Saturday, July 10, 2010

a Saturday

If ever I wondered whether mosquitoes like dawn as much as they like dusk, this morning I had the chance to find out.

Yes, they do. Up before me, ready to attack whomever comes down the road.

Sunrise at the farmette. Quiet fields, picked over for the markets. The sun breaks through and passes behind one wisp of a cloud, then another.


It’s going to be a fine day!

But a day not without chores. Last night as Ed struggled to quickly wash and dry sheets for the inflatable mattress at the farmhouse, he found that the dryer has stopped drying. Sleeping on damp sheets was novel and not altogether unpleasant, given the warm day, but this morning, Ed wants to head out in search of spare dryer parts.

We bike down to Willie Street (a mere 10 mile ride from the farmette). You could not, on the ride over, ask for a more beautiful field of flowers and a bigger midwestern sky..


He shops for the machine part, then I suggest breakfast.

We are so mismatched in our eating habits when we’re in Madison, my traveling companion and I, that it is rare that we both want a meal at the same time. Breakfast? No, I’ll just have a lemonade. How is it that in travel we are more synchronized?

It’s the week-end of Art Fair on the Square, en event that should excite me, except that over the years I have grown quite indifferent to it. Too hot, too busy, too depressing, too something. But we’re on the square, and the vendors are on the square, and it seems that we should push through the crowds some, and we do. (Can you tell where art ends and reality steps in?)


Soon, we turn away and walk down to where the farmers have been forced to relocate for this one summer week-end.

Exhale. Ed naps on the grass, I watch the farmers stack the beans and arrange rows of boxes of raspberries.



The ride back to the farmette is long. We finish the loop that runs through the city. Twenty-five miles later we’re done.

It’s late afternoon and I am at the point when I think it’s too late to begin something entirely new, and too early to completely collapse in an armchair with a book or magazine.

I look in the direction of Ed’s sheep shed (his home) and I can, I think, even at a distance, hear the buzz of swarming mosquitoes having their Saturday frolic in the raspberry canes and fruit trees that border the path to the shed. And because Ed has been away for so much of this spring, and also because he is so loath to pull anything with roots out of the ground, I see that the path, once wide and beautiful, is completely overgrown with weeds, canes and who knows what else.


In a moment of frantic fury I attack the path. I tear out weeds, I rip out canes, I heave at long vines and prickly branches, all the while stirring up the mosquito inferno within. I am covered with dirt and bugs, but within an hour I have cleared the path. Ed, who has been trying to till and mow the space I have created, tells me to end there and I do, stumbling with sore arms and caked dirt into the coldest most wonderful shower I have ever had.

Evening. We ride the motorbike into town to see my daughter who is there with a friend. I pick up more work at the condo and we retreat, my occasional traveling companion and I. Back to the farmette, where the bugs are noxious, but the berries are ripe and the fragrance of... everything is intoxicating.