Friday, July 26, 2013

The Road Home

Last week, the kids and I took a roadtrip down to Virginia with my parents. It was a lovely trip, and we really enjoyed it. But when we started our return trip on Monday, the kids and I were glad to be going home.

For the most part, our journey took us north on I-81 and then we took I-84 up into Connecticut. As we approached the junction of those two interstates, a huge road sign read I-84, New England.

I can't explain it, but I got a thrill seeing it. Although we were still hours away from home and it seemed like the trip would never end, there was this notice that we were on the right track. Home might be out of sight, but it was not out of reach, and we would reach it eventually.

I guess that sometimes the road home starts a long way off. But if you stay on it, you'll get there.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Introducing a New Blog

Poor DH claims he's become a bee widower and that he's going to get yellow and black suit so that I'll pay attention to him. (pobrecito!) It is kind of true that I do like to go outside frequently and watch the girls. However, I don't want to tire anyone out with my goings on about the bees.

So in the interest of keeping things interesting, I'm moving all the buzz on bees to a different blog.

Some elements of the new site are still under construction -- like I've got to come up with a better graphic -- but it is open for viewing and happy hour has started.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell

In recent months, my family has accused me on a daily basis of being obsessed with bees. So I've been trying not to write too much about them, but I just can't help myself. They're right, so I'm going with it.

image from
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a book called A Book of Bees by Sue Hubble. I cannot rave enough! Even if she had picked fleas as her subject, I think I still would've been riveted.

Hubbell certainly covers the tasks that a beekeeper performs throughout the course of the year, but this is no dry manual or scientific treatise. It's really more like a journal or memoir in which a solitary woman explores her relationship with her bees, with the land, and with her community.

Her style, as she covers nature's rhythms, is elegant, wry, understated, humorous, intelligent. She mixes in poetry, myth, scientific observations, and casual conversations from a diner -- and it all works so seamlessly.

There are so many passages that I'd love to quote (but won't just in case you decide to read it). However, this is one of my favorites because reading it, I had such a vivid impression of this woman, and I think we would be very good friends if we lived next door.
It is silly to talk to bees -- for one thing, they can't hear -- but I often do anyway. I tell them encouraging things, ask them for help and always thank them for doing good work. It is said that when a beekeeper dies someone must go and tell his bees about his death or they will fly away. Whittier wrote a poem about the practice, which dates back as for as long as humans have kept bees. In the West Country of England, the custom also requires tapping on the hive giving the news with each tap. If this ritual is not observed, someone else in the beekeeper's family may die within a year. It all sounds very superstitious, but I like the courtesy toward bees implied by the custom; I hope someone remembers to tell my bees when I die.
Of course, if you can't take my word for it that this is an awesome read, the New York Times Book Review listed it as a Notable Book of the Year when it was first published.

If you've read it (or plan to read it now), let me know what you think! Did you have a favorite passage?

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