Now That Stings!

March 31, 2010

I just came in from some outdoor Spring cleaning and while I was picking up twigs, branches, and assorted winter litter I remembered another Spring…

We had just moved onto a Boy Scout Reservation (650 acres) and I was feeling invigorated by the fair weather and inspired by our new family digs. (It was a tiny house–think small then shrink image–yep, that was our place.) I had been a citified gal all my life and now suddenly I was in the middle of the woods with no neighbors. Nada.

As I unpacked cups into the cupboards I noticed a forsythia bush in yellow splendor outside the window. It was like a magnet to my soul after a hard winter and I found myself abandoning the boxes and heading outdoors. I grabbed a pair of garden shears on the way out to tidy up the bush, for as lovely as it was, it had a few scraggly branches that were troubling my eye and I knew with a couple clips I could fix “her” right up.

I began rounding off the bush taking a step closer into the branches to get a stray twig when it happened. Unexpected visitors dropped-in for a visit. Seems yellow jackets nest in the ground (who knew) and I had stepped on the door to their home and they weren’t expecting guests. When I stepped back still bent forward a bee-line (I now know where that term comes from) came out of the nest and dove head first down my scooped neck blouse. Did I mention they were not in a good mood?

Inspired and motivated by their “arrival” I began running while beating on my chest. My sister who was nearby began chasing me and our mother looked out the window as we darted by…she commented to a friend, “Oh, look they’re playing.” My shrieks soon convinced her this was NO game…and by then I had discarded my top (the advantage of no neighbors). The next few minutes a circle of women frantically plucked the bees off my body, many hanging by their stingers.


Upon remembering that occasion today I abandoned my tidy efforts and took shelter in my home. Peering through my window at Springs Showcase, I whispered, “I prefer an outdoors that looks lived-in.”

Don’t you?



  1. I believe that we should live in our home and be surrounded by nature that is lived in. They are not for showing casing. They are both for our enjoyment.

  2. Ouch! I can’t even imagine.

  3. Patsy, you are like a breath of fresh air!!! Reading your little story made me forget about the dusting of snow that we woke up to this morning, and look forward to those flowers out there that are trying so hard to be pretty for Easter. I love passion week! Can’t wait to see you in Las Vegas in 24 days!!!

  4. I had something similar happen to me. I was out by the pool and a wasp decided to fly into my overall shorts and start stinging everywhere. I bet you can guess what that led to?

  5. I was attacked by bees when I was a young girl, too. And people wonder why I hate being outside! I prefer to look at the pretty flowers through my window.

  6. Oh Patsy! I know it wasn’t fun at the time, but it made for a very funny and cute story. My husband was from the city and I was a farm girl who moved to the “big” city of Des Moines right after High School. After we met, dated, became engaged and then married, we needed to find a home. We looked around the city, but I was getting tired of city life and all the expense. Homes weren’t very cheap either unless you found something in the “not so nice” area of the city or burbs. We decided to widen our radius to about 30 minutes from Des Moines and still, we found homes to be beyond our price range. So, we widened again and found a house that sat in a small town of about 100 people. It was in our price range, it was within city limits of nothing more than a bar, cafe’, co-op, one church and a post office, but it was quiet and about an hour from Des Moines. The first week after we moved in, my husband said, I don’t think I am going to like this. I am home-sick for the sound of air traffic, the screams of sirens and the convenience of knowing the gas station and grocery store are just up the block. (Keep in mind that the nearest gas station and grocery store was about 30 minutes away in any direction.) But one evening, I was standing on the small deck and my husband came outside. We listened to the peacefulness, the street lights were dim and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The stars were so bright and looked like diamonds on black velvet. My husband was in love with it all. Isn’t is amazing how nature, whether it hurts you or soothes the soul, is something that can provide an amazing memory? Wow!

  7. Great visual Patsy. I can relate! I’ve had my own situation with bees and losing articles of clothing. Hah… Happy Easter!

    • I agree with Kimberly. My grandparents owned a Hardware Store in Bridgeport NY, just East of Syracuse and across the bridge from Rattlesnake Gulch. I spent my summers with them. I loved it and learned from it all at once. Gosh I miss those days. Wonderful visual and great story.

      I’ll miss you on WoF, and I’m really happy you are at least blogging — among the many other things you are doing. I love your perspective and your voice. I can almost hear you and see you tell this story in your animated way.

      Happy Easter.

  8. A perfect visual and I loved the way you describe a story. Our Love for Christ should cause a sting for all of us to get us to share His wonderful story and life. Thanks Patsy, you are the greatest!!

  9. Patsy….a reminder that life has its OUCH moments…but our God has all we need for what ever healing is necessary….make a bee-line to Him…

    YOU rock girl at storytelling and I love that….and YOU!!!

  10. Thank you for posting this! This is so refreshing to read 🙂

  11. Having grown up in and around Los Angeles, I know what you mean by “citified!” But my dear hubby had a great job opportunity in Upstate New York and not one to shirk an adventure, I said “Let’s go!”
    After experiencing my first snowfall upon arrival, I was in awe of God’s creation and its beauty! I had many firsts… The locals must have wondered about the crazy lady who stopped suddenly in front of their house and ran up to check out the buds on their trees! My first crocus, my first swelteringly humid summer and, most glorious, my first REAL fall! I LOVED living in the changing seasons! Coming from a place where things look the same most of the time, temperatures generally in the 70’s & 80’s, everything was new…
    Our eldest daughter was an equestrian, and we had four acres and a barn. Of course we had to have horses. But it wasn’t until the winter she moved away to attend Word Of Life Bible College that I got MY taste of mucking stalls! After the thaw commenced, this California gal, shovel in hand, girded with hip boots, gloves, turtle-neck and hat with mosquito net, went out to tackle the task. With the first stab of my shovel, the freshly hatched larva sprung to life in the form of a black cloud encircling me! I high tailed it outa there lickity-split, arms flailing, knees high! The job had to be completed, which was no fun and I have to say, it remains among my LEAST favorite memories of rural living!
    Aging parents brought us back to sunny SoCal, but I’ll never forget the wonders (and horrors) of living in the beautiful Catskill mountains.

  12. You are such a treasure to me. I just love reading your words. I live in the country and can so relate. YOu have a way with words.

  13. I well remember when you lived at Pine hills boy scout,resort.I and my church came and heard you speak a few times.I loved you even back then.It was my first time doing what they called a zip line! Wow was that an adventure!!!!

  14. Ouch!!! I’m glad you were all right!

  15. I love it! Thank you for the smile. You speak so vividly in your writings that I feel as if I am right there with you. God bless you and yours. 😉

  16. Ouch! Well…you know me…I’m right there in the middle of all that outdoor life with my camera…though I’d not be at all pleased with a bee line buzzing down my blouse.

  17. That reminds me of when I was a little girl…it was beastly hot outside and we had been running in the sprinkler. In between running, we laid our bathing suits out on the grass to dry. I put mine back on and much to my dismay, it had been inhabited by red ants. Now I know where the expression “ants in your pants” comes from. I ran around shrieking until my mom could figure out what was happening. Thanks for the smile today.

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