I loathe asking favors of others.  Right before I ask someone to help me, my insides twist and my fingers shake and I feel like I’ve got a serving spoon’s worth of peanut butter stuck in my throat.  I really don’t know why this is – I’ve rarely been turned down, though the times that I have asked for help and been rebuffed are hard to forget, so perhaps they do lay the foundation for this phobia of mine.  Maybe it is because I so rarely have to ask that doing so nauseates me – I’m not well practiced in this art.

In the South, where I was lucky enough to have been born and raised (apologies to any future children I may have), and in Montana, where I’ve paid taxes on and off since I was nineteen, helping is part of the culture, and one rarely has to ask.  Take for instance, my Southern fried weddin’ held under Montana’s Big Sky.  We almost had a catering disaster of epic proportions, in that the caterers got stuck in traffic from a wreck in the canyon and nearly didn’t make the wedding.  Upon hearing that the caterers might not make it in time, all of my attendants dropped their hairbrushes and mascara wands and simply did what could be done without even asking me if I needed help.  While myself, my mom, my aunts, and my grandmother were having nuclear mental breakdowns about the proposition of a reception with no tablecloths, no duck won tons, and no ice for the signature sweet-tea-vodka-lemonades, my attendants carried on.  Two of them jumped in a car and ran down to actual-Babb to buy tablecloths to cover up the ugly rental tables with.  All of them called their travelling companions and had them bring hundreds of pounds of ice up to the house, so at least we could have a cold drink while we contemplated the possibility of having no food to serve.  One of them ran interference on the house phone, and another on my cell phone, giving directions and last-minute dress code advice to the legions calling, breathing not a word of the catering situation.  Hardly anyone even knew what had happened.  I felt deeply loved on my wedding day, and not just by my husband.

I’ve discovered that the class of people who can generally be counted on to help you is not limited to Southerners or Montuckians.  I am lucky enough to be involved in two professions where helping one another, even when you are competitors, is simply expected.  Maybe it is because those of us who are lawyers and beekeepers instinctively know that without this helping, or mentoring, as its frequently called in legal circles, our industries will come to a screeching halt.

I’m fairly new at both lawyering and beekeeping, but I know enough about both of them to realize that neither can be picked up at a night class.  Sure, I’ve got a law degree, and in the process of getting it, I took a couple of classes where we had mock trials and received other practical advice designed to help us start lawyering right out of the gates.  But it wasn’t until the first time that I stood next to my client and in front of the Judge, whose name I had unknowingly misspelled on the pleadings, that I had the first inkling of what it meant to be a lawyer.  Luckily, most attorneys who have been at it a few years are happy to help those of us are who are newer to the game — if they did not, the profession would have a hard time continuing.  The collective memory of lawyerin’ would be lost, and in the end, the people that would really be hurt would be clients.

Below, you can see that Honeydew had a helper yesterday, as he placed the lovely Glacier County Honey Co. bees in the very muddy California almond orchards.

That’s the 2 ton and the 1 ton, both fully loaded with bees – Honeydew is very talented (he would say, “Perfect In Every Way”) and his work ethic is beyond reproach, but even he can’t drive both trucks at one time.

Now, that is a pretty load of bees!

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention Honeydew’s #1 helper: Roy Rogers, crashed out on the front seat of the 2 ton.

Clearly, Glacier County Honey Co. would not be able to limp along without Roy.  Thanks to everyone who helped us get our bees into the almonds yesterday!

2010.  Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.