I’m not a very big person. I’m 5’4″ and 138 pounds and I have a lower back problem. I’m certainly not sedentary but I don’t lift weights unless you count pound cake. But on Saturday, I found out just how strong I can be when I have to step up.

Bruce had moved the bee enclosure and needed my help moving the hives. They sit on 6×6’s which sit concrete blocks and when full of honey and bees for the winter they weigh well over one hundred pounds each. With one of us on either side, moving them is a challenge but doable. Our plan was to lift and slide each hive onto the garden cart and wheel the bees to their new home. But somehow, as I picked up the first hive the cart rolled forward just enough to make me lose my balance. I banged my shin into one of the 6×6’s and shaved a 3 inch flap of skin into a dandy little scroll. That threw me off even more and I fell forward which pushed the cart even more. This threw the weight towards Bruce and we were in real danger of dropping the hives. You have to picture that our faces were inches from the hive top and dropped bees are pretty nasty. I knew in that instant that I COULD NOT LET GO!

I am probably not doing a good job of conveying just how hard it was to hang on. The pain was intense. We had bees flying around our heads and I was at a crazy, uncomfortable angle. Bruce managed to nudge the cart forward with his foot while I held up my end and we managed to slide the hive forward enough to enable Bruce to relieve some of the weight from me. The whole mess only took about twenty seconds but it was mighty long twenty seconds.

My leg looks awful. I have a big bruise and a lot of swelling along with one of those scrapes that oozes and hurts just to look at. Still, I’m feeling pretty darn proud of myself. I think we all wonder just what we could accomplish if the chips were down. I’m betting we are stronger than we think.

There are times one does have to admit failure and later that night we had such a moment. Bruce loves the holidays, especially things like making gingerbread houses with the girls. He is also a night person. He’s the kind of guy who can announce at 9:30 PM, a time when sensible people are getting into bed that it’s time to wallpaper the bathroom or rip out a wall. It’s a miracle we’re still married. Anyway, we decided that Saturday night was the time to put together the gingerbread house. He did not decide that reading the directions was necessary. After all, just how hard could it be. I’ll tell you how hard. Impossible is how hard. After an hour and a half of collapsed roofs and tottering walls we gave up. The whole mess looks as though it has been through some apocalyptic disaster. That’s my Christmas decoration. The “after picture” of the Mutant Zombie Bikers. It’s still sitting on the kitchen island waiting for a Christmas miracle. I’m guessing that the miracle will come in the form of one of us getting sick enough of the mess to toss the whole thing to the chickens. At least it isn’t filled with angry bees.

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