I have this uncanny ability of being able to precisely the wrong thing at the most inopportune times. I'm gifted that way. All I can say is, "Ooops, I did it again!" You're totally singing that in your head, aren't you? Moving on...
I always buy local raw honey from this cute little old man at the Farmer's Market every summer. I bought my last quart on the final day of the market for the season and he told me that he sold it from his house all Winter as well. Normally, a quart of honey is going to last me all winter long. However, since I've been baking all of our bread - I ran out. So, I looked his number up, gave him a call and insulted him just because that's what I do. Oh, not intentionally. It's never intentionally.
I was trying to be all polite and respectful and stuff like that and said, "Yes, Ma'am."
"I'm so sorry."
Then it started thinking along the lines of, "Gee, I sure hope he doesn't spit in my honey." Am I the only person whose mind goes there?
When I got to his house and knocked on the door I was surprised to hear him call me by name. Boy, I must have made some impression. But, upon talking to him I think he remembered my name more because of the fact that he is a remarkable person than because I'm an idiot savant.
In the 20 minutes I was there (to grab a quick quart of honey) he shared with me how his wife had passed away a month and a half ago, how he had been a school teacher for 31 years, that he had been organically growing vegetables for as long as my mom has been alive, that he wrote gardening articles for 4 magazines, was a record holder in 3 different states for the fruit of his vines, shared with me tips and things to help me with my garden this year that I've never read before (I could learn so much from this man.) and offered to give me math curriculum, and some different varieties of bean seeds to try if I come back before planting season. Oh, and he sent me home with a magazine full of artisan bread recipes. I'd say he doesn't hold a grudge.
The more I thought about that whole scenario as the day went on - the more emotional I got. Here was a man who had really lived his life and lived it well. He was an 84 and a half year old bundle of joy, generosity and warmth. I'm sure he had never heard my name until our brief phone conversation shortly before where I inadvertantly called him a woman. Yet, he opened his home to me. More than that, he opened his life to me - a complete stranger - and offered to give me more than just a share of his possessions and knowledge. That day he offered to give me a piece of his heart.
The world would be a much nicer place if it were full of Honey Bear Millers. There is definitely a lot more that's sweet about this man than just his honey. He is a role model for the kind of person I want to be.
Oh, yeah...I checked and there were no loogies in my honey - just in case you were wondering!