The beeginning (get it?)

Two years ago, we became the proud parents of two humming boxes of bees. It was a cloudy spring morning, the day we went to pick up our girls. I’ll never forget how anxious and excited my husband was. I’m convinced he was more excited about bringing home his first bees than he was our first born. Bret had talked about getting bees for a few years, but it wasn’t until some friends of ours became beekeepers that he began to think seriously about it. The moment we decided to become beekeepers, he flew into a frenzy. He meticulously built hives and stained stands. Poured over magazines, books, and YouTube, searching for any information on beekeeping and purchasing all the necessary supplies. He signed up for a bee school and became a certified beekeeper. He’s telling me right now, as I’m writing this post, how he needs to study for his Journeyman test next weekend. It’s the next step after becoming certified. He’s set his sights on becoming a Master Craftsman, the pinnacle of beekeeping certification. Can I just say how much I ADORE Bret Medlin?

It was a Saturday. Bret woke us up and herded our 10 month old daughter, Clara, and myself into our CRV. He smiled and tapped his hand all the way to Mr. Bill Boyd’s house. Mr. Boyd is a sage whom knows everything there is to know about bees. He keeps around 140 beehives and is a bit of a legend in Union County. Every year he creates nucs, or nucleus colonies, small honeybee colonies created from larger colonies, and sells them. When you look at his face, you can see his love for beekeeping tucked into the folds of his skin. He wears the hours of caring for these majestic insects like a cologne. His passion is intoxicating. He lights his worn smoker and waves it through the air like a composer, lulling the thrum of honeybees into a steady pulse, as he directs my husband over to his new boxes of bees. Clara and I sit in the car looking for the moon (her favorite game, and word, at the time). And then my husband emerges from the wooded throng of beehives, Mr. Boyd trailing behind, cradling a box full of bees, a goofy grin a mile wide plastered on his face. I knew then, this wouldn’t be one of his fickle hobbies. He was hooked. Head over heels and sinking fast. And I loved him so much more for it.

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But then he put them in our car. My darling husband put a boxes of thousands of stinging bugs in the back of the car that my baby was riding in. And I flipped out. And there was nothing I could do about it. And neither of us were thinking. And we argued, looking absolutely ridiculous, I’m sure, in front of a gentle old man. And then we drove home. With the bees in our car. Very slowly. Saying prayers that no one would rear end us in the five miles we had to travel to get home. I will not belabor the topic of the car ride home, or discuss it further. I just want to say… “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for delivering my child and myself from the excruciatingly painful, horrible death of thousands, (probably billions, actually) of bee stings. You are a good, good Father. I know we must all die eventually, but thank you for not taking us in this manner.”

Once we arrived home, and I got Clara out of her car seat like I was at a pit stop, Bret cautiously removed the honeybees and walked them to their new home in our backyard. I glared at him as he strode by. I don’t think he noticed. He smiled with every step as he neared the hive stands he had built with his own two hands. His labor of love for his girls. He sat them down, donned his fresh bee suit, and opened the entrance for the bees’ orientation flight. The fuzzy striped creatures danced into the sky, celebrating their new home. And we became beekeepers.

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Whatever is Lovely

I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY! In honor of this day where we celebrate the greatest of Christ’s commandments, here’s a few verses I’m meditating on today and images of the love I’ve seen this week.

 

A stunning Magnolia Jane I ogled on my run last Sunday. One of God’s love letters.

 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8

 

Heart-warming notes, handmade gifts, and tons of chocolate. My 8th graders rock my world!
The Killough House off of Monroe Rd. His big hay creations always bring joy.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.” -1 Corinthians 13:1-8

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:9-13

Mawmaw Medlin’s beautiful camellias


Mawmaw

“According to the Oriental language of flowers, perennial Candytuft was a symbol of indifference.” -The Language of Flowers

I walked over to her house, today. I finally dug up some of the Candytuft she’d always urged me to take. I took it because I miss her. I took it because I’m sorry.

This past August, we said goodbye, for now, to our Mawmaw Medlin. Although she wasn’t my own grandmother, I never felt less than a cherished part of her descendants. Her absence is a wind. A reminder to love and not take for granted the souls we’ve been entrusted to nurture during this mist of time we are given.

