Classes start early and end late for me on Thursdays. But it is (usually) the last teaching day in the week and so when all is over and done, I know that I am, at least for the rest of my waking hours, free of having to produce, deliver, perfect.
I have set aside time to meet my older girl for coffee. It may surprise you to know that we rarely see each other on campus (even though her office is just two floors above mine). Too busy, too caught up in our own whirligig of time.
But I keep her waiting today.
I can’t help it. Students have needs. I must attend.
Finally, the day draws a curtain toward dusk. I want to go to the farmhouse – the construction crew has had ongoing questions in these last rapid stages of building and rebuilding and sometimes they don’t have questions, but I want to raise some of my own. Ed is not there today – he’s off inspecting a boat, or hauling a boat, or consulting on a boat – I can’t remember which – out on Lake Michigan with a friend.
I drive up to the farmhouse and I see right away that I am too late. The place is empty. So quiet! I cannot remember a time when I was here, on this property, without at least one other person there as well (typically Ed, in recent times – construction people).
I get out of the car and take it all in – the gray sky, the dirt path, torn apart by tracks again. I inspect the flower beds. I planted stuff here last fall, but construction workers, not seeing evidence of life, have trampled down much of that now. Does it matter? I can't tell.
I enter the farmhouse. Home. Oh my! The countertops are in. Even without applieances, it looks like a kitchen!
The surface of the quartz is so smooth, so untouched by dust and grime! I run my finger over it. Nice!
The floors are all in place now. The sanding and finishing of the downstairs is next week’s game. The upstairs? It’s done, but it’s drying. I can’t go up.
Of course, there are plenty of spaces that still aren't anywhere near where I would like them to be. For example -- you enter the farmhouse and your first impressions and images are of this:
Still, there is so much progress!
I walk through the rooms and I think back to when I first decided to push forward. I have no regrets.
It’s a warm evening (relatively speaking) and I walk around the property, looking for signs of the seasonal change that’s taking place.
I see that the truck farmers next door are getting their fields ready. They add spark and brightness to a still monochromatic landscape.
In the back of the old barn, the dried grasses are especially tall and hard to navigate. I see that deer have cut a path through here. At the side of the property, Ed and I planted fir trees last Earth Day. They’re there, growing at a pace of perhaps one centimeter a year.
I walk back to the sheep shed. Time to give in to the cat’s demands for attention. But just as I get closer to the shed, I hear a rustle. Something streaks past me.
I chase it some, trying to see if it will at all respond to my (Polish) rooster calls. It does not. It runs like crazy first one way then the next. However did we get a rooster over here?? Oh, the secrets of farm life.
I drive back to the condo, past a garden center where I see they have their first batches of pansies on display. Time to fill a pot with pansies. And parsley and mint and chives.