Gordon Hanson, Joel Butler, Andy Sommers, Mary Harty, Sheryl Berg, Rick A. Miller, Julie (Krieg) & Brian Hove, Valerie (Tobiason) & Scott Quiring, Stephanie (Morris) & Brad Hendrickson and Danielle (Cook) & Travis Johnson

• Wednesday, June 25th: Paul & Deb Wallace, Brad & Jannell Tufte, David & Lori Lembke, James & Mardelyn Thompson, Boyd & Jeanene Reese, Brady Nelson, Rachel Lerum, Michael Bell, Hugh O'Byrne, Brady Nelson Heimer, Marilyn Nelson and Boyd Reese

With each passing year, grow stronger, grow wiser, and grow richer in spirit. May the year be filled with new discoveries.