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What a good idea for a thread, Betty!  So many of our topics have been
ploughed and harrowed so many times that we all tend to be repeating
ourselves to the point of being "thread-bare," pardon the pun.

Hmmm.  Benefits of hybridizing?  I'll add one that is a very important one
for me.

I have had a chronic problem with depression and SAD (seasonal affective
disorder), a miserable way to spend an Idaho winter.  The grey overcast that
hangs in the deep valley where we lived, lasting from November to March, was
very difficult to endure.

Only on those rare occasions where Arctic-type air masses with a winter High
cell spilled over from the Columbia Basin or over the mountains from eastern
Montana and Wyoming let the sun shine. The bitterly cold, dry air was so
clear the sunlight was painful.  Ice skating, rarely possible in the
normally mild temperatures, would be an exilarating thrill if one could
dress warmly enough.

I discovered in my teens that digging into Check Lists for ancestries,
building those family trees and planning several generations of hybridizing
mischief was a wonderful exercise.
Part of my HYB experience every year, this is one in which I still endulge,
much aided by Mike Lowe's pedigree attachments to many significant historics
linked to the HIPS "Quick Fix" and Dykes Medal pages.

Imagination, planning, and anticipation of seeing what the seedling rows
would contain pulled me into the future.  This is the most significant
behavioral contribution to combat depression I have ever found.  Then, the
summer exercise of maintaining the gardens contributed one of the other
significant counter-depression strategies--exercise!

Benefit?  You had better believe it!  That "pull into the future" is a vital
part of my life, without which I think I would just curl up and die.

Neil Mogensen  z 7  Reg 4  western NC mountains

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