In my last post I talked about memories my Dad had that were not unpleasant, not harrowing, and that did not cause him to simmer in bile and resentment. Most of them were about his children (us) growing up. But one was about his own childhood.
He resented having to move around as much as they did. And when I say he resented it, that was probably him resenting it as an adult, looking back. As a child, things were probably more complicated. But that's a story for another post.
For this post, the pertinent thing is that there was a mound of overgrown berry canes near one of the places that he lived as a child. I have no firm idea where that was. And he would have found when he was exploring a new neighborhood and thought of it as a nice thing that had to be appreciated while it was available.
The nice thing about it, as far as he was concerned, was that when he found it, it was swarming with bees. These weren't just honey bees: generic, small, pale, striped things. These were conglomerations of other species. Some were large and black and velvety. Some had shiny blue backs. Some were tiny.
He would catch them in an old jam jar. Turn the jar, lidless, upside down. And cover the open bottom with his hand. The bees would explore the jar as he watched, looking for a way out. They would land on his hand and tickle as they walked around.
He told us about this as part of his explanation of why there was no reason to be afraid of bees. Be respectful, yes. But don't assume that just because you see bees, they're going to come after you. If you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone.