The Home Stretch

Bumblebee on the raspberries

After a visit to the bee yard to watch the take-offs and landings of the honeybees, we noticed that bumblebees were all over the wild raspberries Sunday evening.  They have been busy pollinating and there looks to be a nice batch of raspberries this season.  Saturday morning I took a stroll down to the blueberries to gauge their progress.  Little fistfuls of berries are still green.  It is so tantalizingly close to summer that I can’t stand it.

This week is the home-stretch at school.  It is exam week.  Half-days.  I love exam days.  (Hee hee.)  I have finished instructing and assigning work.  It is time for the students to show me what they have learned.  They work at their exams while I sit at my desk.  Ahh…the luxury of sitting at my desk.

I have nothing to do but…grade papers, enter grades, inventory books, declutter and pack up the classroom, check out the teachers in my department, write end of year reports for the media center, technology guru, and various adminstrative people.  I should also make a supply list while I’m looking at the empty supply box instead of trying to remember in August what wasn’t in it in June.  Somehow every year I get it done, even if some years I am literally shoving things pell-mell into the closet in a dash to flee the school year.

But I am so tired.  Is there enough pep to sprint the last little bit of this year?  Or will I stagger to the finish line like my brother in one of his marathons–legs locked and refusing to cooperate?

Just a few tantalizing days and I can bumble like the bees.

What is it about bumblebees?  When I think of honeybees I think of an extremely organized and very efficient society.  Go, go, go.  Honey, honey, honey.  But bumblebees?  They are  bigger and slower but they make honey too.  It must  be the name.  You can’t be efficient and bumble at the same time.  (Unless your name is Bourdon, which means “bumblebee” in French!)

Well, I’m tired of being efficient.  I’m ready to bumble.  One more week.

Sleepy bumblebees

Bumblebee sleeping on sedum

Where do  bumblebees sleep?  This is one of those questions that is very important when you are about age four, but then you put aside for other more important questions like, “Will I ever be able to retire?” or “Will I still have my job next year?”  Currently, in our  back yard, there are several  bumblebees sleeping on the sedum.  It’s like they just passed out in the process of  gathering nectar.  Hmmm….kind of like us passing out at the dinner table.  It’s been known to happen.

I  identify with the sleepy bumblebees.  Adjusting to the back-to-school routine is rough.  I’ve been at school until 5:00 this week, then face the long ride home.  By the time I recover from the drive and fix dinner, I’m ready to call it a night.  Oh wait, I still have to clean up dinner, fix the morning coffee, make a lunch, and iron my outfit for tomorrow.  I can’t bear the thought of staying awake to watch a movie or even a tv episode.  And it’s only 8:00.  At 8:00 there are a couple of honeybees still working the sedum, but I’m with those bumblebees, ready to pass out right where I am.

John petting his bumblebee

 John has been home  awhile.  This afternoon he replaced the muffler on the tractor.  (The Hereford Zone thanks him.) He has put work aside and is ready to relax.   This week is “Dirty Harry Week” on AMC. ( Oh my gosh–of all the Clint Eastwood movies in existence, I dislike Dirty Harry movies the most. )  Before heading to the man cave for “quality” Clint time, John takes time out in the garden to pet his bumblebees.  Yes, pet his bumblebees.  He’s sort of like St. Francis with a cigar.  And sometimes a shotgun.  The bumblebees must know they are safe from the shotgun.  That’s why they let John pet them.

For now, the bumblebees are happy to sleep on the flowers.  When the sun comes up tomorrow, they will be busy again.  As will I.