Sometimes it feels like we’ve started the same business five times, in five different ways, instead of being five years into it.  I’m sure I’m not alone amongst small business owners in this feeling.  And of course, no one ever said marriage, moving, children, and business ownership all at the same time would be easy, and I feel lucky that my general reaction to it all is that it really is all worth it.


Most of the time.


Not every night that I lie awake at 3am, thinkingthinkingthinking.

Not every morning that I shush my chatty 2.5 year old while I’m on the phone with a customer, a banker, or an insurance agent.

Not every season that the whole plan we’ve come up with to make it all doable falls apart again.


Most of the time.

The blog has again suffered, in a way that is perhaps symbolic of the enmeshment of our professional lives as commercial beekeepers and our personal lives as husband and wife, parents, children, siblings, and friends.  This fall and winter have marked yet another transition as we’ve tinkered with the retail business setup and prepared for Honeydew to go to California without us.

Maggie and I stayed behind last winter, too, but that was out of medical necessity, as I endured weekly IVIG infusions to alleviate the consequences of the neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT) our poor kids have both been born in spite of.  Those infusions certainly turned out to be worth it.

Our seven month old, Howard, is sitting and rolling and eating more than any baby in history, it sometimes seems.  His eyes never leave his sister’s face, when she is in residence, and his delightful babbles of “da da da” make me picture a linguistic bridge between babyhood and toddlerhood built with ABC blocks instead of concrete and rebar.  Soon, I know, Howard will not be the baby on my hip, but the barely-baby I’ll be chasing after.  I’ve never been one to be sad about the transitions of infancy, but I am aware of it, and also aware that thanks to NAIT, we’re not likely to bear witness to another such transition.  And so there is that.


But more to the point of this blog, in 2014 we’re trying out yet another new business/family arrangement.  Maggie has been going to preschool two days a week and is thriving there.  We’re loathe to take her away from something so clearly positive.  As working-from-home parents, you’ll rarely find us engaged in all those interactive, educational activities I’m always pinning on Pinterest.  Our kids are either working with us or playing beside us, and so the opportunity to go to “school” and learn about sharing, and walking to the library, and the letter of the week, and how to make playdough, and feeding the class fish, and dress up, and most importantly making friends, is a huge one for Maggie Rose.


As the tots grow, so does the the retail honey/beeswax business  — a very nice problem to have, thanks so much to all of you! And so that influenced the decision to split the family between California and Montana, too.  Please believe us, such a split is not nearly as glamorous as it might seem.  I don’t enjoy single motherhood any more than Honeydew enjoys absentee fatherhood.  And I like to think he misses me, too.  Or at least my cookin’.  I sure do miss him.




Visiting the Alamo during the American Honey Producers Association’s Annual Meeting, January 2013, San Antonio, Texas.

But at any rate, it’s hard to ship Montana honey and beeswax when you’ve set up housekeeping in California for four months.

So we’ll go back and forth this year, juggling airline miles and lots of Facetime with each other.

And we’ll keep tinkering with the formula that is our life.

And when I’m laying awake at 3am doing too much thinking, and missing Honeydew, but the babies are both sleeping soundly, I’ll try to remember my Pa Pa’s pronouncement on agriculture: There ain’t never been a normal year yet.

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