Bees do more than just sting

I am someone who spews a crazy number of analogies out of my mouth each day. Sometimes they are just all wrong, other times they are spot on, and then others just somewhere in between. In a meeting yesterday I somehow paralleled a situation with a project with the world without bees. How the heck do those compare?

Recently I read an article that shared if we let the bee population die off what it would do to the produce department in our grocery stores. See these images in this Huffington Post article. It reminds me of scenes from Flint, Michigan. Empty, non-existent. It is actually quite scary. I never knew how much we could be impacted by the lost number of bees.

Sure, bees can be annoying. In the summer, the patio at work where we often have meetings and eat outside is often swarming with bees. They literally land on your lunch and take a seat for a while. I think I even have a video on my iPhone of a bee eating bits of a piece of turkey on my salad. Maybe it was starving? I am glad my salad last summer potentially helped keep one more bee alive.

In all seriousness, bees are something we should dedicate more time to saving. Due to all the pesticides, chemicals, and crap we pour into the environment, they are disappearing faster than we can save them. While I do not know too much about the topic, it is one I want to continue to research. How naive I have been. Study up, otherwise your produce department might turn into a ghost town.

A few articles on the topic:

A World Without Bees

List of Foods We Will Lose if We Don’t Save the Bees

A dress for a big moment

I was thinking recently about a resident counselor I had in college. She was always a support to me and all the other girls she had to keep an eye on. But one memory stands out about how she went above and beyond for me.

It was my senior year and just days before my graduation. My college graduation felt very underwhelming to me. I had finished four years of college and could not wait to be done and move on with whatever was next. It was bittersweet. It would be the first “big moment” that neither of my parents would be there to see. My mom had been gone for 6 years and my dad had passed away in January of that same year. My graduation was just a few days after my 22nd birthday.

My resident counselor cleared me from my classes and final exams and took a friend and me into the city to play for the day.  She told us she needed to run by the mall. I thought nothing of it. Once inside she told me that for my birthday she was going to get me a graduation dress. Looking at my good friend’s face, I knew she was in on this surprise. While I had other dresses I could have worn for my graduation, it meant a lot to me that she thought how hard this time must have been for me. To have it be my first birthday with no parents at all, and to know that I was accepting my diploma with no parents watching in the audience. It felt right to have a new dress for the occasion and, while I was slightly embarrassed, I went with it. We found a dress and then went to eat and be together. I do not remember much about that birthday with them, but I remember the dress and how loved I felt.

I had family at my graduation. My grandma, sister, brother, and my mom’s cousin were all there. Great friends came from Michigan to see me and witness this big day in my life, but it was still hard. There were definitely moments where I felt like this is not the way my college graduation was supposed to go. In many ways I wanted it to be over as fast as possible. Sometimes we never know how much a gesture of kindness can matter to someone else.

I still remember the exact dress I picked out that day.

Sand and ice in the UP

I spent a few summers in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan. I loved the sand dunes, and the wide shores of Lake Michigan. It felt almost like an ocean, as the lake stretched out so far you could not see the other side. Some days the waves were as high as the waves of the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean. I have not been back since 2000, but I still have great memories, and the nostalgia has not waned in the least. I often talk to Chris about taking a week in the summer and going up to Northern Michigan, playing in the sand dunes, and living the leisurely life of the beach on Lake Michigan. I have quite a few fun memories of sand dogging, trekking down the sandy peaks to launch into the lake at high speeds. Summers of cherry waffle chip ice cream, and amazing food (the bread was to die for, I have pictures to prove that I ate plenty of bread).

So when I saw our crazy, snowy winter make an avalanche of snow on the Upper Peninsula, I was in awe. These are the shores that I swam, and ran down the sand dunes, and to think of the crazy amounts of snow and ice that have pummeled the sandy shores. It made me want to go and play in the snow and ice as I did in the sandy, beach dunes (well sort of, as I am sure it is so damn cold). I think these nature created ice caves are simply amazing, and how often do they happen? How often does nature have a unique way to keep our mouths agape at the wonder in front of us? Be sure to click the above link to take a look.

Circa 1998

Circa 1998

If you have never had the opportunity to explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Northern Michigan, you will want to put it on your bucket list. It is one of the most beautiful, relaxing, slow-your-life down places in the country. You might not have cell phone coverage, so you will have to check out of your smart phone habits, enjoy your family, the fresh air, and sand coming out your pores, in your car, and in your bed. It is the summer life in Northern Michigan. Can you tell I am addicted?