Hey! It’s Sunday morning! I say this with energy, as if something important is about to happen.
I thought you’d given up on weekly cleanings...
I have. It’s been two weeks since we vacuumed.
That’s an obvious prod on my part.
I can’t say that Ed doesn’t help around the farmhouse. He spends a good part of each day either fixing something, or tending to some portion of the land. (Since most tools here are of the aging kind, they often need a repair. And the land is one constant plea for help.)
But the idea of cleaning the house on a regular basis? That’s a source of amusement for him. Meaning, he’s amused that I insist on devoting that much time to it.
It’s another one of those very warm days and we hurry, so that we can get to the outside work before the heat settles in for an afternoon of pea-soup air. Well, hurry is perhaps the wrong word. I left "hurry" behind on campus. At the farmette, our pace is either "slow" or "with interruptions."
We’re focused on the (dirt) driveway today. People have a hard time backing out of it, especially in the dark, especially in the winter. Ed came across little solar-powered lamps at Target and we picked up a half dozen to line the road. Mind you, these are not expensive gizmos (retail price of each: $2; we, too, were surprised). Ed thought to attach them to tall wooden posts and now we have the task of pounding the posts into the packed dirt road.
Ed does the pounding.
Too suburban? He asks after putting in the third lamp.
No! Solid and cool!
In the late afternoon, Ed and I ride into town (on his motorbike; Rosie can't support two people) for the celebration of my friend’s graduation. My friend did the complicated and difficult task of retraining while attending to kids, work, passions, you name it, she did it. Ed doesn’t usually step out of the house for social endeavors, but for this, we’re both on board.
At this most wonderfully event, I run into a person I knew very many years ago. We had kids the same age. She was utterly angelic toward mine in years when it all seemed so complicated and work and kids and kids and life just weren’t fitting together so perfectly. Her husband was my kids' doctor and I had the habit of saying (truthfully) that one big reason why I would never consider leaving Madison is because I cannot imagine ever finding a pediatrician as good as him.
Funny how when you get older all these stories come back. Vivid now, as if no time had passed, as if you still had kids in the preschool playground and the future for them, for you was one great blank page, without the dense script of lived years filling it all in...
My daughter and her fiancée are at the farmhouse for dinner. And for the first time, it is warm enough to do a comfortable Sunday night meal out on the porch.
Eventually they leave and I am about to slide behind my laptop screen, when Ed says – let’s play tennis.
And we do play, and it’s a beautiful night and my game is predictably funny and awful all at the same time, and his game is just slightly timid and I can't help but feel the laughter coming to the surface again -- the giddiness after a good meal and from the good companionship that is ours.
... especially not now and especially not at the farmhouse. Cleaned up and spiffy and vacuumed for the week(s) ahead.