I rent an enormous box at the post office. It’s called a drawer and it’s large enough that the bee journals lie flat on the bottom with room to spare. The drawer takes up a large percentage of the post office because the entire establishment—just a trailer—is quite small. So is the town. I’m told the only reason this post office still exists is because it serves the state prison at Cedar Creek.
This morning I decided to get the mail on my way home from the grocery. At the post office I was pleased to see that someone had filled the potholes which were large enough to swallow a small car. If someone went missing in this town, that’s the first place I’d look. Anyway, today they were full of gravel which will be gone by Monday morning.
When I opened my drawer (conveniently located at ground level) I was surprised—and dismayed—to see a box. The package looked just like the queen shipment I received last week and I immediately tried to deduce what went wrong. Had I double-ordered? Was I getting queens belonging to someone else? How long had they been there? It could have been a week.
The box, however, was not pierced with air holes so I glanced at the return address—and it suddenly came back to me. One of my readers from Mississippi had offered to send a sample of his honey. I’d all but forgotten about it, but now I was giddy with excitement. What a thoughtful thing to do!
Long ago I used to wonder why beekeepers always gave each other honey. I thought it was odd. Now of course it makes perfect sense. After all, who appreciates the nuances of honey more than a beekeeper? It’s like vintners sharing their wine or brewers sharing their ale—its value is enhanced by mutual understanding.
A letter enclosed with the honey names the plants the bees foraged upon and describes the processing method used. As I sit here contemplating the honey and the letter, it’s hard to believe that someone I don’t even know would make the effort to send this sweetest of gifts. I am truly amazed—and forever grateful. Thank you so very, very much.