Normal and different. Most days are like that. You see it, don't you? The normal:
And now for the different: a shopping day.
It's cold outside -- it never moves beyond freezing. And still, I take Rosie out. I want to go downtown and she's a champ for that: no parking issues, none at all. But oh, do I feel the freeze on her windy back! There's a beautiful sky around me and I detour slightly to get a good, satisfying look at it.
But when I turn Rosie around to get back on my route, she slides, glides, tips over and falls. And I fall with her. At 2 mph, it's an inconsequential set of bruises. But it's a reminder: Rosie does not like winter. Much as I love the freedom she brings for me, I really should retire her for the cold spell. And in the meantime, I should watch the turns.
Alright: out of the country, into the city.
It's "small business appreciation day" and I'm plenty happy to be doing what little gift shopping I have down on State Street.
I have the luxury of taking my time on this. If you're crowding someone's home with more stuff, it better be thoughtfully acquired. Today I can be thoughtful.
It's pretty downtown now, in a holidayish sort of way.
Nothing at the farmhouse would tell you that we are at the cusp of the Christmas season. The same cannot be said of downtown.
At a kids' store, I come across a book signing. This throws me back to days when bookstores where a place I'd readily spend any and all my free hours. And when my girls were little, any new book by this author would be near the top of my shopping list:
It's satisfying to see him still drawing a crowd (our local hero: Kevin Henkes).
And it's delightful to see among the shoppers a beloved character from his stories -- the lovely Miss Lilly, with her plastic purple purse.
That wold of children's stories! Of sadnesses, presented so well in just a few words, and of hope- filled endings, of colorful characters, of impossible feats, silly, serious, all in one -- how could you not love that world!
I get back on Rosie, I tell her to stay focused, to go easy. We head home.
At the farmhouse, we have a pleasant, if slow evening. Not much crossed off any master list. We make a trip to the public library, I prepare leftovers for supper.
It's a good ending to a superbly wonderful holiday period. As one commenter noted -- I have two weeks of intense work ahead. A deep breath and a look to the weeks after, when I can exhale again.