Mawmaw loved to grow things. I don’t believe a day went by that I didn’t see her in the yard or garden. Her straw hat atop her white head. She told me that growing things made her feel closer to God. That she was sharing in His creation. In the spring and early summer, when it came time to sow, we often discussed how anyone could doubt the existence of a Creator if they just watched a tiny seed grow into a thriving plant. I’ve always loved to grow things, also. A seed planted by my granny, watered by my mother and stepmother. This was our shared love. Mawmaw wanted so much to share her wisdom with me, but I didn’t always want it. When I had a question or needed help, I would go to her, but most of the time, I was too busy. Too busy with my job, with my family, with my friends. I didn’t make the time to sit under her shade and allow her to impart her knowledge. Allow her to give her love.

I don’t know why I never dug up the plant before. Never accepted her invitation. Never recognized it for what it truly was.


I pushed the dead leaves and faded mulch aside. Dug into the rich dark soil with my trowel. Gently, not wanting to damage the roots. I couldn’t help but wonder what secrets that earth held. How many suns had sunk into its depths. How many times her hands had reached down into it. How the cool dampness felt under her fingertips. Did she breathe it in, like I do? Did she relish in its sweet smell? I slowly lifted the green shiny leaves and shallow roots from the ground and covered the small void left behind.

I knew where I wanted the Candytuft to go. Every spring, when blooms spattered the ground and floated in the trees, she always would walk the yard with me. “Some Candytuft would go good right there. It likes the sun. You can come get some, if you want.” So I planted it right there. In our front flower bed. It’s the first green you would meet as you walk up our sidewalk. The pine needles cradling the plant like a nest. Holding the soon to bloom flowers until they are ready to burst forth this spring. New life. A piece of our Mawmaw, an offering of her love. A reminder to be grateful and to take time. Because we’re just a passing shadow.

Umm, here we go…

I am not a writer. I teach reading and writing, but I don’t consider myself a writer. I am too sentimental and I wayyyy over think my words (improper grammar alert!), my reactions, other’s responses… And I like using punctuation a little too much. It’s my way of coloring a page, making it more interesting, I guess. Because I’m not crafty or artsy. I have NO IDEA why I’m starting a blog. I just have this deep desire to share. I want…

more.

Maybe this little piece of internet will come of assistance on that quest. I don’t know. But here it goes, anyway.

I am Theryne Mae Medlin. I took my husband’s name, but kept my grandmother’s. I am a follower of Christ, a middle school teacher, a beekeeper’s wife, and mommy to Clara and Maple (she’s the “fur”st born). I like the smell of rain and lilacs. I’m addicted to coffee, happily addicted. I love to decorate and I hate doing laundry. Hate. It.

I have an affinity for beauty. While I’m not very creative, I do perceive the beauty  of our Creator and of man all around me. I’m good at capturing that beauty, painting my walls with it. I love to create spaces that are restful and welcoming. Spaces that connect memories and emotions. Every piece in our home has a memory for me or my husband. While guests may not know those connections, I think you can feel the love and depth in our home. Or maybe not. I’ve never actually viewed the other side. This could be total bull crap. But I love our little home my husband and I have built together.

I thrive on challenges. Tell me I can’t do something, and I’ll be danged if I don’t prove you wrong. Ask my middle school best friend, Chelsea. She dared me to go a year without drinking pop (I was in 8th grade. 8TH GRADE. Do you get the gravity of that kind of dare? We lived on honey buns and watermelon Bubble Tape and triple chocolate Pepperidge Farm cakes and 180 energy drinks! Oh, our poor teachers.). I went a year and two days without pop. Two more days just to make a point. Boom! (insert adult self eyerolling).

I am head-over-heels in love with my husband and our little girl. My beekeeping husband has been the propolis to my life since the day he walked into it with his Doc Marten boots. He grounds me, keeps me together. I’ve never met anyone with such a pure and kind heart. And let me tell you about our toddler princess (she’s NOT A PERSON, so sayeth her highness)… she’s the peanut butter to my chocolate (because that’s a match that supersedes even a PB&J). She fills our world with laughter and light and glitter and unicorns. I don’t know how God ever thought me worthy of sharing life with their souls.

This blog will not be about anything specific. Call it a diary or my kind of Pinterest board of random thoughts, since I have a strong aversion to Pinterest (how are you to be yourself if you’re just copying everyone else?). I know I just offended probably anyone who would ever read this. These posts are just my raw, honest contemplations. My likes, and dislikes. My passions and perceptions. I guess, it’s my hand reaching out, more than anything. Hoping to grasp anyone who may think like me, question like me. Maybe we can wander through this together.