I found this in Mrs. Hoge’s last sketch book.
Here’s a wonderful story that was shared at this morning’s ceremony honoring Mrs. Hoge. It was told by the DNR Project Forester assigned to Carroll County.
She stopped by a local art supply store to pick up a large pink bow for the sycamore tree being planted in Connie’s memory. When she mentioned to the clerk at the store what it was for, the clerk told her that she had known Connie as a customer but had first met Connie when she interviewed her daughter when the young girl was a high school student seeking a spot at the Natural Resources Career Camp in 2006. The clerk said that interview changed her daughter’s life and career goals and that the young woman is now working in a resource management job in Wyoming. She also said that her daughter had met another student at the Natural Resources Career Camp eleven years ago—and that she and he are now engaged to be married.
Today is Arbor Day, and the Carroll County Forestry Board will be having a ceremony in a local park honoring Mrs. Hoge and her service to that organization, the State Forestry Board Foundation, and the Governor’s Sustainable Forestry Commission. My son and I will be attending.
Blogging may be slight today.
When Mrs. Hoge and I bought our first house in Nashville, we moved in during the late summer. The next spring, I was pleased to see crocus popping up in the yard. After we moved to California, we had roses blooming for 11 months each year, but no crocus.
When we moved to Maryland and bought stately Hoge Manor, Mrs. Hoge planted some crocus bulbs for me as a surprise. I’ve enjoyed seeing them every spring. The first two crocus of 2017 came up today.Thanks, Connie.
The photographer who took the portrait of Mrs. Hoge that I included in her online obituary is a family friend that we met through Connie’s beekeeping. Every year, Connie would hostess a New Year’s Eve open house as a birthday party for me, and the photographer would give me one of his nature photographs as a birthday present. I didn’t have the open house this year, but the photographer and his wife stopped by to visit and give me another nature picture.
The photographer also served on the Forestry Board with Connie. Every year, the Forestry Board tries to determine the champion trees in the county, the largest specimen of each important species. Back in 2008, it turned out that one of the champion trees was hollow, and he took this picture of Connie inside the tree.
A memorial service for Mrs. Hoge will be held this afternoon at 2 pm in Westminster, Maryland. I hope to get back to a more usual pace of blogging over the next week.
Meanwhile, thank you to everyone for your expressions of sympathy and prayers.
Sunday was mostly spent in a 150-mile-long traffic jam on I-81 from Winchester to Roanoke in Virginia. I’ve just arrived at a hotel near Jasper, Tennessee. Connie’s funeral will be held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday in Jasper and she will be buried in the family cemetery. Monday will be consumed with arrangement, and Wednesday will be another travel day.