You might not realize it if you saw her on the street or in a cafe, but Harriet is a really remarkable woman. I cannot recall just now how long I've known her, but she is one of my favorite clients and one of the most delightful, exceptional people I know.
When she first learned about my beekeeping endeavors Harriet was full of questions. We were supposed to be talking about her as it was her appointment, after all. So after our meeting, I tried to answer as many of her questions as possible. Some time later, when we extracted our honey in August, I made sure we sent a jar to Harriet. She wrote the most endearing "thank you" note, addressed to me by first name only, "...and Her Bees." The nice people at my post office told me they really enjoyed sorting the mail that morning.
Early Saturday we headed off in a driving rain to survey our new outyard. On our way, we stopped to collect the post, stored it safely in a dry plastic bag, and ran the errands of a busy day. Sunday morning, I sorted our mail out of the bag and found a manila envelope from Harriet. In it was a tiny yellow gift box and a note written in Harriet's unmistakable hand:
March 11, 2008
My boss returned from Moscow with two suitcases filled to the brim. She gave me this pin which I wore for a few days. Then I said, 'this is [your] pin because she and her bees are vital workers.' I hope you and yours...are very well. Hoping we meet again down the road.
My best to you,
Once again I am touched in the depths of my heart by Harriet's gentle sense of fun and generosity.
Harriet works part-time in a boutique on the Connecticut shoreline. It has a Russian theme, including a tea room that I hope to visit before the gardening and beekeeping season begins in earnest. The photo here is of the lovely pin she sent. And I am so pleased she wore it: I like to think of this little amber bee carrying some of Harriet's energy to me. That makes me smile and I will wear this pin often and with fondest thoughts of her.