To live in the country, to travel freely and not infrequently to the city. That’s my idea of a good life.
We drive up to the farmhouse after our flights back from Spain. I enter it and note right away that the overhead kitchen lamp isn’t working. I say to Ed – I thought those light bulbs last years.
He tests them. They’re fine. Can’t imagine what the problem is.
It’s pleasantly warm in the house. I unpack, I find my Polish wooly slippers, put them on. Oops. Pebbles in one. I take it off. Not pebbles. Mice droppings. Out comes the trap. No other sign on the floors of mice, and no mouse is tempted by the copious amounts of peanut butter in the trap for the day I’m there. So, it was a quick visit and exit. You get used to it.
In Chicago, the snow falls steadily, at times heavily. I walk to my daughter’s place with my face to it, thinking how not unpleasant it is to be battered by snow in this way.
In the evening, we try to catch the bus up to another part of the city. No, their iphone tells them that the bus delays are tremendous. City life. Even in winter-ready Chicago, the snow disturbs daily life.
We do manage to arrive at the restaurant fairly on time, the celebration proceeds...
And, at the end of the day, the carpet, picked up back in Tanger (this is a photo from that day of purchase), is finally home. Her home.
In the morning, I’m on the phone with Ed.
I figured out what happened with the lamp, he tells me. A mouse chewed through the wires.
My slipper had been right under that light fixture. A mouse party.
I look outside – a sunrise in Chicago.
It’s 21 degrees F in the city. I check the temp back at the farmette: minus 6 F.
Last chance to enjoy a meal “out.” At the farmhouse, breakfast moves only in one direction – out to the porch on sunny days. In the city, the range is broader.
My girl is busy with work and so I walk over and pick up foods for us at the City Provisions. Cool name. A nice selection of specialty foods, baked goods, sandwiches. There are shelves, too, of foods that come from “the country.” Raw honey, for example. Probably from Wisconsin.
I say goodbye to my city kid and her guy. We are not well programmed for goodbyes with our offspring, even as, in life, there are so many.
Ed picks me up at the bus stop in Madison. He has our skis in the back and we go to the park that's just three minutes from the farmhouse. It is our first time this year on skis. We hope it's the first of very many such times.
After, during the short ride home, we wave to the deer...
And now we are truly home. The farmhouse home. There, beneath the setting sun.