Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The Honey Man
Liana, my younger daughter, attended theatre performances during the Shakespeare festival in Ashland, Oregon while on a Spring field trip when she was a middle school student in LaPine, Oregon. When she returned, she was ecstatic. “Mom, the kids there are all kinds of colors. It is so mixed. You have to go see it. Please, Mom, go check it out.” It was obvious she wanted us to move.
My husband and I had made multiple trips to Oregon, when he decided he wanted to retire from the Alaska State Troopers. While we were not certain we wanted to leave Alaska, the economic issues were unavoidable – we could not afford to stay. We had traveled all over his home state for an appropriate place to live. We explored Salem (where he was born and raised on a farm), Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, the coast and finally looked at the central part of the state. On our way back from the southern part of the state, we happened on LaPine, just thirty miles south of Bend, which I liked. Then I did something really weird – I sent him to find a house – ALONE. But, this is really about The Honey Man.
We had lived in LaPine for three years when Gary and I had to make a trip to Astoria for a series of meetings. We decided to travel down the coast and cross over to Ashland located on the I-5 corridor (almost literally). Needless to say, I found Ashland absolutely awesome. I felt so comfortable. The only problem was the high cost of living.
Ashland had a regular Farmers Market, next to a rather strange church/spiritual center that Liana and I loved to attend. There we made the acquaintance of The Honey Man. Liana loved honey stiks and we made a point of always stopping by his stall to not only get her some, but for me to get the various honeys, etc. that I needed. We asked The Honey Man about his honey: he owned bees; did all the work during the seasons during the Oregon summer, but also owned bees in California so he could continue his finished product work during the off season.
Liana has torn her ACL (ligament in the knee) and could not attend the market with me for several weeks. Although I did not think she should be out walking (with her brace) at the market, she begged me hard enough, I consented. We walked and walked, buying items here and there, eventually reaching The Honey Man. Liana asked me to take a rest, assuring me that was all she needed, and told me to continue shopping. I went merrily off to buy some seafood and veggies, only to return to find my daughter in a complete state of disarray. The Honey Man had sat her down on his only chair, given her water, and taken care of her. He arranged for me to bring my car down right into the market to pick her up.
I have never forgotten The Honey Man. I wish I could tell him Liana is now running marathons and training for a triathlon; and that she still loves honey stiks. Thank you Honey Man.
[Sorry for the reference to the beehive hairdo!]