7.02.2011

Honey(mooning)

Thirteen years ago this week we were honeymooning. I was a young bride, just shy of 22, and our honeymoon was the first vacation I'd taken without blood relatives. Ironically, our honeymoon, the monumental trip to celebrate the binding of husband and wife in holy matrimony, was the biggest taste of freedom I had ever had. No chaperones, no checking in with parents. Just me and my guy, a bag of CDs, a tank of gas, an envelope of cash, some leftover food from our reception, two bikes on a rack, a few rolls of black and white film, and reservations in the Pacific Northwest.

We drove north slowly, along the coast, stopping when we felt like it, drinking beer when we found a microbrewery, but coming home, we took the fast way, straight down I-5, making fewer stops, pulling off the interstate to watch 4th of July fireworks from an offramp in southern Oregon, anxious to get home to our new life together.

I knew the blueprints for our new life included a fixer upper we'd call home (which we bought five months after our wedding), and two kids (the number we both agreed upon from the beginning of our courtship), but I had no idea at the time it would include chickens, honeybees, 30+ fruit trees, an ever expanding garden, and cabinets full of homeschooling, homebrewing, and homesteading supplies. These were change orders that came after we began construction. This life we've built together with the idea of freedom from convention in actuality binds us to each other, to the dirt on which we live, to the animals we care for, to the house we call home in constant need of repair and attention. It's freedom of a sort - freedom to be who we are, where we want to be, to live how we want to live. But it's a far cry from a honeymoon, and it doesn't always feel free.


the beekeeper

Our colony of bees, which rejected two queens, which we feared would die off or leave us, upon recent inspection is thriving and growing. Whether our package of bees came with a queen of it's own, or a swarm took up residence in our hive, we'll never know. But we don't need to know how it works in order to appreciate that it does work, much like our marriage - a cooperative union between two very different individuals, opposites in many ways, from dissimilar backgrounds, who struggle to be heard over the constant buzz of daily life. We arrived here a package of two, cramped in an old Honda hatchback, and we've built up our hive, added on compartments for offspring, larders for nourishment. We've got just the right amount of bee space to keep us content, we can move around each other freely without feeling confined, and in thirteen years, we've never even thought about swarming.

i think we have a queen

Pretty sweet, huh?

32 comments:

  1. Yes ma'am it is sssoooooo sweet. Thanks for sharing. Have a great holiday.

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  2. Molly, this was beautiful! I love the comparison of a bee hive and a family. We too, love the 'freedom' of shaping our life to meet our needs and not the other way around, and just the way you said, I find this freedom binding us together tighter. Which is a great thing!

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  3. Very sweet. Happy anniversary! A similar path we share. Not quite as young when we started, but oh so much together in this life.

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  4. Happy Anniversary and thank you that wonderful blend of bees and marriage. Beautiful.
    PS I enjoyed reading a bit more about who you and your family are and how you found your life path together. I'll be celebrating my 11th this year and was similarly young when I wed. 'Tis amazing how very fast life is zipping by but how much life we've packed into each moment.

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  5. "We've never even thought about swarming"! That's just lovely. Wishing you many more years of this sort of contentment.

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  6. love it. Happy Anniversary!!

    For some reason I don't want bees. I'm good with everything else :)

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  7. Forgot that you were a summer anniversary too - Happy Anniversary to you. Loved the post - really, always do. Feeling a little cut off these days but reading a post from you always makes me feel part of something. How very odd is that! Happy weekend to you!

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  8. perfectly written.
    makes me smile.
    as a lady married almost 14 years though not without strife and attempts at swarming, i commend your story. it sounds just about perfect to me.
    xo

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  9. Happy Anniversary! I knew from the cicada post that you were awesome, but bees?? Too amazing for words! Please keep us updated on what happens next. I feel like Archibald from Veggie Tales when Larry doesn't provide more info on the Cebu's (Is the canoe wood or aluminum?). We would have bee's but our neighbors tend to frown on such fun. Have a great 4th! xoxo michele

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  10. What a beautiful, beautiful post. I love how you write woman!!!

    What is that smoke substance that I always see in pictures where people are tending to their hives? I am interested in bee keeping too. Is it seriously crazy difficult and time consuming? And I LOVE how your hive worked even when you thought it was over! Bees are amazing, aren't they?
    XO

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  11. Spectacular. What a gorgeous analogy... I adore it... and it made me smile from the inside out to read the honesty and integrity of your words. you have built a life based on all the best things the world has to offer... and it makes you better together. Happy Anniversary!!!

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  12. yes, it is sweet ~

    and inspiring. I call on my image of you two sometimes to help me settle in my mind where we are going in our own life. Thank you for such a lovely picture; enjoy your 13th!

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  13. congratulations, molly. happy anniversary. little shifts, changes when and where they need to be made, the flow, you're in it and thriving! i feel it too. happy summer. happy bees. happy happy.

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  14. You are simply brilliant... truly. I so enjoy reading your posts. Thank you.

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  15. ... and happy anniversary!

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  16. happy 13th! happy bee keeping and contentment building and life living. this post was maazing and i had to comment, we are at 11 this year (!) and it gets bumpy, and then we remember what we each want and how to help the other to get there. it comes together. :)

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  17. This is an awesome post. I loved hearing more about you. Happy Anniversary dear Molly. I too, am fascinated by the bee keeping...

    Have you ever read The Language of Bees... it is by Laurie King ... bee keeping is a very minor part of this novel but ... somehow I am thinking you might like it.

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  18. This is great Molly. Happy 13th...
    We were honeymooning this week 15 years ago... goes fast!

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  19. You and your sweetie don't do anything conventionally, so I think it's quite appropriate that you have an unconventional hive! But look at that frame! They're doing just what they're supposed to do! Amazing, isn't it? (Have you watched a baby bee crawl out of a cell yet?)

    Happy anniversary, you two!

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  20. Lovely post. A marriage is such a mystery of attraction and trust. Congratulations, enjoy and savor.

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  21. What a FABULOUS post. Your thoughts on the life you and your husband are building are lovely. Many congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

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  22. What a wonderful post! thank you for sharing it... happy happiest of anniversaries to you and your beloved!

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  23. I love the image of a marriage that you have created. Beautiful. Happy anniversary, Molly.

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  24. perfection. lovely thoughts.

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  25. very sweet, in fact. I love your honeymoon story--I was a young bride, too. So glad your bees have decided to stay a while. Happy Anniversary to you!

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  26. VERY sweet indeed. Happy anniversarry!

    :)Lisa

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  27. Simply stated, your photos nourish me. Thank you seems inadequate.

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  28. Very sweet indeed. Happy Anniversary!

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  29. what a beautiful post.
    Happy Anni~ ( a tad late, but best wishes all the same!)

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  30. Congrats on your bees, & the life you built. Love your header!
    Vanessa

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