I met a person tonight who moved to Madison (to my condo building) just last year, after spending most of her adult life in D.C.
Miss D.C.? I ask her.
Well yes – the weather. But not the politics and the terror alerts, and not dumping the contents of my purse every time I go to a museum.
What I did not ask is this: so what do you love about this town? Because she did profess love for it – if only through her dislike of the alternative.
Here’s my Sunday in Madison – right there for you to consider. Love it or leave it?
In the morning, I drive over to Madison Sourdough bakery. I am not as nuts about sourdough as so many out there, but I am nuts about a good bread and the website said they had Parisian baguettes.
No Parisian baguettes. Dated website. But very excellent sourdough, if you like sourdough. But I am like the lover who cannot fake it. No love. Just like.
Next on the list? An orchard, to restock apples. Nice drive. Past longhorn cattle licking each other in total Midwestern cattle bliss.
My occasional traveling companion Ed asks - you can eat that? They’re in love.
And I answer – my dietary preferences are what lead them to be born in the first place. Were I in the wild, I’d fully expect the beasts out there to devour me. Such is the food chain of life.
But in fact I could not eat this particular piece of beef. Though I long for meat in the same way that I long for pastry. Deprivation plays dangerous games with one’s senses.
The orchard is closed this Sunday. We are appleless. Should we pick and leave money? What if they shoot at us for trespassing? Is it permissible? You need a permit to burn leaves on your property in Fitchburg. Do you need a permit to shoot intruders?
We leave without apples.
In the evening I go to a condo potluck. I bake dozens of gougeres, relying on the l’Etoile Restaurant way of baking gougeres. A recipe that I used in my years there. Is that permissible? Is it stealing to use knowledge procured elsewhere for your subsequent wellbeing?
Good neighbors. Musical neighbors.
Back home now. Outside, it’s dark. Midwest dark. Post-daylight savings time dark. I check the thermostat to make sure it still is as warm as I set it to be. It is. On paper.
I put on Stacey Kent and listen: Let’s you and me go away to the ice hotel…
Is it true that only Europeans like Stacey Kent?
Hard frost coming for the first time this week. Gotta love it, right?