Leila Case: Tropical heat wave simmers

Published 4:06 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2019

I complained to a friend about the heatwave we’re experiencing and she noted it’s not even summer. Goodness. Is the remainder of the season going to be this unbearable? Let’s hope we have a respite soon and the air conditioning holds up.

I water our outdoor container gardens and shrubs at first light and again at dusky dark so they won’t wilt and die especially the hydrangeas and my newly planted Rosalynn Carter native azalea bought at the plant sale at the annual Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail Symposium in Plains last month.

Speaking of the Butterfly Trail, Annette Wise, director and co-founder, was the featured speaker at the Sumter Federation of Garden Clubs spring luncheon meeting Tuesday hosted by the Dogwood and Azalea Garden Clubs. Topic of her talk, of course, was the Butterfly Trail and how it came into being with only one garden: former first lady Rosalynn Carter’s garden on the grounds of their home in Plains in 2013, and since then has grown to other areas throughout our community and the world until now there are 900 registered Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Gardens scattered across the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Annette pointed out the Butterfly Trail is near and dear to Mrs. Carter. The trail’s purpose is to establish more habitats for butterflies by including host plants in the garden that provide nectar for pollinators such as the monarch butterfly that is becoming extinct.

The long Memorial Day weekend had everyone traveling here and yon — the farthest I went was to the annual Memorial Day observance at Andersonville National Cemetery, which was outstanding. Of course, we sweltered but it was so worthwhile to be there to honor the men and women in the U.S. armed forces, especially those who died defending our great country. The historic site was a sea of red, white, and blue. Large flags lined both sides of the avenue into the cemetery and more 20,000 tiny flags flew over each gravesite thanks to the NHS staff and many volunteers that placed them. It was a demonstration of patriotism.

Those from I saw were Annie Bell Moss, Brooks Nettum, Mary Ferguson, Jean Deriso, Phyllis Tucker, Kay Boyd of Leesburg, Dr. Wallace Mays, Phil and Myra Hardy, Wade Barr, Larry Smith, the Rev. Bill and Sue Dupree, state Rep. Mike Cheokas, R-Americus, and his wife, Gaynor Cheokas, Jim and Jim and Vickie Covington.

And the Americus Rotary Club chose the brand new Jackson Street Train Depot as the site for the club’s annual picnic and trip raffle Tuesday evening, and it was such fun despite the heat hovering at 98 degrees F. There were big fans and cool drinks served up in patriotic red, white, and blue glasses and a delicious supper catered by Gyro City Mediterranean Grill. My favorite was the baklava dessert. Americus Rotary is the first organization to have a private event at the depot. Jimmy Whaley, president, welcomed everyone as well as Cindy Pryor, event planner. Thurston Clary, deejay, kept things lively with the music. Raffle winners were Gaynor Cheokas, Nicole Kirksey, and Russ Childers. Others enjoying the evening were: Kathryn and Brent Moore, Gail Clary, Jelena Hoston, Don and Sybil Smith, Tim Kirksey, Qaijuan Willis, Courtney Bowers Brown, Susan Ruckman and Jordan Carter, Bill and Sue Dupree, Mark Scott, Jim Covington, Danny Adkins, Carl and Judy Tott, Lou and Candi Riccardi, Brad and Mary Lafevers, Davis Moore, Marion and Virginia Franklin, Mike and Gaynor Cheokas, Julie and Al Higgins, Bruce and Leila Case, and Hank Hart.

Bill and Gay Sheppard, along with Nancy and Mark Hayes, have returned from the Holy Land that Gay describes as an incredible spiritual study abroad trip. Andy Cook with Experience Israel Now, based in Fort Valley, led the party of 52 from throughout the southeast. Places they visited in Israel were the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Judean Wilderness, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, Nazareth, Tiberius, Magdala, the Golan Heights, the most famous of Herod’s palace-fortresses know as Masada Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, the Western Wall, the Kindron Valley, Gethsemane, the Via Dolorosa, and the church of the Holy Sepulcher. Gay says Andy’s mission is to bring the Holy Land to Christians and he will be at Salem United Methodist Church for morning and evening sessions of his Bible Conference of Experience Israel Now Aug. 25-28.

Tune in next week for details about Sylvia Roland’s week-long trip to Australia. Meanwhile, I’m headed to the kitchen for iced coffee.


Leila Case lives in Americus.