We left California under bright blue skies, the 2 ton — loaded with bees, Roy, and Honeydew — chugging its way up winding, spectacular Highway 44.  Behind it, the 1 ton whined under the weight of the forklift and trailer, and I imagine that Buck probably whined, too, though Keith never complained about Buck’s vocals.  Or odor.

I brought up the rear, pulling the trailer loaded with all of our worldly goods — and a fair amount of California champagne — and listening to my mom, holding hands with Maggie in the backseat, read the first of many books on our journey.

As cross country trips go, this one went about as smoothly as possible.  The 2 ton redlined but never actually overheated; I misplaced the company credit card responsible for authorizing the 10 gazillion dollars in gas/diesel purchases necessary to drive from California to Montana but later found it under the seat; we discovered a few hours away from our stopping point of Jackpot, Nevada, that Ronnie Milsap had sold the town out, but Nan’s powers of persuasion booked the last the room available.

When we hit the Montana state line, Honeydew’s voice immediately sounded 10 years younger, and I felt the fine lines around my eyes relax a bit.  Ah, home.  Be it ever so humble.

Since we’ve been home, of course we’ve been caught standing around gawking at our gorgeous backyard, Glacier National Park, and we’ve seen grizzly bears, moose, and elk out celebrating spring’s arrival.  But we’ve mostly been working like men and women possessed.  We brought a few bees home with us, but the majority of our 1,000 hives will arrive on semis in the next 2 weeks, and there is so much work to be done in order to properly greet them.

So we’ve risen with the sun and worked under the supermoon since we’ve been home.  We’ve scraped hundreds of supers and frames in anticipation of summer’s honey flow, swept the last of the Christmas tree needles out the door, wrung out countless rags of bleach and water, boxed away last year’s maternity clothes, burned household trash, set our pasture on fire (thanks, wonderful firefighters, for all that you do), and had a non-OSHA-approved incident with our forklift.

In California, it was hard for me to be as involved with our business as I am accustomed to being – babies and bees are not such a good mix.  Back home near Babb, I am an important part of the machine.  And I feel so much better, as a result.

When I wrote about my decision to put my lawyering hat on the shelf for the forseeable future, I knew that I would struggle with that feeling of importance, that knowing what I do with my days makes a difference.  And although I believe there is not work more important than raising children who also want to make a difference in the world, the knowing is not quite the same.  Maggie Rose doesn’t look up at me and thank me for zipping her into clean, fleecy pajamas, or reading her books, or vaccinating her, and promise to do go out and do good things one day in return.

My business partner, on the other hand, appreciates a hot lunch of soup and cornbread, a freshly swept concrete floor, a load of honey shipping out to a retailer, a check deposited promptly into the business account, and a clean beesuit.  He says thank you, job well done, and pours me a glass of wine as we talk – never without argument – late into the night about how to fix this problem, how to save for that purchase, how to get it all done.  Can we?  It’s a question that needs asking daily, and the answer is never quite the same.  As any farmer will tell you, being in business for yourself is not for the faint hearted, and sometimes the answer is scary.

Luckily for me, there is that mountain climbing part of my heart that loves being scared to death.

Oh, it’s so good to be Warehome sweet Warehome!

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www.glaciercountyhoney.com is back up and running, and we are adding new items and restocking sold out items daily – email us if you have any questions about inventory! courtney (at) glaciercountyhoney (dot) com

And, check back soon for a GIVEAWAY!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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