My mom and I were in the process of fixing a fence, when she asked me to go put something in the shed for her. On my way back, I smelled a sweet smoke. It brought back a ton of memories, towns in Mexico that I had known growing up, the Mexican countryside, the chicken barbecue places that we always went to on Sundays after church. I was having a hard time placing what type of smoke I was smelling though. I knew that as long as we had been around people who raised their own food, and as long as I could remember, I had periodically smelled this smoke. What was it though?
As I followed the scent of the smoke, through the yard, and around the corner of the house, I finally found the source. Dad was working bees. He had left the smoker on top of our grill by the house.
Bees go a very long way back with us. I’m pretty sure my parents had them long before I was born.
When you raise your own food, certain sounds, smells, sights and tastes bring back memories that otherwise sometimes stay buried until you hear, smell or taste that thing again. For a little while, memories that had eluded me for a while, flooded back. I could see the bee hives that Dad kept on the roof of our house in Tlatlouquitepec, Puebla in Mexico. I could remember being told that the bees were my friends and I was not to try to hurt them. I also remember deciding that if they were my friends, they should play with me. Oh dear! Not a recommended idea! I’m pretty sure I was stung up quite a bit before Dad rescued me.
It also brings back memories of Mom and Dad having the three of us kids help them harvest honey, and at the end of each harvest, Mom and Dad would give each of us a plate of homey comb brimming with some of the best honey you could find because we raised it and harvested it. It had the added benefit of helping with allergies because it was raised in our area.