Spotlight: Mindy03 (Margaret Tucker)

By Sharon Brown (Sharon) on August 29, 2011

Sometimes we meet people who remind us of our childhood, so it was with Margaret. She asked me to edit an article she'd written about beekeeping. I found myself transported right back to my grandfather's mountain where he kept bees many years ago. I wanted to know more about Margaret, I think you'll enjoy knowing her, too.

I have only vague memories of my grandfather's bees. Mostly I remember his white bee suit that covered him from head to toe and if I'd known a thing about space aliens back in those days, I might have thought we'd been invaded. But I knew when I saw him in that suit, I could only watch from a distance. I also knew that very soon after he removed that bee suit, my grandmother would have  biscuits ready and I would dine magnificently on hot biscuits and honey. Makes me hungry just thinking of it. 

Margaret is a Kentuckian, just as I am, and she lives at the edge of those mountains where I grew up. It's hours and miles away from me, Kentucky is a wide state, but someday when I'm on my way back to the mountains, maybe I'll stop and check out her fresh from the hive honey. Every article she writes brings back my craving for it.

I'd like you to get to know Margaret. Here's her story in her own words: 


I grew up in a small rural community in Pulaski County in south central KY, the eleventh child of fourteen. Before I started school the road in front of our house was a pebble studded dirt road that was blacktopped just before I started first grade. We would go pick out our hop scotch rocks from the road. We climbed trees, played board games and made imaginary houses when the grass was mowed after getting too high. We used the grass to mark out rooms, doorways and windows on the ground. We had chickens and hogs and a huge vegetable garden where we were all required to weed two rows every week. Daddy had bees but would not let us go near the hive because they were very aggressive. My oldest brother was the exception to that rule, he would go out there and watch them come and go. They never bothered him but went after Mom every time she tried to work in the garden.

Mom was the greatest influence in my life. Daddy had mental problems after serving in World War II. My siblings also had great influence on me. My older sisters helped take care of the younger ones. I was encouraged to try anything at least once and if it didn't work out that was OK just try something else. The siblings closest to me in age taught me it was a very bad idea to act like a brat. I never lacked for someone to play with or talk to.

I married my husband when I was 18 and have been happily married for 32 years now. We balance each other, he's outgoing while I'm quiet. We now live in Wayne County, KY where my husband is from.  We never had children but have had various dogs over the years. Currently we have three dogs, Mindy is our oldest at 9 years, Smokey is her son and is 3 years old and we just recently got Dusty who is a joy and a handful at 4 months. 2011-08-25/Sharon/fb6326


My love of gardening came from my grandmother, Maggie Margaret. She could grow anything and had lots of houseplants that were kept on her front porch during the summer and all over the house in the winter. When my parents moved to the house I grew up in, Grandma started a rose bush from the one in her yard. It is a red rose bush that was started from one her Mom brought with her when she came to America. That rose bush was my mother's most prized plant and those of us who showed any interest in gardening knew we were considered good enough when Mom let us take care of her red rose bush. I have a start of that rose bush in my flower garden and am rooting cuttings for others in my family who would like to have a piece of their family history.

I grow all kinds of flowers in my flower garden. My favorites are lilies, zinnias and honeysuckle. As a child I used to pick the blossoms and taste the nectar from the honeysuckle. We have a small vegetable garden where we grow just what we need for fresh eating during the growing season. I like to try new varieties of our favorite vegetables. I also have a flower bed where I grow new plants I've never grown before just to see how they do and how I like them. If I like them and they do well they get moved to a new spot the following year. This year I'm learning how to root cuttings and have successfully rooted some rose bushes from some of my sisters' roses, a red crepe myrtle and a snowball bush.

We lost my sister Patsy to a kidney disease at age 22, 2 days after my 15th birthday. She loved to dance and loved teaching us younger children anything that interested her. She taught me to enjoy reading about any subject as long as it was well written. She taught my youngest sister how to play poker at age 5. Today there is a cure for her kidney disease as a result of doctors studying her medical records, which contained the most information they had2011-08-25/Sharon/f0d4b2 on the disease when she died.

In April 2010 my husband decided to get 2 bee hives. I wasn't all that interested in bees then but had no objections to having them. I love to garden and started researching what plants would benefit them so that I could add them to my flower garden. I quickly found out there isn't much information on the internet and what was available gave the same information. I started buying books and started my Plant For Honey Bees database to keep up with the plants I found. The more I researched the more I learned about the bees themselves. I started writing articles on the plants to help other gardeners learn how to help the honey bees without being a beekeeper. My friends asked me questions on the products of honey bees which led to articles on honey, beeswax, pollen and propolis. I'm enjoying this unexpected hobby very much. I would love to tend to my own beehives but my husband won't teach me what I need to know. I'm not sure if he's protecting me or the bees; I'm seriously accident prone at times so the possibility of a disaster involving me and the bees is pretty great. We now have 10 hives. So far I've never been stung by our bees but have had two get caught in my hair. I can work in my flower beds weeding around plants that have honey bees working on them. I guess my calm nature is a great asset when around honey bees.

