Years ago my friend and stand-up guru, Tim, said (regarding his students’ performances), “the ones who make me the most nervous are the ones who aren’t nervous.” I have shared this wisdom with countless beekeepers, especially new beekeepers getting ready to install a new package of bees. Our brains are hard-wired at birth to be afraid of yellow and black things that fly around our face; if you’re not a little trepidatious about a big box of bees you’re probably not doing it right.
I confess I’ve been struggling with a rough patch of writer’s block trying to find something to say about this year’s trip. I tried re-reading some of the old posts here and found a lot of it is just me dealing with my worries. This year feels different.
Part of it can be explained by my wonderful experience with the wizards at Baylight Homeopathy. After a bit of a “health scare” last fall, I went there to see if they had anything to offer for (without delving into too much detail) “chronic tummyache” and high blood pressure. I was given a homeopathic remedy that has helped a great deal with my body’s response to anxiety. I find now I am able to look more directly at stressful situations without so much mental noise. This trip is challenging, but I’ve done it for seven years in a row and I know what to expect now. This morning I did see an 18-wheeler tipped off my side of the road but facing entirely the wrong way. I saw the tracks on the center grass where it had clearly missed a curve and careened clear off the other side of the road. Made a mental note to definitely not fall asleep at the wheel.
Part of it is the weather forecast. For the past few years we’ve had challenging rain. It appears (knock on wood) we might get a break from that. As always, we worry about the bees getting too hot but it looks like temperatures are going to be pleasantly moderate for the trip home. I worry about the bees getting too cold but the answer to that is to just keep an eye on the bees’ thermometer and, if necessary, I can stop and let them warm up. I’m cautiously optimistic. (This is not my natural state.)
A drive of 1,100 miles each direction is mentally and physically challenging unto itself. So far (and I hesitate to risk jinxing it) everything has gone smoothly. I arrived at the Hatfield Inn in Leitchfield, KY early this afternoon. Check in time is 3:00 and I arrived a bit before that so I took the time to set up the trailer for tomorrow.
Once that was squared away I went into the lobby to check in and realized it was only 2:30. I had once again forgotten about crossing into the central time zone a few miles east of here. I thought I might have to kill some more time or get some hassle from the front desk staff. (I should mention that I’ve never mentioned the Hatfield Inn before because up till now the staff has been almost comically unfriendly. Almost. But I noticed a sign “under new management” and it shows. I was actually greeted with a smile (for the first time) and KIND WORDS! Then I was handed the key to the John Hatfield Suite. It’s a lovely room.
(I did immediately visit the bathroom and, whilst sitting on the thinking throne, encountered an enormous spider. I don’t know what kind of spider, only that it was not an innocent-looking New England spider. I was going to snap a photo but the thing was heading straight for my foot and I thought it best to end the encounter on my terms.)
I’d made good time and had over-shot the spots I’d thought to visit on the Bourbon trail. Once I had taken care of everything here I looked at the map and realized a visit to any of the distilleries would mean almost two more hours in the car and I didn’t have the strength.
I went into town to get some groceries for the roadtrip home.
My friend Lawrence had asked me to look for a local whiskey he hoped I’d be able to bring home. Leitchfield has two liquor stores. The one at the near end of the block had never heard of it. The store at the far end of the block had it in stock.
With all of my chores finished, I found myself a little early supper, did a little writing, and now I’m thinking about getting to bed early and maybe facing the long journey home well rested for the first time ever. Wish me luck.