It’s been eight-and-a-bit months since I posted here. Tsk. On January 17 I wrote about a favorite trip we took in August 2017! Thirteen months have passed. Tsk tsk.
In the 12 years following husband Peter’s retirement and before dementia tightened its grip, we were lucky enough to have a lot of wonderful trips—to Norway, Africa, Netherlands, to Mexico, Alaska, and Canada, plus several trips to England. But the August trip in 2017 was his last to a favorite destination—upstate New York where daughter Carolynn and her husband Bill live, and where we’d lived for 17 years. Not that Peter remembered we lived there, nor the house that we lived in all that time.
Last month I visited on my own—Peter is now in a memory care facility. I’d thought I might drive the 596 miles, stopping halfway like we did in previous years. But Leslie convinced me to fly. “You’ll be so tired, Mom. That’s such a long drive by yourself.”
I argued I’d been doing all the driving for several years, though Peter was along for company. He couldn’t help with the driving, but he was there, not talking, but there. That did help.
So I flew. I was nervous. Silly, really, because I traveled alone when I worked, plus all the trips Peter and I took involved long flights to unfamiliar places. Still, I managed to get myself to New York even though I overslept because I’d set my alarm to 6:15 p.m. instead of 6:15 a.m.
Carolynn was waiting in Syracuse and she whisked me eastward across the NYSThruway to home away from home.
The miserable hot weather didn’t do us any favors that week, nor did the almost daily drenchings, but it was all good. A pretty hike at Chittenango State Park, shopping and, best of all, I helped process honey. In truth I couldn’t spin the honey fast enough or for very long, so I sat on a chair and held a heat gun at the side of the stainless steel drum while Carolynn and her honey of a helper, Robin, turned it.
Last year Carolynn finally realized one of her long-held dreams when she bought the equipment needed to raise bees and gather their honey. With the bees came a Bill-built shelter for the hives. This year he outdid himself when he built a honey house that is part she-shack, part bee-shack. Seeing it for the first time was enough to make me think about keeping bees too.
Nearly all the materials and most of the furnishings were reclaimed from garage and builder’s sales, from the side of the road, and from Peter’s workshop. It is such a “bee-utiful” space where the Queen Bee hosted me, Robin and her mom Pat at a relaxing, scrumptious lunch—puff pastry quiche, fresh fruit, and honey cupcakes—plus hotly contested rounds of canasta.
So, would I go there again? You betcha.