It’s Summers Time – More Travel. Upcoming Events. Losing Friends.

By : Kathy Summers

It’s funny – last month I wrote about a difficult trip home from the airport and just last night we had another one of those. Kim and I traveled to St. Louis for the weekend – my first trip there. Kim was one of the speakers at the Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Association (EMBA). A bit atypical for them, they were having the same weather we left behind in northeast Ohio. It was cold all weekend.

Sunday morning we woke to the most amazing ice storm I’ve seen in awhile. Everything was iced over. The hotel shuttle couldn’t get down the hill to even try getting us to the airport. As we stood there, four of us, trying to figure how to get to the airport I got the text that our flight had been cancelled. So what to do?

One of the young ladies with us started checking on Uber and Lyft to see if anyone was available. There were no cars on the roads. In about 20 minutes a Lyft guy showed up. So we figured better to be at the airport – if we could get there safely – to try and get another flight home. So this older gentleman very slowly and carefully got four of us to the airport safely. It was treacherous but he didn’t seem to be too bothered by it.

Once at the airport we realized we weren’t going anywhere for awhile. All flights were cancelled until at least noonish. So we did still get home at 12:30 like we were supposed to – it was just the other 12:30. A whole day spent in the airport – breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’ve never had to do it, it’s not such a bad thing depending on the company you’re with. I always have plenty of reading material when I travel and there’s food available. You’re safe, you’re warm – it could be worse.

The EMBA group put on a great meeting. This is one dynamic group. They do amazing things with the beginners and really try and continue helping them as they go along. Bob Sears, who we’ve know for quite some time, took wonderful care of us, picking us up at the airport and getting us everywhere we needed to be. Thank you Bob.

Bee Culture has our usual busy year coming up and there are a couple of things you need to start thinking about already. July 13 is our Annual Pollinator Day. This will be our 5th year to hold this event. Last year for the first time we got rained out. We made it about halfway through and then it just poured. But previous years have been very successful.

If you happen to be in the area please stop by. We usually run from about 9:00 to 3:00. We have several seed plots on the Root Company property that are maintained through the year by Bee Culture or by the groups that planted them. Some of the folks that have provided seed for our different plots will be there on Pollinator Day. We also bring in people from other local groups – Soil and Water Conservation, local extension people, local farm market folks, Medina County parks people. There’s food, face painting, soap and local products for sale, ice cream. Weather permitting it’s a great day.

Our other big annual event this year will be October 11-13 – The History Of American Beekeeping. In keeping with the 150th Anniversary of the A.I. Root Company this seemed an appropriate topic. We started this event in 2015 and have had very diverse topics. This one is shaping up to be a great weekend. We plan to have some of the old guys show up – A.I. himself, L.L. Langstroth and then some younger folks. Right now we have on the tentative list Tammy Horn Potter, Jerry Hayes, Jim Thompson, Jim Tew, Wyatt Mangum and maybe more. We’re still working on the details but the date is set in stone. So start planning now. Some of you have made it every year and we really appreciate that support. Activities will start on Friday night and continue all day Saturday and Sunday. There will also be opportunities to tour the candle factory. Hope to see you in October.

I want to talk briefly about a couple of special people we’ve lost in the last few months. For many years you’ve heard Kim talk about our neighbor, Quentin and his wife Stella. He’s the guy that mowed our yard forever and knew how to figure out most any problem that you might have. Quentin passed away in 2017 around Thanksgiving. He was 95 and he left a hole in a lot of our lives. This past December just before Christmas his wife Stella passed away too. She was sweet and funny and made the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever had. But she was lonely for that whole year. Stella never quite wrapped her head around the fact that he was gone. She seemed always to be looking for him. So now she’s back with him. We miss them both.

One thing about working here at the Root Company for so many years is the long lasting and dear friendships that have touched my life. The Root Company has provided me with wonderfully close and long-lasting relationships that I really treasure.

We lost one of those at the end of January. She was another Cath. I’ve known Cathy for about 30 years. Cath had gone to a different job a few years ago, but that didn’t dampen our friendship. We endeavered to remain close and made it work the best we could. There were four of us for awhile that would meet on Friday nights and eat and laugh and talk and just be with each other – Cath, Lori, Terri and me. Of those four now it’s just me and Terri. We’ve lost the other two to that nasty cancer monster. Cath was the kind of friend that I hope all of you have at least one of in your life. She loved us with a passion and she showed that to us whenever we were with her.

Cath was known for being a ‘hugger’ and she would hug you so tight that you felt like the most special person in the room. If Cath loved you it showed. She cared for us, she prayed for us and she was always happy to see us. Even through her more than four year battle with cancer, she never seemed depressed or down. She was always just Cath – funny, pretty, always glad to see you. It was hard to say good-bye to her. She has left a very big hole in my heart, but now she has no pain.

Hopefully, we’ll see some of you at the big Tri- County meeting in Wooster, Ohio. It’s one of the biggest. Then we’ll be at the Southeast Bee School in Cincinnati toward the end of March. And the weekend after that we’ll be back to visit our friends in NC at the Organic/ Sustainable Beekeeping Seminar March 30 at Campbell University.

So we’ll be seeing you.