Mother Nature Stays in the Limelight during Will’s Graduation Weekend

The bear got over his dislike of bright lights and NPR radio and came back every night for a week until he had destroyed the last live hive and all our remaining honeybees found themselves without a queen. Thanks goodness for Jim who was more realistic about the bear getting over his phobia of all night radio. While we tried to protect the remaining hives, Jim created a second story (hopefully bear proof) home for two new hives of bees that arrived this week from Georgia.


These two hives are now installed and living off stored honey as the weather has been rather volatile and nary a Georgian bee has poked it’s head out of the two hives.

Will Sheehan got to enjoy the strange weather up close and personal when he graduated from high school in a chilly deluge.

Here he is taking shelter post ceremony with Grace and Jim- Grace is the one wearing pearls.

He finally chose to go east to college in Maine next year. Vive the Maine turnpike!
On the night of Will’s graduation, we had a party during which the ceiling over the stove began to collapse under the weight of water.

Closer inspection revealed the hot water heater upstairs had sprung a major leak (as in streams of water shooting across the room from a broken heating element). Urgent trips to the hardware store were followed by the brain trust of Jim, his brother Stephen, our friend Michael, Will’s older brother Ben and Will’s brother in law Miguel all spending a couple of hours upstairs trying to solve the plumbing crisis. The ladies of the family tried to fill in the void and keep the conversation loud enough to be heard over the sound of men running up and down the stairs with wet towels and plumbing tools.

Periodically the group would pause for snacks or toasts of the graduate or simply bring down another load of wet towels only to disappear again when the fix didn’t hold.

On my first official visit to Jim’s house during a Thanksgiving almost 40 years ago, his uncle had everyone deal with a plumbing crisis by running buckets of sewage up into the woods behind Jim’s home so it is a fine Sheehan tradition to have a major plumbing malfunction during a family gathering. Fortunately no sewage was involved in this version of the family tradition.

As we went to bed, it seemed our eventful day had ended peacefully with a happy graduate and a ceiling that hadn’t quite collapsed.

When we awoke, we discovered more mayhem had occurred outside. I was so pleased we had gotten our 100 tomato plants in so they could experience snow. I guess I should be grateful it was only an inch of snow as apparently three feet of snow fell on Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid, NY and two feet fell in Stowe, Vermont. Whiteface is three hours west of us and Stowe less than two.

This was not the last challenge these brave tomatoes would face as last night we had a heavy frost.
In between cleaning up broken trees, shrubs and Flowers in the gardens yesterday,
we had time to wrap the tomatoes in season extender clothe for the expected frost.

It is early Memorial Day morning. I am waiting for the sun to warm things up a bit before I unwrap each tomato and see which plants made it. Going to the local farm stand is looking more and more likely and for Jim who found himself wrapping plants in the chilly dusk last night with me, probably a lot more desirable too!
What will we find under this clothe? We will see in a few hours. Just how Jim wanted to spend his Memorial Day with me: hauling brush, washing and folding heaps of towels used during the plumbing leak AND unwrapping a hundred tomato plants.