Monday, August 1, 2011

Bee stings and all

By Amy Baranski

I've returned from tropical paradise and am presently sitting in the sun in front of my apartment building. I've got my laptop situated on a postage stamp of grass between the sidewalk and the street. Mara and Ida are speaking in tongues and sliding down the neighbor's handrail. Their moms and Kenny are chilling on the porch. A honeybee is working the clover around me and the grass has already created a rash along my arm. It's ok, I'm in the sun, which is all that matters.

Urban Bee Company toured BeeWise apiary in Kaua'i.

Now if only I were in the tropics. But I can't complain there's plenty of green here and blue skies. I came back to towering tomato plants, bolting arugula, peas that are still producing (it's been a cool spring/summer), yellow zucchini, green beans, carrots that look good, garlic that's finally divided, and some dead raspberries. You can't win them all.

The air is so different here. Kaua'i wasn't muggy by Midwest or East Coast standards but certainly more sultry, humid, and warm. I want to go baaaack. There's something about island time and island life that's so do you say it....better.

I think my last dispatch was immediately after one of the amazing sunrises we saw from the east shore. That day ended up being a comedy of errors. I went back to the condo and found myself locked out. It was too early in the morning for any sane person to be awake.

I attempted to rouse my husband by throwing kukui nuts (or something similar) at the sliding door on the lanai. He was unconvinced by the sound and thought they were pigeons. I considered walking down the street to the coffee shop but realized I had no money. No money, no paper to write on, no phone. I threw the nuts at the window for what felt like forever.

Then I puttered around the koi pond and watched the pool be cleaned. After an hour I realized there was a phone centrally located in the lobby. I dialed the room number and Byron let me in.

The last shot before I was stung.
A couple days later I almost lost my purse to an approaching wave. I had my three-year old nephew watchfully by my side as I saw my purse go out on the other. I vigorously dropped the S-bomb, grabbed my nephew from the wave and lunged for my purse that was spiraling away in a shallow current. The money was salvageable, the cell phone was not.

On another day I was taking shots in a local apiary, opting to go gloveless, so I could manage the camera better, and impress my husband with my composure around the mighty insects. The bees quickly went into attack mode bombing the camera. I was stung on my pinky. In the ensuing hours my hand swelled into a club. This lasted a few days, nothing a little compression and saltwater couldn't cure.

Some mosquito bites, sand flea rashes, and a few bruises later our trip was coming to an end. It was an incredible experience and I'm so happy my sister and brother-in-law and their son shared it with us.

I want sun, palm trees, a breeze, fresh cold coconut water, leis, sand, turquoise waters in my life always.

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