Michael Mertz

Playing with dad after work

My dad was a beekeeper and came home every day smelling horrible from the spray that they would use to calm the bees. Sometimes he would have bees stuck inside of his clothing and his hair! For me the best adventures were going to work with him and hanging out with all of the bees. He would explain everything to me in a very elementary way giving me a lifetime of respect and admiration for the honeybee and how we get our honey. Every winter we would travel from Minnesota to Texas with the bees. My dad made sure I didn’t wander to far into the backyard because we had alligators! This was so exotic for a girl from the prairies of Minnesota. My dad was always introducing me to things in nature that I have never heard of – and he still is. He taught me how to make wine. And taught me that I can not only make wine out of dandelions, but I can also eat dandelions anyway I wish. One day, in particular, I remember we spend an entire day picking dandelions in a field in the country. He taught me to look for young dandelions that had the most pollen as that would add the sweet flavor to the wine. And entire day of picking dandelions! I had enough dandelion wine for the entire neighborhood! Every day with my dad is an adventure.