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Senior Issues

July 4 2009 Senior Issues Newsletter

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Preserving Family History Through Technology
Computers now make it easier than ever to collect and preserve a family's history and heritage.


THE JOY BOX: Dancing in the Sunflower Patch

One summer morning, I decided to surprise my teenaged daughter with breakfast in bed. After preparing a wonderful breakfast of waffles, orange juice, eggs and bacon and arranging it on a tray, I decided that a few sunflowers from the garden would add a really nice touch. With knife in hand, I made my way out to the garden and discovered, to my horror, that the sunflower blossoms had attracted an assortment of bees, wasps and -- gasp -- HORNETS! The hornets in our region are commonly referred to as European or Japanese hornets and grow quite large and have good, healthy-sized stingers and its sting causes severe allergic reactions usually requiring a sting victim to be hospitalized. Most critters like bees and wasps will usually fly away when you approach, but these particular hornets are territorial and tend to go on the attack when approached. Sure enough, one hornet had made a territory out of the sunflower patch and wasn't going to let me approach without being challenged. So, the dance began -- with me weaving in and out of the sunflower patch, jumping over watermelons still growing on the vine and ducking around tomato bushes to avoid the unrelenting pursuit of the hornet. I was attempting to stand long enough in one position to get a good whack at the sunflower stalk, but since the stalks are so thick, and the hornet so persistent, I had to make the cuts a piece at a time and keep running in circles -- knife in hand. Little did I know that two of my sons were standing on the front porch watching this insane performance on my part -- and not understanding that I was running in fear from a hornet. To them, it looked like Mama was dancing around in the sunflower patch just for the fun of it. I finally did manage to secure two precious sunflower blooms but was not brave enough to fight for the third. I'm happy to say that they still looked pretty on my daughter's breakfast tray -- and I've since overcome my fear of hornets. Maybe.

Story written by Susan R. Blaske Williams. May not be reprinted without permission.


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