Posts Tagged ‘Ulee’s Gold’

DSCN7053 - Version 2One of our garden club’s many activities occurs mid-January. Members gather to discuss a book related to horticulture, conservation, the environment, gardening, or other such earthy subjects. While the temperatures usually hover just north of zero, and snow is most often underfoot, it is the perfect time of year to read about earthly matters.

Our book this year is was a fairly new release. Laline Paull’s “The Bees” is an anthropomorphic tale about life in the hive with a lowly sanitation worker, Flora 717, as the protagonist. She is an unlikely heroine; too big, deformed, a lowly Sage, and a secret that could be her demise. While some of us loved the book, others emphatically did not. This, of course, was the perfect mix of perspectives for a chatty discussion, the hum of which must have buzzed about the halls and walls of the Elmhurst Library this week, channeling the very hive were “into” .

Have you noticed that it is the books one does not necessarily like that illicit the best conversations?

In between character development, authenticity, and the lewd behavior of drones, we nibbled on honeyed treats. Pictured above is a plate of apples with honey for dipping, nestled upon a bee’s tablecloth.  We tasted from a honeycomb, drizzling honey onto blue cheese and crackers. There were honey cookies and honey glazed walnuts and pretzels, all anchored with a bee skep – amongst some of the sweetest worker bees I know.

I keep a saying close at hand; a reminder to watch what I say.

Lord, make my words as sweet as honey, for tomorrow I may have to eat them. 

As an added bonus to me, whilst flipping channels once again back in my own comfy hive, Ulee’s Gold was playing. It is a movie I enjoy now and again, along with a Van Morrison song featured in it that I have posted before. This one is from the trailer to the movie.


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Hunting for gold

I seem to  be happening upon favorite movies lately, and it happened again on Wednesday night. Clicking aimlessly through channels on a night when even PBS had nothing of interest for me, on a night I just needed to escape with some television, there it was. Ulee’s Gold.

Earlier in the day, I made a special trip to the Elmhurst Farmers Market to replenish my honey pot. Whenever I can, I try to buy local honey, for all the reasons one should; supporting small, independent businesses, keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum, taste, and the fact that local honey really does help me come allergy season. Knowing a vendor who is usually at the market, I headed out for 16 ounces of local gold.

The beekeeper and I chatted, he reminding me to return the jar for reuse, me assuring him I would as a young lad stood nearby, sipping a honey straw as if it were the last drop of sweetness he would ever have.

The honey will last me for quite some time. I will return the jar in the fall and buy another for sweetening my tea over the long winter months, but, I digress.

Ulee’s Gold is about a reclusive beekeeper; a Vietnam veteran who still mourns his wife’s passing. As Ulee tends his hives, he finds himself suddenly tending his granddaughters and then their mother, his daughter-in-law, who is strung out on drugs. His son is in jail, and so the story unfolds, slowly, as we follow Ulee, played by Peter Fonda, and watch as he harvests his honey, Tupelo gold.  The story is also about family responsibility and how Ulee slowly emerges from his solitary life as he helps and later protects his family as they heal. It is a movie that runs slow, like the golden honey that flows from the tupelo trees, and its cast, led by Peter Fonda, excels.


It was the hunt for honey in the morning and the discovery of Ulee’s Gold in the evening that had me a-buzz, for the movie ended my long day on such a thoughtful note, as the credits rolled and Van Morrison sang Tupelo Honey.



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