A Very Sweet Year

Ever since I moved here to my house, I’ve been buying honey from my beekeeping neighbors, and what a treat! Local honey is good for more than just as a sweetener; it helps with allergies. I’m not sure why that is exactly, though it seems as if by ingesting the local pollen in the honey, a person becomes less sensitive to those pollens.

For the last month or so, I’ve had to ration the bit of honey I have left because the neighbors didn’t have any for me to buy. I tried to buy some at the grocery store, and it shocked me to see that even the trusted honey brands are no longer using just USA honey. They blend it from a multitude of countries, which seems strange to me. The honey gathered one location is different from the honey gathered at another location, and to mix them seems counter-productive. I’m sure the packagers do it that way to save money — apparently, at one time China almost put beekeepers in the USA out of business because they were selling it so cheaply. That it was mostly flavored corn syrup didn’t concern consumers. They preferred the cheapness.

Well, not me. I am now a local honey afficionado, and I would rather go without than deal with whatever foreign pollens (assuming there are any pollens in the over-pasteurized mass-produced honey on the grocery store shelves) would assail me.

Luckily, my neighbors finally got enough honey packaged that they could share with me. Yay!

I can tell already, this is going to be a very sweet year.

***

“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

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Showers

The workers showed up this morning before I could take a shower. They weren’t supposed to come until tomorrow — they were needed to help put up trusses on a commercial barn — but the wind prevented them from working at the farm, so they came here. I considered taking a shower anyway. I mean, it’s not as if anything would happen. But when they started working on the other side of the wall where the shower is, I decided against taking the shower even though I have to go to work later. I doubt anyone would care either way, but the idea made me feel a bit vulnerable. Besides, what if something happened that needed my attention, and I was otherwise occupied?

Within an hour, though, hail started pounding the area, so they took off and I got my shower.

And the hail turned into snow.

I hadn’t expected the snow showers. It’s been so warm, I figured it might rain a bit, but certainly didn’t expect it to wet the ground. We haven’t had a significant rain in months, and that was merely an isolated shower. (Hmm. Seems as if I have a theme here — various showers. Too bad I’m going to work and not heading out for a baby shower or a wedding shower, then I could really milk the theme!)

Later, my contractor stopped by with a care package. He’s getting into the butchering business (this guy can do anything, I think, even rodeoed when he was young) and I get the benefits of this new business of his. Maple cured ham steaks. Bacon. Steaks. Sausage and ground beef. All grown and butchered right here, not three miles from where I live.

I also get local honey from my beekeeper neighbors. Such a treat, all of this! Too bad there aren’t many produce growers around here anymore, but I’m going to have a raised garden built, and so I might be able to grow some of my own.

Meantime, I will enjoy the largess of others.

And I will enjoy the snow. If I remember correctly, this is the first inclement weather we’ve had since I started working, so it should be interesting. Still, the walk is only two blocks, I have good hiking shoes that are perfect for walking in the sort of snow we get, and I have a walking stick.

Besides, by the time I need to leave, it might be warmed up enough that the snow turns into a shower.

***

If you haven’t yet read A Spark of Heavenly Fire, my novel of a quarantine that predated this pandemic by more than ten years, you can read the first chapter online here: http://patbertram.com/A_Spark_of_Heavenly_Fire.html

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