This is what life is REALLY about y’all…watching my husband seriously in his element as a new beekeeper. He is so incredibly calm and mellow, and I could sense his utter joy in being on this new adventure. Our beekeeping mentor (A) came back with the rest of the swarm and the two of them spent about 30 minutes looking for the queen but never found her. So A ended up getting us some brood comb and a few queen cells so we are hoping that turns into our own queen and we all live happily ever after in bee-land (if no queen emerges by Monday A said he’ll procure a queen for us). I’ve been really impressed how A’s handled this with us and the homeowners. As a side note, we definitely have been paying him for his assistance in getting us a swarm and spending time with Dan to show him the ropes. Well worth it!
Now that we feel confident and the bees are all happily in their hive and starting to bring pollen back, we went over to Bee Thinking in SE Portland and bought a second box as well as a full beekeeper jacket/veil, brush, and gloves for Dan to do his thing. Since bees need their own store of honey over the winter, we also picked up an inexpensive extra langstroth box to go with it so that we hopefully harvest a nice amount of honey this year while giving them plenty to live on 🙂
At the start of the week we took a little hike over at the Hoyt Arboretum while out running errands. My feet are very on and off, even on dirt paths, so I wasn’t able to go far on this one, but it was still lovely. My dad and I used to go here a lot when I was a kid and I love how they label the trees and many of the smaller shrubs, etc., so everyone can learn about what beauty they’re enjoying. A gorgeous day to boot!
On our day off together we kicked it off by having a final lunch at Blueplate, an old fashioned soda fountain / diner hole in the wall downtown that I’ve loved for the 10 years it’s been open. They are closing after a decade of perfect grilled cheese, egg creams, stroganoff, milkshakes and more (this was my peanut butter and chocolate milkshake) unassuming, delicious food. YUM!
After lunch we grabbed the pup and headed to check out the Ridge Trail in the least traveled section of Forest Park. It was awesome….pure quiet and, if I could have gone further, would have taken us to a killer view of the gorgeous green of the St Johns Bridge. While I was able to get further than I did at the Arboretum at the start of the week, I was only able to walk for about an hour before the awful pulsing began in my right heel. Ugh. But it was still great to get some green time as we both needed some peace.
On a side note… as it’s been knocking me on my ass for so long, we’ve resolved to just not bring up the infertility frustrations in our conversations for a couple of weeks if we can help it. We’ve got to focus on everything else that is good in our lives. So I’m going to try to focus my blog posts for a bit on non-DEIVF, non-Adoption related topics for a bit. We’ll see how well it works but it’s worth a try.
And finally, today my stepfather, who was married to my mother for over 35 years, passed away from throat cancer at the age of 85. While he and I had not been close for many years, I did want to pay tribute to him for the years that he did play a parental role in my life, when we used to get along swimmingly, primarily during my school years. He loved my mother big time, and her loss is a huge one that marks the end of a very long chapter and the beginning of a new one for her. I think of the house I grew up in that she goes back to now, the one that she actually bought back in 1972 with my father (and brought my half-sister & brother from her first marriage to live as well), before they divorced and she married my stepfather. She’s never lived in that house alone. What do you do in that situation…it’s a tough one to imagine.
These three photos are from the early to mid 1980’s, the years that were good, the years when…
He helped me get through that awful math homework.
He loaned me his old 35mm for my first photography class (the kind with a separate hand-held light meter).
During Indiana Jones and Steve Martin movies he’d laugh so loud in the theater we’d all sink down in our seats out of embarrassment.
He could curse with the best of them when having to go under the house to fix something.
He taught me how to shoot both a rifle and a 357 Magnum, and got me a .22 for my eighth grade graduation (betcha couldn’t have guessed that).
He made the waffles on Sunday mornings in the old cast iron waffle iron while my mother made homemade hot chocolate and played classical and opera and we ate on the nice china.
He taught me how to drive as he was the patient one of the two of them.
He introduced me to Billie Holiday.
He and my mother took swing classes and I danced with him as she danced with the instructor.
It’s a weird thing, my father and grandfather died in 2008, my husband’s father died in 2014, my mother’s first husband (father to her first set of children) died in 2015, and now this year the passing of my stepfather. The men are gone, the women survive. Lots of things go through your mind when someone you knew for so long passes away. Even though you were told they never liked you. Even though he dropped any hint of fatherliness as soon as I moved out. Even though all that, you still have memories, and you compartmentalize them so you can allow yourself to grieve for that particular time, along with feeling your heart go out to the one who did love him for over three decades. Yet today all I could think about was my own father. And that if there is some kind of afterlife, my dad looking down on all of this. I’m transported back to that day in his hospital room, when I emptied out my heart and then laid my head on his chest and held his hand as he took his final breaths. When the rattling began and then, the sudden quiet. It was over, and here we are, 8 years later, all of the fathers and grandfathers I’ve known are gone.
So I’ll sign off with this. When we’d go on our many family road trips (Griswold style, y’all), he’d hit the “giddy up a oom papa oom papa mow mow” low notes of the song Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys. That’s where I’ll tuck my memories away, with a silly song…