Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A little story about the birds and the bees

Birds have nothing to do with this, but not that I have your attention, let’s talk about some REAL bees, and lots of them.
My dad is 69 years old and he will try anything as a hobby. He makes lamps and stained glass items. He has a huge garden, full to the brim with a little bit of everything that they will eat. But he wanted to do something else, something different. Something to get him outside, so now he has 2 bee hives. Therefore, he had to get some bees to fill those hives.
Thursday before we left for vacation he asked if we would go with him to get the bees. Ok, I am deathly afraid of bees and extremely allergic to them too. So I really don’t know what the heck I was thinking, so we all tagged along for the ride.
He arrived to the house right at 8, left for coffee and McDonald’s and I realized that I needed my camera for this trip to Parrotsville TN.
Back to the house we go… We arrived in Knoxville about 9:30 and my dad can’t make a trip up there without stopping at the Best Bagel Shop and Deli. There is a reason why they named it like this, it was the best bagel I have had since I left NJ. Just like the NY bagels I would eat growing up, slathered with butter. I had to buy a dozen, along with 2 freezer bags, so that way when we got home from vacation we would have breakfast the next morning.
Originally I thought that we were heading to Knoxville, that is where my dad kept saying. But when he picked us up, he mentioned Parrotsville. I had no clue where the heck we were going, just along for the ride I guess. Where the heck is this place you may ask…. Good question! It is about 15 miles NW of Newport, which is about 1 hour from Knoxville, like you really care. Because at that point, I didn’t care either. Looking at the map later, we were right at the base of the Appalachian Mountains.
Oh the ride up, until one point, wasn’t all that bad. I was in the front talking to my dad, looking around, enjoying the scenery. It wasn’t until we hit this one lane road, 10 miles an hour for 3 miles, that I wasn’t too comfortable with the ride.
Not my dad’s driving, it was the ones flying down the road the other direction. They didn’t look to slow down, or see what was coming around the corner. Thankfully the road widen up some. As soon as we hit that part, there it was, the hives. Oh boy, not what did I agree to do here? He wanted me to take a pic of the hives for him, he was so excited about them, that he was like a kid.

There were so many photo ops, but getting my dad to stop every time is another story. But I did get some where we were at while waiting for him to collect the bees.
There was a puppy that was going after Eric’s shorts
and before I knew it, PJ took off to the workshop with my dad. I wanted to go in there, but the woman that owns the bees wanted to talk, so, to be polite, I spoke with her for a while.
Out comes her husband with 2 screen boxes full of bees. Lots of them too. The bees can’t be in the trunk or the heat, so they had to be in the front floor board, in the cool and dark. But before we got in the car, they had to get the few that were loose off the boxes.
Most of them got off, but 2 decided they wanted to stay hanging on.
On our way home, I had to sit in the back with the boys. I was not sitting up front with about 3,000 bees in each box.
Before I go any further, let me fill you in on this, so you can feel my pain. My dad drove a truck for many, many years. This driving habit hasn’t left him. Now he drives a Grand Marquis with loosey goosey suspension and steering, it rides like a boat, with no water around. I was getting sick in the backseat. Oh it was awful. I would lay my head back and pray that it would pass. The headache and empty stomach didn’t mix well with the ride either.
He stopped before we got on the interstate, bathroom break and comes out with this huge soft serve vanilla cone for the boys. That really didn’t help matters. The boys shared the cone and I had a lick or 2 off of it. Nothing but getting out of the car would help me now.
My dad put his arm on the door, well, there was bee #1. Got him, not too bad, just a little pinch. Now for bee # 2, it was my turn. I must have set my wrist down on the leg, and it must have been there. I didn’t feel anything, but about 2 minutes later my wrist was swelling and itched. Oh goodness, I didn’t have my benadryl that I meant to bring with me, and being allergic, on the interstate just outside of hickville USA, I am only hoping and praying that it isn’t as bad as what the others have been in years past. So not only am I car sick, I am getting sick from the sting. NOT GOOD! Thankfully, the swelling went down and the itch went away.
Finally after about 300 miles we were home. My dad dropped off the bees at the his house, and well, I had to help carry them in. I don’t know how I get sucked into doing this stuff, I just do.
My dad showed PJ the different levels of the hive and explained to him each one. We looked around his garden and the 3 dozen tomato plants. Everything looked so good.
Home was next for us. The end of the road was in sight, and I just wanted out of the car for a bit. I was tired and so were the boys. But I wanted to make biscuits for Chuck’s work before we left for vacation, so I had to go to the store and get what I needed for them. Return movies, drop off resume somewhere else, and then finally home.
So my day was long, exhausting, different. It isn’t everyday that you drive 300 miles to get bees.