Sunday, April 09, 2006

sucker for canes

Remember the recent blog post about how happy I am to be out of the yard work business (see post below)? Yes, well, then a friend mentions an overgrown yard, where raspberry canes are choking each other out of existence and I break. I succumb to the pruning-clipping routine with a vengeance today, for hours on end, until my bare arms and legs look like bloody hell (no, no photos; too macabre).

But, life has it’s rewards. I am asked:

Want to run over to Rolling Pin, the Russian bakery down in Fitchburg?
I don’t know, do I?

The bakery closes early on Sundays and so I cease my pruning, leaving a quarter of a raspberry patch in a state of great disrepair (hell with you, raspberry canes, go prune yourselves!) to see what the Pin is all about.

The Rolling Pin is a bunch of things rolled into one.

A few items are sort of Russian. A number of items are sort of American. Then there are displays of Russian babushka dolls, of flowered shawls, of a painted samovar (all for sale). Otherwise, it feels, well, American.

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batrushka (pastry) choices

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babushka (doll) choices

But wait. The patrons sitting there in the corner? The two older women? They may as well be from Brighton Beach, NY. Russian to the core.

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And the owner/baker at the Pin? Russian as well. She brings out of me all of the handful of Russian sentences I can speak and then beams to high heaven over my proficiency. I leave before I am forced to sing Russian folksongs just to keep the pretense going.

Refreshed but still badly damaged by the evil canes, I am cajoled into going to a nearby stretch of the Ice Age Trail. The sun is warm, so warm, the grasses are dry and yellow. My companion proposed that we rest. All fine and well, but this causes him to instantly fall asleep. I myself cannot not so easily zonk out at the side of a trail, but then I tend not to readily doze off on mud heaps covered with last year’s weeds.

I busy myself taking photos of grasses from the ground looking up.

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But seriously, I totally appreciate how easy it is in Madison to zip out into the countryside and walk miles on end without encountering anyone. (Okay, with the exception of these two lovers who were, er, taken aback by our intrusion. )

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