When I was five or six a bee stung me on the face. That’s the only time I can remember being stung. I ran home screaming and my mother called my grandmother, the WWII nurse. Our neighbor was a nurse, so was my great-aunt, but for some reason she called my grandmother. The advice? The cure she offered?

“Stick an onion on it,” she said. My family is built on old wives’ tales.

This little guy pollinating my flower boxes reminded me of that first sting:

Someday I want to gather together all the bits of silly counter-intuitive advice and life philosophies and superstitions. Is any of it true? Did that onion work? Did it work because I believed it would? Because my grandmother said it would? Some of it must be true. Otherwise, how would I know that lots of acorns in the fall means that the coming winter will be long and brutal?