Thursday, July 05, 2012

heroic efforts



It is always surprising to me how easy a complicated journey can be when nothing goes wrong. Take our trip back: Wake up at 4:30, cab comes at 5, check in at the Barcelona airport an hour and a half before flight takes off, and by 6:50 a.m. -- taxing along the runway.

Land in Paris (no issues – weather’s beautiful throughout), eat lovely breakfast of pain au chocolat and cafĂ© au lait at the airport, board plane (okay, insert here a qualifier: Delta, you should update your interiors to remain competitive!), take off within acceptable timeline, eight and a half hours later land in Detroit.

Immigration officer is friendly, customs officer even cracks a smile. Now, there is a problem with the plane to Madison, but so what. We’re an hour late. We have crossed six time zones and traveled thousands of miles and crossed an ocean. I can take being an hour late.


Here’s the tough part: we came home to record breaking heat. Whereas last year, June was cold and wet, this year June in Madison was hot and dry.

And I mean hot. Several days of above 100 degrees. In my thirty years here, I’d never known it go that high – not even in July or August.

My nephew, whom I asked to occasionally water the garden, you know, in case it doesn’t rain, had his hands full. Thanks to his herculean efforts, the orchard is saved, the tomatoes are thriving and the flowers, though already peaked in terms of their blooming time (more than a month ahead of schedule..sigh...), still add color to an otherwise parched and limp looking farmland.


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And here’s another thing: my nephew befriended Isis to such an extent that the cat is actually a tad indifferent to our return home and spent the evening snuggling next to my nephew rather than next to us.


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[Slightly disconcerting, though in a very good way, is the fact that my nephew was better at keeping the farmhouse spotless than I would have been – disconcerting because I always thought I could claim top honors in cleaning. I was outperformed.]



This morning I faced the problems that farmettes tend to have: the wasp nests in the garbage cans, the holes made by animals all over the yard, the spent flowers that I can only clip and say – sorry I missed your show... see you next year! and the various packs of animals that are regularly visiting here. The latest ones? A family of sandhill cranes seems to like the barn area. Deer are frequent guests as well. I can’t even imagine what other more secretive creature has come to the cooling shades here.

And still, things look good for us. Great even. 


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In the evening, we do last minute all-American things with my nephew (he leaves tomorrow). A visit with my daughter and friends...


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A trip to a multiplex ('Moonrise Kingdom'), a pizza at our favorite local pizzeria...


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... and then, following the inspiration from a fellow blogger and encouragement from my nephew, I take on the task of cutting Ed’s hair.

Before...


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...and after:


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...to the backdrop of my nephew doing his final act of watering.


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It’s good to be back. But I do wish my nephew didn’t live so far away.