Summer adventures

By David Bailey, General Manager

I’ve always felt like May is the month that really kicks off summer. Growing up, this was when I’d be looking forward to playing with my cousins at our granddaddy’s farm during the summer.

Granddaddy was fortunate enough to own land with creeks that ran to the Pea River, so we spent countless summer days exploring every twist and turn of those creeks. Sometimes the water would run underground and we’d try to find where it came back up somewhere else, or we would hit a boggy patch of ground and imagine we were sinking in quicksand.

We explored nature in that way because of the Pea River watershed, which led all those creeks back to the Pea River itself. In this month’s magazine, you can learn more about the Pea River watershed and other watersheds in the SAEC area.

I hope you’ll take a moment to read about the work the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority is doing here, as well as some important information about its warning system. There are still too many people who lose their lives to flooding, so please take a look and make sure you know what to do if the waters start to rise.

When school lets out, kids have the chance to find their own summer adventures or get a summer job. It’s also a time when teachers get a well-earned break.

I live in a house full of teachers, so it feels as if everyone gets to take off at this time of year but me. Fortunately, May is still a special month for everyone in our household as my oldest daughter and I celebrate our birthdays.

I have always felt honored to share a birthday on May 29 with our late president, John F. Kennedy. In his only inaugural address he urged the country to “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” May is also a time when we all observe Memorial Day, providing an opportunity to honor the men and women who gave their lives for this country. These men and women surely answered President Kennedy's call to the fullest.

It’s because of their sacrifice that we have the freedom to move where we want, see any part of this beautiful country and freely express our own thoughts. We may not always agree with each other, but we should never take for granted the price these men and women paid so we have that right.

One thing that gives me hope for the future of this country is the young people we have right here in our own community. In March, SAEC once again sent a group of local students to Montgomery for the Alabama Rural Electric Association Youth Tour.
I had the pleasure of seeing our own Max Copeland, from last year’s tour, represent the state of Alabama at the NRECA annual meeting in Orlando, Florida in March. It was inspiring to see these young people interacting with cooperative leaders from across the nation.

It gives me hope for the next generation, and it’s important to give these kids opportunities to succeed through programs like the Youth Tour. You can read more in this magazine about this year’s attendees and what they learned.

I hope you all have a chance to enjoy this temperate weather before we enter the full sweltering heat of summer. And remember to take a moment this Memorial Day to give a special prayer of thanks for the men and women who dedicated their lives to this country. God bless America, and God bless you and your families.

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