Bee therapy

Bees are remarkably therapeutic. We went out to check our backyard hive this morning. Ron got all inspired by Queen Latifah in The Secret Life of Bees and decided to work barehanded. I went him one better and went without gloves or suit — just my hooded jacket with built-in veil that we bought from Dadant a few weeks ago. He got stung once; I escaped unscathed.

Aside from a minor hive beetle infestation, the hive looked pretty healthy. The population is down a bit, but this early in the season, it probably should be. We put a Feed Bee patty between the broodchambers to encourage the queen to build up her numbers a bit. I expect they’ll be strong and sassy in short order.

It felt good to be out there with my girls. When you’re handling bees, you just forget everything else. You have to. They leave you no choice.

It’s good to be a beekeeper.


That’s why she came

The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.

— Mary Baker Eddy

The quote above arrived in my inbox Friday morning as the Daily Thought from

I’d forgotten about it until Ron and I went out for a late dinner tonight after he got off work. As we were finishing up our dessert, I overheard two ladies talking in the booth behind me. I don’t make a habit of eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations, but the word “Lord” kept coming up, and something told me I needed to pay attention.

One of the ladies was basically admonishing the other to stay positive and look for the blessings in a bad situation.

“Don’t keep talking about what you can’t,” she advised. “You have to just think about what you can. You have to give all the glory to the Lord, and when you start saying, ‘But I can’t,’ that’s giving the devil an opening.”

In other words: Don’t get so mired in your “suffering sense” that you overlook the angel.

Suddenly willing to acknowledge my blessings, I thought about all the ways Scout had enriched my life.

Over the course of nearly 11 years, she taught me about patience, unconditional love, patience, tolerance, patience, persistence, patience, not taking things personally, patience, pack order, patience, assertiveness, patience, balancing praise with correction, patience … and, um, patience.

My kids have a much better teacher because of her. All those things she taught me are things that come up every day in my classroom.

I’d thought the timing of her illness was a little strange: She came to me immediately after I quit teaching in 1998, and here she was, leaving just after I wandered back into the classroom.

Well, of course she left. Her work was done. She didn’t come so I’d have soft fur to nuzzle or a feisty little friend to entertain me. She was sent to prepare me for a trip back into the classroom. Once it was clear she’d accomplished her mission, there was no reason for her to stay.

I still hurt. But in understanding the reason for Scout’s life, I was able to make just a little sense of her passing, and I found just a little peace through the pain.