When I'm not gardening or trying to take pictures of honey bees on flowers you can find me either crocheting, knitting, cooking or reading. My favorite hobby is crocheting I learned to do that when I was 15. I taught myself how to knit when I was 17. I ordered a collection of craft books that covered just about every needle craft out there. My first knitting needles were a pair of wooden plant pokes with pointed ends. My Mom bought me my first real knitting needles after she was sure I really was interested in doing the craft and not just playing. I still have those needles, too.

I'm not much of a traveler, I much prefer 2011-08-25/Sharon/4795ecto stay home puttering around my garden or playing with my yarns and hook to make something pretty. Someday I would like to explore KY's little nooks and crannies.

Right now the biggest thing on my wishlist that I want more than anything else is a big greenhouse that has temperature control so I can grow plants from seeds and cuttings which is my latest garden hobby.


Margaret's story is one that feels good; it's comfortable and comforting at the same time. I asked her what she saw in her future, and here is what she said:



I believe we will be together until death doeth us part. We've been through some really rough periods and always came out closer than before. I see us adding a few more bee hives to the bee yard but am not real sure how long he will be able to tend to the hives as his health isn't the best. That is one of the reasons I want to learn to do it myself so I can keep my two hives as long as possible.

We met through my oldest brother in law who worked at the same place as my husband. I was 17 going on 18 that summer and Bud thought it was a darn shame I wasn't dating. So he set us up on a blind date after getting me to agree to go out with Richard. I had offers to date before but the boy didn't interest me so I always refused and of course my youngest older brother (who's just 16 1/2 months older than I am) scared all the boys in our class off by threatening them with bodily harm if they asked me out. Bud showed Richard 2011-08-25/Sharon/0044f3my high school picture and asked him if he would like to take me out and Richard said yes. We dated 5 months before we got married. That caused one of my aunts to say I was pregnant but that baby never was born. I asked Richard if we were getting married after we had dated 3 months or so. His response was "You just made me the happiest man on earth". Our next date he told me he was doing it properly and asked me to marry him then gave me my engagement ring. We just celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary last week and he told me he couldn't imagine life without me.

He's a real romantic at heart. When it was getting close to our 25th wedding anniversary he asked me the month before if we were going to put our picture in the paper. I said what for? He said that's what people do when they have been married 25 years. I thought about it awhile then decided to go ahead and do it without telling him. LOL!  That was so much fun and I don't think he'll ask me to put our picture in the paper again.

I asked his boss's wife to help me get the picture to the newspaper office. She agreed and promised to keep it secret. When the paper ran the following week (ours is a wee2011-08-25/Sharon/75b382kly paper) he said she was so anxious to get that paper he just knew she had something to do with it. She didn't see the picture I provided until it was printed in the paper. Her comment was, 'Oh you have hair!'  He was wearing his hair in a really short crew cut at the time but in the picture it was longer. He worked at Wal Mart at that time and someone not only posted it on the employees bulletin board they also posted it on the public bulletin board. He was the customer's favorite employee so he got a lot of well wishes the rest of the week. We thought that was the end of it until two weeks later when he went to the bank to deposit his check. The lady who waited on him congratulated him and gave him a laminated copy of the newspaper announcement. I laughed until I cried and told him next time he better think twice before asking to get his picture in the paper.


I love a good love story, and that's exactly what this is. It just makes me feel good. Margaret, thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and thank you, too, for all your knowledge you share about bees. I wish you much luck with learning to be a beekeeper, I think you'll be a good one. And keep right on being happy, that happiness shows in your words.

Folks, if you'd like to visit Margaret's forum and learn more about beekeeping, take a look here. You can also read her articles if you are interested in growing plants for bees and to learn more about what bees produce. The link to them is included at the end of this article.  If you would like to chat with Margaret, join her on the comment threads following this article.

Thanks so much for joining us this week.  We hope to see you again next week when we see who Nancy brings to the Spotlight.

Margaret's articles are listed on this page.  Enjoy! 

Related articles:
beekeeping, honeybees, interview, spotlight

About Sharon Brown
I am a retired Art and Humanities teacher living in western Kentucky. I love writing and art with equal measure, but I also have a passion for nature and plants.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
What a sweet story nap Sep 20, 2011 10:47 AM 27
Enriching life Lance Sep 3, 2011 12:18 PM 1

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