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September, already?

September 1st. Well, here it is. Already the days seem to be slipping away much earlier, there’s a coolness in the air signifying Fall. Even the trees along our street have begun to display tuffs of turning leaves. Already I have begun to lament giving up the warm days spent in sun dresses, running barefoot through the yard and splashing in the pool. This has truly been a wonderful Summer. While I do look forward to Fall, to wearing sweaters and scarves, making breads and soups in a warm kitchen while the rain runs down the windows, I sadly am not there yet. I will be, when the days become cool enough to force us to dig out winter wear. This week I will begin to hit up the local consignment shops for Fall clothing. Goodwill is even putting out their Halloween costumes this Friday. Fall is coming and I don’t feel ready. I still want to enjoy our Summer. Moreso, there is still so much to enjoy! Evening BBQ’s at the beach, looking out over the Sound as the orange sun sinks into blue mountains. Girls splashing through the water, fully clothed. Backyard Fairy Princess Tea Parties to celebrate Araiya’s 4th Birthday, complete with pink flowers, a butterfly cake and temporary tattoos. Summer squash the size of footballs, in mass abundance, made into squash bread with whole wheat flour, golden raisins and walnuts. Pluots, soft and juicy from the trees. Warm light at sunset, low enough to illuminate faces and hair, making for gorgeous photographs in the last rays of the day.

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There’s been the memorable negatives too. This weekend we experienced one of the biggest emergencies we’ve encountered as parents. Thankfully, and it seems odd to say thankfully in this way, thankfully, it could have been a lot worse. I’m thankful because this is the biggest potential emergency we’ve faced, which means we’ve been thus far spared the heart-stopping, gut-wrenching moments of something truly bad and scary. I’m thankful because in the bigger picture, this is relatively small. Anyways, Saturday Matt went to take the Girls to Home Depot with him. A minute after they left out the front door, Araiya comes screaming back in the front door, followed by an equally freaking out Tallis and screaming Pia. And Matt, now without a shirt on, saying a bug flew in his hair and shirt and bit him, a welt was starting up in his Armpit, but he didn’t know what it was. He had dropped Pia trying to get his shirt off, who was screaming. So I took Pia, and we see a Bee frantically trying to escape out the front window, bonking against the glass. Matt kills it, but then suddenly I am getting buzzed. I run across the room, Matt tells me it’s on my shirt. As I start to put Pia on the floor, it dive bombs into my shirt sleeve I am suddenly stung in the armpit, and drop poor Pia for the second time. I fling off my shirt and stomp on it. The Girls freak out again, the house ringing with their shrieks. There is still a Bee flying in the living room. We usher the girls into their room and close the door, trying to keep them safe from the Yellow Jacket buzzing around. Matt and I tag team, both shirtless, he with a rolled up magazine, me with a broom, to rid our home of the angry invaders. We successfully kill one, then hear screaming ‘there’s a bee in here!’ from Araiya and we realize we’ve locked the bee in with our kids. Matt grabs the broom from me and we race down the hallway, me grabbing two girls and pulling them out of their room, Araiya running out ahead of me. They must be in our clothing. So we rip off Araiya and Pia’s clothes, and start in on Tallis’ layers. Once I get her sweater off, we can hear the buzzing inside her t-shirt. Poor Tallis has no idea what is going on, far too freaked out at this point to communicate anything. We rip the shirt off, I stomp it as hard as I can, killing our last bee. But poor Tallis has 5 or 6 stings on her neck and down her shoulder. Araiya didn’t have any, and Pia only (I say only, huh) had a red bump on her forehead from being dropped. We spent the next 45 minutes calming the girls down, putting ice on Tallis’ and our stings. Looking out the front window, I can easily see tons of swarming bees right under the large Sycamore tree we have next to our front stairs. It’s obvious that somehow, going down the stairs, Matt and the kids had disturbed a Yellow Jacket nest.

I looked up a recommendation (via Madrona Mom’s if you are on there and ever need a resource for Bee removal) and called Jerry the Bee Guy, who was at our house in 20 minutes, full bee suit and all, and took out the nest in about an hour. This is the really crazy part. The nest, which was burrowed in some sort of hole in the ground between the stairs and tree, was the size of a basketball. 4 layers deep and housed about 15,000 bees. If we wouldn’t have found it, the Bee’s would have gone into Hibernation in the next few weeks now that it’s getting too cool for them. Next Spring, this nest would have sent off about a dozen new queens to start new nests around the neighborhood. And just the day before, we threw a party for Araiya and over a handful of families went up and down those stairs that day. Thankfully none of them had any Bee problems. We spent the whole afternoon on the couch as a family. I’m sure now Tallis, in particular, will likely struggle with a pathological fear of Bees. Poor thing, even every time her tummy rumbled for the next few hours she would freak out because she thought there was a Bee in her tummy. She couldn’t even be coerced into eating Jelly Beans as we monitored her closely for any sign of reactions to the stings (thankfully, there were none and we didn’t have to rush anyone to the hospital for an unknown Bee allergy).

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A few days later she is back to normal, back to playing in the backyard in these last fleeting days of Summer.

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