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Growing On The High Plains: Mistletoe Magic

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Kisses of red childhood memories dance through my mind during the holiday season - the magic of mining for mistletoe in rusty red cedars planted in the red soil of my Oklahoma home.

Mistletoe’s meaning goes well beyond the romantic notion of kissing. It derives from viscum album, the Celtic word for ‘all heal.’ But then again, what’s more healing than kissing the one you love?

Before shiny lights adorned our Christmas tree, well-worn decorations and mistletoe brought color to what at first blush might appear dull and lifeless, like much of the High Plains region. But a second look shows a vivid and vibrant scene of family, fun and festivities that represent what Christmas, and the High Plains, is really all about.  

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.