Irish is a life-size Winnie the Pooh only entirely too smart. Somehow he managed to figure out how to turn the spigot on the giant honey container we kept in the kitchen. Honey oozed everywhere. I only discovered it because I heard the repetitive smacking of happy dog lips coming from the kitchen. We no longer use that container – and rest assured it was only our personal honey.
To introduce Henry’s Sweet Miracle Honey™ and Henry’s Stingers™ Henry cheerfully made our display for the Everybody Store Cheese Fest. I gave him the basic information that needed to be included and he set to work drawing, printing, organizing and coloring. Henry has to do almost all the work to give it that authentic “kid feel”. He created the honey display much the way he would have had it been for the Science Fair.
At the same time Henry was cutting and pasting bee facts, I was staining and stuffing the Auction basket for the Humane Society. We were donating an oil painting (Tom did), some honey, some Stingers™ and a “Bee Experience” – an afternoon where the winning bidders get to come out and don bee suits, learn about hive life from Henry and Mike, tend to the bees and then extract honey from the comb and have it on some hot corn bread with lemonade.
To add another layer to an already busy night we had to put labels and safety seals on all the products. And- were also giving out Stinger™ straws for each plate at the $1000.00 a table Humane Society Masquerade Gala. Each person was to have a Stingers™ at the top of their dinner plate with a label tied on with a small portion of green pipe cleaner. The labels were specially made with Chris's help directing the guests to our new website and encouraging them to enter their email addresses. It told of Henry’s desire to donate a portion of the profits to the preservation of honeybees and offered a chance to win stuff! I thought this was going to be wonderful. It was our big chance to get in front of more than 250 people not on food stamps that have an obvious concern for the environment and who participate and support local products. I was thrilled. Only FedEx did not deliver. Tom sent the labels two-day guaranteed delivery for 3:00PM. But they never arrived and what’s worse FedEx had no explanation as to why.
“I’m sorry it looks as though the package has gone all over the place and has been in Seattle since 11:00 this morning.” A man said somewhat apologetically.
“I saw that on the tracking information. My question is – why? I could have driven to Seattle and gotten them by now.” I was more than annoyed. My plans were going by the wayside quickly.
“I have no idea why. I’m sorry, but the facility the package is at is just a sorting facility, they don’t deliver. I don’t know why it ended up there.
“So that’s it then? I can’t even get them delivered to the event tomorrow?” I asked resigned.
“Honestly, I doubt it. “ He said more apologetically. So at 7:00 PM after my fifteenth phone call I finally accepted the labels were going to spend another couple days in a warehouse in Seattle and I tried to figure out what to do next.
Tom suggested sending the file to a Kinkos™ and trying to reprint and cut them all over again. That would cost a fortune and I had to be at the ding-dang Cheese Fest by 9:00AM. So I nixed this idea. Amy suggested we reconfigure a version of the Stingers™ label in Photoshop™ and print a placard for each table. That sounded good and Amy, Henry and I worked for quite a while on doing just that. Then my sister told me that was a no-go because you had to pay to do that as a sponsor. So in the end they got stuck in a vase without any real label other than “try one – spicy” and put next to our donation. No one did. We got back almost as many as we sent.
Meanwhile back at the honey house Henry put the finishing touches on his display and together we double-checked our list of supplies we’d need to load in the van in the morning.
Once at the Everybody Store, I set up the display and the rest was all Henry. He got into his beekeeper suit and went to work. Jeff moseyed out to see what all the fuss was about and gave it the skeptical once over. “Safety seals huh? Professional. Nice display” was all he said and went back inside with a jingle of the bells on the front door. I think he thought Henry would stick to it for about six minutes. But Henry is my child. He waved at cars motioned for them to come in and asked everyone who even came near the store if they would like to taste some of his “special” honey. He was like a Girl Scout selling cookies to the 4th power.
Every time someone rang up a jar of Henry’s I could hear Jeff mumble, “He’s sure selling a lot of honey.” This is primarily because Amy decided the store wouldn’t be involved in any of the honey money. Henry simply gave his honey customers a ticket, they paid at the register and then Jeff would give him / us cash at the end of the day.
The Cheese Fest rolled on quietly. There were cheeses aged in caves and cheeses with truffles and somehow Henry got the cheese expert, John, to drizzle Stingers™ on some of the brie. “It’s really good this way. I think I’m going to mention it to the chef at the Silver Reef Casino” the Peterson rep told me “Maybe Peterson should carry it.” He thought out loud.
While in the midst of giving a sample of triple cream Bavarian Blue to a woman, I noticed a familiar face in the crowd. I looked at the woman, who smiled back at me and realized it was Roberta, my mail lady.
“You weren’t home and this package needs a signature,” she explained as she patiently waited by the deli case. I was incredulous. I do live in Mayberry. FedEx left my package in some warehouse while my local post office stopped in at the Everybody Store Cheese Fest for my signature? My faith was restored. I thanked her profusely, signed for the package and tucked it behind Henry’s honey table for later.
At the end of the day, when I got off work, Henry was invited with the “Big boys” to go play handball. I cleaned up and loaded the van. Henry had sold two cases and Jeff asked to be cut in on the action for tomorrow. He wanted Henry back with his display. “The kid’s a shill,” Jeff grunted. This was high praise from Mr. Margolis.
As Henry walked back from the handball court along side the railroad tracks, he looked very Opie Taylor and it warmed my heart. We head home and he was full of stories of customers and tastings. He suggested changes for tomorrow. He wanted more crackers and popcorn, the pears didn’t hold up throughout the day. “They started to get brown and people don’t like that.” He explained wriggling out of his bee suit. “Alexis said he couldn’t believe how much honey I sold. Maybe I can do this every weekend,” he said as Irish smelling honey sharked around the kitchen counter looking for his opportunity.