chelsea cookWithout dwelling on this topic, many people are very depressed, lonely and do not do well during this “holiday” season. Those people should have been with me last Monday evening. Oh, or last Tuesday morning. What a great way for one to start a weather wise dreary week. You may remember I told you about working with a group of elementary students on a bee project. Hold on! They went to the local contest and (insert Taa Daa here) they won FIRST PLACE GRAND CHAMPION. But wait, he says with a grin as broad as a German autobahn, they then had to go and compete against all the other winners from all the other contests. Too much competition for some North Tulsa students from a poor school? Yessir, that could have been. The difference there is that this group had a marvelous teacher who guided these students all the way. They won FIRST at the State meet.
Yes, there were other people involved but I do not know to what degree. One lady I almost missed giving credit was also from our bee club (NEOBA) and she was instrumental in seeing they had some proper equipment. After the state contest, all these scholars came to our bee club meeting last Monday night and did the bee part of their program for the club. I’ll back up a little. The incoming president and I agreed that the students should come IF (!) they could. The teacher readily agreed and the students were 900% pleased they were invited. OK, I shall not tell you again about how I thought they were all so cute, clever and intelligent. You will just have to read the post from a cupla weeks ago. But on the day of the meeting and leading into the evening, I was almost a basket case. I could get no response from the teacher. Sadly, I told the president that i guess they weren’t coming. Now this is after I posted post after post on our message board about them and encouraged all members to be there so they wouldn’t miss something very special.
It was not my Christmas highlight to sit in the meeting auditorium listening to the out-going president drone on and on trying to figure what to say to the club members. Suddenly, new president tapped me and said, “They are here.” We went into action. Now my former students can tell you I have been able to organize a Chinese fire drill which usually couldn’t be done. Sometime I can give examples but not now. These students had been so well taught and were of such personal character that they were ready when they entered the lobby. When I stepped from the auditorium to the lobby I was met by a group grin, bright flashing eyes and beautiful countenances that only can come from quality kids. The teacher, her team helper and the team treated me as if I were someone important. Their attitude is one of the biggest compliments I have ever received. Talking to the teacher I found that she never received my emails nor heard of my telephone messages. Oh well.
Our biggest problem was getting the president to quit talking so we could get this bunch on stage. They were ready. You could probably believe that a group of youngsters age 9 or10 - 12 would have been almost too nervous to perform for a large group of strangers. They were not. There were eight of them and only one microphone. They passed that around better than i have seen some “pros” do and the whole thing went off without a hitch. One boy forgot a line and had to make two attempts. Did not hurt a thing. They had the facts and the process down super pat and it showed they had put effort into it. From my visits and information, they had “invented” a way of blowing powered sugar into a bee hive which would then cover all the bees. The bees would clean off the sugar which would dislodge varroa mites. The mites would then fall into a pan of soapy water and die. Varroa mites are the latest scourge of bees. This is a non-poisonous, very environmentally friendly way of treatment.  The club members were so impressed they insisted that this process should be patented, and very soon. Several said they were going to do that when the time came. The team called Aviators from Lindbergh Elementary and one old beekeeper were all ecstatic. Very successful event.
The Tuesday thing was very good but not nearly so dramatic. I made muffins to take to the men and ladies I work with at Salvation Army. It is Christmas season and I believe that the men in the program need to know that other people care. So, since my birthday is next week I told them I was giving myself a surprise party and wanted to share with them. There was one large candle flaming on the table. Most of these men are new to us this week and don't really know me - yet. Oh, I also told them I was afraid to eat anything I made because there was no telling how it was made. That broke the ice and grins and chuckles happened. It also didn’t stop them as the muffins were gone almost in a flash. I consider that little bit a great birthday present.