Late Saturday. A night on the town with daughters. An evening of lights and birthday drinks. Of deviled eggs and raspberry pound cake.
And then, it’s morning. Easter morning. The stove is finally connected to the gas pipe. I turn it on for the first time. A pot of water, a boiled egg for Ed. Truly, that egg does not understand how close it came to never being cooked.
Now I have to pick up speed. My girls are coming over for an early Easter dinner. The farmhouse, in its revamped form, will have its first guests. Ed’s tools must disappear from the kitchen counter. The lemon room needs to be made ready – not because anyone will stay there tonight, but because I want this house, this yet again new home for me, to feel like a place where they can throw down their bag and exhale. Because if it is my home, it is theirs as well.
I tidy the kitchen. I pick up the pail that I use for compost refuse and take it out to the back of the barn. This is the moment when I make the transition to my new rural home – during that walk with the bucket. I listening to birds and look out on the land, cluttered with twigs from felled branches. I make mental notes of things that I must do here this spring. Country thoughts. The city is receding from my immediate considerations.
And still, I go back to Madison too on this day. Grocery shopping for dinner. A simple spring meal. Baked chicken with dandelion greens and tarragon spinach sauce. Risotto with peas and mint. Blackberry cobbler.
Dinner. They arrive and the house fills with the noise of family.
They look good here, at the farmhouse.
And then daughters leave. And I carry another bucket to the compost heap. I think of the days when I was much, much younger. When I would leave my grandmother’s house in the Polish countryside Sunday afternoon. She stayed at the front door, watching us leave. Most often, she cried. She was alone for too long until our next visit. I'm not alone. I go back and forth between the city and the countryside as if it were a trip to the backyard. But I see the pattern. Of family meals, of comings and goings.
Life repeats itself. And that’s a good thing. Flowers rebloom, children come back home to eat dinner with you.