Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sunday at home

I should have worked hard long hours today. I had set a goal. I did not meet it. At the end of the semester, I haven’t the same concentration that I had earlier. I’m tired. Giving up weekends to work becomes hard.

And so when one daughter wakes up in the farmhouse lemon room and the other came over with a bag of fresh doughnuts, I think – that’s it, forget work. This morning is ours.


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We linger over a mushroom and spinach frittata, then my girls and I head out to the Mega Target store. My Chicago girl needs to Christmas shop and we are so happy to tag along and give endless, bossy advice.

At Target, we run into Alice – the now retired secretary of my daughters’ elementary school. She is a heroic and oh so lovely person in my eyes and she now looks at my daughters with a grin ten miles wide – mainly because well, they’ve grown!


In the early afternoon, the younger girl is on the bus to Chicago and the older one is off in her own world of activity. I return to the farmhouse to clean and scrub. My last such effort before I take off later this week. Ed helps me. Isis picks a spot in the middle of the quilt that covers the big bed and sleeps the day away.

of mice, trees and men

Whenever Ed asks in the middle of the night – hey, are you asleep? – the answer is inevitably going to be “no.” A nudge is enough to startle me into wakefulness. When the question is followed (as it was last night) by – “...because I think we caught a mouse downstairs,” well then you can be sure that I’ll sit up, wide awake, listening for that familiar from last spring sound of a trap bouncing around on the floor with a mouse inside.

We both go down to inspect it. Who is this creature that eats tomatoes (instead of the pumpkin seeds lying casually to the side)? Ed shakes the trap over a big plastic bin, reconciling himself to the late night drive with it into the countryside. Two miles, I tell him, or it’ll come back!

Sigh, okay, but here, take a photo of it, it’s awfully cute. He lifts the lid gingerly and I half scold him (cover it, cover it, for Pete’s sake!), but I also inch closer to see.


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And out she jumps past my peering nose, easily clearing the slippery six inch sides of the container.
Catch her! I shout, even as I know and Ed knows that that dang mouse is now as free as a bird on the crabapple tree.

Let’s set the trap up again, Ed says, smearing slabs of peanut butter at the end of the small plastic tunnel.
You think she’ll come back? I ask, with great doubt.

The day is drippy wet and I have to work most of the daylight hours.


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But when evening comes, my younger daughter alights from the Chicago bus and eventually we make our way to my neighborhood bar for a quick beer. Did I mention that I have a neighborhood bar? Oh yes – two miles one way and I have the cafĂ©. Two miles the other way and there is this:


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We hadn't quite realized that it was the Badgers’ big game tonight and I for one felt out of place, sitting there in my green shirt (coincidence!) in a room full of red.

We didn’t watch the entire game because late, late, oh so late, we were to go to my older girl’s house to finally decorate (with the entire truckload of family ornaments) the tree. This tree.


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Angels with trumpets, snowmen singing carols. What’s there not to love?

Home again now. Rain outside. Probably the last one this year. Probably. Put away the cans of paint, Ed. Winter’s coming tomorrow. Yeah, yeah, he mutters. But he takes them down to the basement.