Not What I Expected

Thought for the Week

It was an unseasonably warm autumn. Not what I expected. But, hey, it gave me a chance to install a bird bath, something my wife had wanted for a long time. And, being a bird-whisperer, she assured me it was what the birds wanted too.

I even added a solar fountain, powered by state-of-the-art WIFLI technology (When It Feels Like It). Not what I expected, but I enjoyed it when it had nothing better to do than…fount. And so did the birds! They splashed and played adorably…

For about three days.

And then the bees showed up, the birds left, e voilá, we suddenly had a beebath. Not what I expected. Who knew bees were such avid beechgoers? Overnight, our little birdbath became the trendiest bee resort (beesort?) in town. Sadly, bees are not the best swimmers. So I soon became beedom’s largest lifeguard. They would hover anxiously about me as I carried their hapless companions ashore, and buzz excitedly when I refilled their little lagoon. “Happy to help, hymenopteran friends,” I told them, “and if we just happen to see record numbers of flowers next spring, well, we’ll know who to thank.”

Suddenly, our record highs became record lows. Rain fell and froze, fell and froze. Not what I expected. Our little beesort has become a frozen pond. I placed a few Monopoly tokens on the ice to show how solid it is, but so far neither bees nor birds have taken up skating.

Fall has pretty much finished falling. So last Saturday I climbed up to our roof, leaf-blower in hand, as always, to blast the fallen leaves out of our rain gutters. But the leaves didn’t budge. Not what I expected. Why? For the first time ever our rain gutters have turned into giant ice trays full of black “leafcubes”! Solution? Pointy Stick (“Pointy” for short) who has served me faithfully for years. I used him/her/them (sticks are most likely nonbinary) to break our giant leafcubes into not-quite-so-giant leafcubes and finally managed to extract them.

Sadly, in the process, Pointy broke in half. “Rest in pieces, Pointy,” I told him/her/them, “I’ll put you in the Stick Hall of Fame.” (I don’t think there is a Stick Hall of Fame, but, hey, it takes so little to make a stick happy.)

Farewell bees. And leafcubes. And broken stick. None of you were what I expected. But then life, as it so unremittingly reminds us, is seldom what we expect. And that’s the secret of its wonderfully confounding, exasperating beauty, and the point, kind of, of this rambling…

Thought for the Week.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Not What I Expected

  1. Victoria says:

    So much fun…for us…at your expense, Mitch? 😉Appreciate the Monday giggles…and gosh, I think we have WIFLI here, too! 🤪Too funny!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wynne Leon says:

    Oh, I’m laughing at the bees largest lifeguard. And your point – perfect. Seldom what we expect indeed – I’m nodding my head at these great examples.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. R.I.P. Pointy. You died doing what you obviously were born to do. Beebaths and leafcubes…both unexpected parts of an unpredictable life.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m so thankful your wife needed a birdbath!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. marthadilo3 says:

    Love the monopoly tokens!!😝

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So it’s true. Every solution creates a problem. Some people move into the wilderness for quiet and have woodpeckers at their beck, beck, beck and call. Not good words for a Monday.

    Perhaps my comments will brighten as we head closer to the feasting. Few experiences exceed downing a great pumpkin pie buried in whipped cream. Have a warm, loving blessed Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I enjoyed your riffing on that always surprising thing we call life.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reaseaorg says:

    Life is beautiful as it is unexpected, just like the flow of your writing ! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I had a birdbath just like this one, only without the WIFLI. I gave it to my stepdaughter because our dog kept trying to catch and kill any birds that ventured into our yard. My stepdaughter set the birdbath in front of her house. Then somebody stole it.

    Where, exactly, did you get this birdbath? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Chaya Sheela says:

    I enjoyed this post a lot, Mitch. My smile grew wider and wider as I read each line, making my unexpectedly cold, rainy, gloomy Monday into a brighter one!
    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. How interesting that bees showed up at your birdbath. We have a couple of birdbaths at our house, but I’ve never seen a bee in or around one. Could be that it’s so dry here that they’ve adapted to less water. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. DeniseBalog says:

    As always Mitch, love your “honey” of a story 🐝 Yep, corney but I could help myself.🐝🐝🐝🧡💦 Thank you Mitch🧡🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jeanne Casey says:

    Mitch – you will have to invest (not much) in a bird bath heater. We use one all winter and the birds love it. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. C.A. Post says:

    Hey, Mitch, Anita vetoed me getting on ladders anymore after a couple short falls! No permanent damage beyond my brain, but anyway, that opened the door for me to buy RainHandlers!
    BEST invention since sliced bread, but I had to hire guys to put them up. But once up, NO MORE gutter problems or EVER having to clean out gutters.
    If you buy them, tell ’em C.A. sent you and they’ll only mark them up a little more than usual. 😎
    Skip the “Doorbrella.” No need that I can see in any installation.
    https://www.rainhandler.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lesley says:

    Now I know why I like you – you’re kind to little critters and rescue drowning bees. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I enjoyed your post, Mitch, as always. I wonder if pollen stuck to the sides of your birdbath and attracted the bees.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Stace says:

    Beautiful, loved it, gave me a enjoyable chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pam Webb says:

    I bought one of those solar fountains as well. No bees but some critter at night would pull out all the support straws after chewing on them?!? Raccoons? I finally had to devise a mesh cover for nighttime.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. K.L. Hale says:

    Mitch, your unmet expectations always meet mine when it comes to inspiration, humor, and just…life! I always giggle and have something to ponder about! Poor poor pointy! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Mitch. I’m thankful for you and your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the story, the photos, and especially the video.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Just the other day I was reading about a bee raft, something about meshing chopped apple on a tray – giving them both a sweet treat and not drowning them at the same time. Not that it would work in frozen conditions of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Life is not what we expect!!🤭🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  23. pastorpete51 says:

    Having never seen a bee at a birdbath, makes me realize that God still has surprises up His sleeves even for us old guys. On your leaf gutter dilemma, take it from a true New Englander that a good garden trowel will fit that gutter perfectly and spare you from frozen fingertips or broken sticks.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ann Coleman says:

    You’re so right, things rarely turn out the way we expect! I do have a bird bath that I freshen up daily, but I’ve never seen bees attracted to it. I get all sorts of birds and squirrels (they can climb) drinking out of it though. Then I saw a rabbit on the ground that couldn’t reach it, so I started leaving a dish of water of the ground as well during our hot and dry months…..

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jennie says:

    Just when you thought you were helping the birds, you ended up hurting the bees. Nature gives us everything, from beauty to tragedy. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. “Not what I expected” is the story of my life! I thank God for Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” Thanks for the giggles and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

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