"Will you take it?" Janet asked.
"What has changed since I resigned my last contract in order to retire?" I responded.
I'm still 72 and not getting younger, The travel would still require adjusting to crossing 9 time zones in a 24+ hour period. The work would demand long hours of effort in a challenging environment. I still have three young grandsons that I'd like to spend more time with. There is lots I'm interested to do at home, and Janet and I still desire to do some recreational travel on our own. Tempted though I was, I turned the job down and reaffirmed my retirement.
This summer I re-engaged with the bees. Chris had become the beekeeper at our farm over the past decade as I was so frequently gone on assignment, Chris is also our Production Manager at the farm, which has become an increasingly demanding responsibility. When I offerred to take honey production "off from his plate" for the season, he was grateful. I have always enjoyed the bees. Beekeeping was my hobby before it became a part of my profession. Able to focus on the bees, without the pressure of the other demands of our family farm enterprise, beekeeping became a "hobby" again. Often on warm sunny days I found myself in the bee yard able to work at an unhurried pace--and some days I just relaxed in a lawn chair to observe the hive activity. I was rewarded with with the best honey crop we have experienced in several years.
Saturday, The boys and I returned from Canada and a week-long fishing trip with the three grandsons. I was shocked to realize, and am embarrassed to admit, that none of my grandsons (ages 4, 9, and 11) had ever visited our Canadian wilderness cabin on the fringes of the Quetico Park before now. Even my son Chris, who loves to fish, had not been to the Nym Lake cabin for eleven years! Granted, it's a seven hour drive and a 3 1/2 mile paddle to get there--considrable advance planning and comittment is required--but when my children were young it was an annual family experience. How had I become so distracted?
Although the weather was changeable and cool--lots of rain (even snow)-- bursts of sunshine for two-three hour periods most days allowed us to get on the lake. All the boys caught fish, many of which were released, as there were enough for a fish-fry every evening. Oscar, the four-year old, caught his "first fish"--and his grandpa was there to share the excitement of that important event in his life.