Not long before we officially launched the Glacier County Honey Company, Honeydew announced he had bought me a wedding present.  I like presents, so this news was okay by me, except that he had already bought me quite a lovely gift to wear on our wedding day:

something new: custom made cowboy boots, with my new monogram

Of course, the boots weren’t finished yet – three months before the wedding (and in fact, three days before the wedding) they were still being held hostage by their very eccentric maker, but that is a fairly hilarious story for another blog post.

I pondered this gift.  Honeydew usually gives me hunting gear, despite the fact that I’ve yet to put lead, steel, or any other metal projected at high speeds into a living critter.  But surely he was not giving me anything printed in Mossy Oak as a wedding gift? The symbolism of wanting not to be seen marrying someone as obviously whacked as I am was not lost on me.

Perhaps it was jewelry.  I decided it had to be.  Clearly one of my Belles down South had sent Honeydew an e-mail about traditional Southern weddin’ gifts … such as canary yellow diamonds, Mikimoto pearls, and emeralds from Mt. St. Helens.  My imagination ran wild, despite the fact that I knew exactly what was in our not-yet-combined checking accounts.  And that amount was not only not sufficient for entre into Harry Winston, but clearly earmarked for the purchase of our bee biz.  And with it our livelihood.

Honeydew was, thank God, blissfully unaware of the Gulfstream V my imagination had boarded, and came right out with it.  He announced gleefully, “I bought a 1995 GMC Topkick from the Smoots!”

A 1995 GMC Topkick?  That sounded charmingly retro.  I pictured a baby blue convertible … and us perched on the cracked vinyl bench seat, top dropped, heading into a cottony pink dawn on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

I paused.

“You know, a truck!”

I paused.

Did he mean a shiny new, lodgepole pine green Chevy 4 x 4, extended bed, extended cab, with sunroof, XM radio, and buttery leather upholstery?

He saw by the look on my face that I did not yet know that a 1995 GMC Topkick is not just any ole pick-em-up truck, but in fact a 2-ton-extended-flat-bed-truck.  A truck.  He explained: the kind that has six tires and you register with the DOT and then acquire a CDL to lawfully drive kind of truck.

Ah.  Gotcha.

“We’ll be able to haul twice as many bees with it!”  The look on his face was not unlike the look on my brothers’ faces when we came downstairs one fine Christmas morning to find that Santa had clearly gotten into the cold duck while shopping and had given us a go-cart, an extravagant gift the likes of which we’d never had before and would never see again.  Especially not after I ran over Brother Dear with it.  Twice.

At any rate.  Honeydew was kidding about the 2 ton being a wedding gift (hello, that would take away its depreciable tax status), but he wasn’t kidding about having bought one from the Smoots, our good friends who are, as I call them affectionately, “Real Commercial Beekeepers.”  They run a fantastic operation near Great Falls, Montana, and they took Honeydew in off the streets when he was a punk upstart beekeeper and gave him a job scraping frames.  I’m convinced such grunt work made him into the man he is today.  Recently, the Smoots helped me bottle honey to get my website off the ground, and even better, they all have fantastic wives who make going to a beekeeping convention sixteen times more fun than it would otherwise be.

But I digress.  We’ve been driving around in our 2 ton advertising Smoot Honey for almost a year now, and while we do love the Smoots, it was time to get our own information painted on the doors.  Which happened today:

I feel like we just pressed our hands into a cement star!

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