Monday, May 20, 2013


We did not have the horrific storms that whipped through the states to the south of us. Still, it was a strange night of calm, then high winds and hail, thunder, more hail, then calm again. How does this even make sense? How can the winds rage then calm down so quickly, only to rage again? Or, is it that I've forgotten how irregular and unpredictable a day can be?

Even as at the farmette, routines do not vary much.

I like it that way.

Morning: porch.

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(I'm not eating much: I have a breakfast date downtown.)

Then I take a few minutes to chop down rhubarb for my urban girl and her fiance -- they're returning to Chicago today and rhubarb from the farmette is a good thing to stick in the back seat of their car.

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How well I remember the days when my grandma wrapped foods and lilac blooms in newspaper and handed them to us as we were getting ready to pull out of the village yard at the end of the weekend... A sack of farmette rhubarb hardly compares to the baked goods and farm foods my grandma had ready for us. But the sentiment is the same. Take this. Take part of my world with you...

My girls, their guys and I meet downtown for a quick meal.

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The words rise and swirl around the table and I'm thinking -- if they only knew how different the orbit of a younger person is from that of a... senior! How at some point, you no longer lead, you scramble to keep up. I see it in the way that they move from one topic to the next. They're not surprised that usually, I find myself just listening.  Learning from each other is quite different at this age: they learn from those who are older in quiet ways, whereas I learn from them overtly. In your face learning: Show me how you use your iPhone map function... What do you mean by [insert new to me term of art here]?

Before they take off for wherever it is that they're heading next, we make a detour to a garden center. The urban couple is picking out a few plants for their apartment deck. Here, finally, I can be of help. That needs sun. Mix this soil with what you have. This one will bloom abundantly, all summer long!

And still, I leave them alone to make their own selections. It's funner sometimes to proceed without all relevant information.

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And then they're off.

And I'm off too. Rosie and I twist our way on the back roads until we are at the farmette again. There, I read exactly one exam before Ed, the person who knows too well how best  to distract me, reads out loud about hosta plants on Craigs list. Are you interested? -- he asks, as if he didn't know the answer.

We drive up to south Madison where a guy, in his retirement, grows and sells hostas. It is an impressive collection!

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We linger and compare growing stories and talk hostas and mulches and all that stuff that people who get their hands dirty with soil like to review with others.

We pick out some -- the cheapest possible -- and we return home. And now I have more planting and moving and dividing to do. I plunge right into it and before I know it, day is done, gone the sun...

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Supper is my usual plates of leftovers.

Most likely, you're thinking this is it. The sun has set, the air is pleasantly cooler. They say storms are in the forecast again, but they can't mean it (can they?). No, the work is not done after all. Ed and I go outside. A truckload of wood chips is to arrive at dawn (we are the go-to dumping ground for several companies that look for ways to dispose of shredded trees). We make room for them. And, too, I plant a few hostas.

As we walk back to the farmhouse, I tell Ed about the next big project we should undertake... and the one after that...