Friday, April 01, 2011

an April fool

I am in love with this month. A semester ends, flowers appear at a fast and furious pace, the farmers market moves outdoors. The world, my world, is cornflower blue and buttercup yellow. Sweat pea pink and purple. Ferns unfurl, buds swell – what’s there not to like?

April 1st is April Fool’s and there’s something deliciously spirited about that as well> there's a message for you: don't take yourself too seriously!

I leave my (Chicago) daughter’s place early – just when the first light pushes through...

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Once more I take the El against the traffic. They’re heading downtown, I’m going north.


The showers come and maybe that would give someone pause – it’s damp, it’s cold, too. But April is a package deal. And I’m willing to pay this small price for the pansies in the flowerpots and fat robins in the orchard.

Welcome, April.

So, that was written in the morning – on the bus ride up north. When I arrived in Madison, to a world drenched in wet snow, the following kid rhyme got stuck in my head: roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. With the retort: but, the roses are wilted, the violets are dead, the sugar is lumpy and so is your head! Ha ha ha! Reign in your celebration! We live in tough times alright.

The bus is late pulling in (don’t ask), Ed’s even later picking me up (again, don’t ask).

We drive over to the farmette and Ed is definitely in an Ed mood. If I say something tinged with optimism, he’ll dig hard for the counterargument.

In fact, progress at the farmhouse has been made...

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...but the project is far far far from edging toward completion. I'm no longer certain that I’ll be moving into a finished product.

We haul some crates of books over from the condo and I stack them neatly in the basement. That’s about when the building team (Andy and his grandsons) alert us to the fact that the thermostat isn’t working. The place needs a little heat to warm up the boards that  will be laid next week.

Ed quickly discovers that both the new thermostat and the furnace are having issues. I try to concentrate on staining a board to see if I can do an adequate job with the doors that went up on the second floor.

Suddenly, the entire farmhouse rebuild/renovation project seems a tad overwhelming. Too ambitious. Too impossible.

I suppose most everyone experiences this moment of glumness – when you patch one thing only to discover that this was a tiny nothing compared to the monster you still need to address down the road.

By a late hour, Ed identifies the needed fixes to the furnace and thermostat (or, the best guess as to the needed fixes). So I should be pleased. And I am. But there’s a reality here about April that I must admit to: it’s got tricks up its sleeve. You have to be prepared. And you have to not mind.