Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 13 - Honey

Have you ever traveled on a back road to go "over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's House?" Its different than traveling on the highway where mindlessness takes over.  Your mind is engaged as each landmark tells you how far you have gone and another tells you how far you have to go until you reach your destination. On the way to Gainesville is such a landmark.  It was only after stumbling across an article about this landmark that I realized how special it was.

It looks like an old worn out 4' x 6' shack near the edge of the curve.  Nothing more, nothing less.  What appears to be worn and tattered is actually very much alive.  It is a box with shelves loaded with canned goods and honey.  Now I'm not talking about aluminum cans, I'm talking about canned tomatoes and canned jelly that are actually in the glass Bell Jars.  Up north it was a necessity to can your food during the autumn to survive the long harsh snowy winters.  So to see it in the south is a bit of an oddity.  The amazing part is not only that it is forty-three years old but that the honey and goods have stood there all this time unmanned.  Yes, that's right, no person to help you make your choice as if to say  they-are-all-good-so-just-pick-one!

So the first time you pull up to buy honey (rumored to be the best honey ever), it is a bit of a surprise to look around to find no one to pay.  There is just a tiny box with a slot to put your money in.  The newspaper reporter had asked the owner the question we all wanted to know.  "So don't you worry that someone is going to steal your honey?"  His answer was that after forty-three years he still believes in the good of people.  Some people have left more than the $4.75 a jar and some have left less.  But overall, it averages out.  As I stopped to buy my first jar of honey, I was surprised to find wildflower honey.  Everybody knows about the orange blossom honey that can run up to $12.99 in the stores and flea markets.  I like the orange blossom but I'm not crazy about it so I bought the wildflower honey out of curiosity.  I did the right thing and I put my $5 bill in the slot and drove off.  It feels weird, like you're getting away with something because there is no human contact but the truth is I had just paid him a quarter more than the actual price because I didn't have change.

So in a nutshell, its really about trust.  For forty-three years the beekeeper has trusted two things.  1) That the customers won't rip him off and 2) That they will keep coming back.  They say that Trust = time + experience.  So I'd say that the beekeeper has the time and experience to validate his trust in people.  Isn't that like life for all of us?  We've been both blessed and burned.  Sometimes the sting from being burned from a friend hurts the same as if it were by a bee but in the end, it all averages out.  If we stick with our friends like the beekeeper long enough we too can gather the honey of loyalty.  I know one thing for sure, I'm going back to get some more wildflower honey....I'm crazy about it!

Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers. ~ Robert Green

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