It continues to be warm. The kind of warm that lets you sleep with windows wide open and, most importantly and sublimely, eat breakfast out on the porch.
Isis comes – he has his own entrance to the porch. He’s happy here, sort of outdoors. He climbs on us, jumps over to the table, emboldened, knowing that he has a ready escape. In the farmhouse, he needs us to provide an out. But on the porch, he’s free, he’s king, he’s in control.
Will it really be a six month stretch of outdoor breakfasts? Could we be so lucky? I think about adjustments I thought I had to make when I moved to the farmette: the mosquitoes in the summer. But somehow this year, there were none. Then the worry about heavy snows to contend with mornings before work: they didn't happen either. And now this – the out of nowhere treat of an early summer. Temporary? Maybe. But in these last hours of winter, I can't think of a wet and cold tomorrow. We've got a glorious March -- let's just marvel at that!
Ed tells me that land just a couple of miles to the east of us, leading up to Lake Waubesa, has been acquired by the county, extending public access to the lake and linking it to the nature preserve that includes vast areas of wetlands here. You can hate living not too far from wetlands -- they attract insects. Or you can love it. You are on the flight path of birds. I read that nearly seventy species inhabit this area. These days, when we work outside, we can always hear the warble of a sandhill crane. He's loud, but so are the other birds. I'm not skilled at naming them, but I come to recognize their unique voices. And this year, their song comes early and strong.
We work in the prairie again, sawing down honeysuckle, creating great big mountains of chopped down limbs. Everything around us is sprouting already. One month early by my estimation. The willow that caused us great troubles around Thanksgiving? Remember? Well, it's an explosion of golden green buds now!
Saturday. In the afternoon we set out to do what has to be done: tedious errands. Including the rare trip to the mall. We're listening to a Freakonomics podcast on Ed's ratty Geo radio. It's hugely entertaining and we're loathe to turn it off, even as we pull into a spot at the crowded parking lot. I swing open the door and lean my feet on the edge of the open window. Ed's window hasn't opened for years, but the Geo has a sunroof and that's propped open too. I comment how ridiculous it is on this fine day to sit in a parking lot and watch cars pull in and out, but it really isn't ridiculous. The sky is still blue, the breeze is equally warm. Even here, on this vast slab of concrete, life is good.
They say it's St. Patrick's Day but neither of us has any Irish in us and still, here we are, retreating to the farmland green, the unexpected luck of the green that's rapidly taking over our yard. And purple. And gold. Right there, for all to see.