Sunday, June 15, 2014


It starts with the weather. Always the weather. A cloudy, moody day. Though not initially. You surely could not find fault with the sunrise.


Breakfast on the porch -- the one "outside" space rarely affected by what's out there. When Ed say -- let me go and do some work... I interrupt and say -- no, not yet, let's linger a little. It's so calm.


And we do linger and we have our moment of calm.

I thought then about how I should space activities this week. The big clean up, the polish, the shine, the last tweak in the garden -- that's Wednesday stuff, before the first visitors arrive Thursday. Wednesday, too, is the mowing extravaganza. I will do it because I want it just so. It will take up a good portion of the day to finish the final cut.

And today? What can I work on from my increasingly shorter list?

There is the preclean. You may laugh: why preclean if you're going to clean on Wednesday? Well now, today I'm getting into the crevices. Vacuuming ceilings. Dusting things that wont have to be dusted again. Doing a massive laundry...

And I'm thinking: now is the time to test the septic system. When I worried that we hadn't tracked down the problem the last time it backed up half a year ago, when I thought we should rip everything up and start with a new system (my solution for everything, it seems!), when I fretted that it will choose to back up on us in the week of the wedding, Ed suggested that we flood the system, all waters running, just days before the wedding. If it shows no signs of backing up, we will certainly sail through the week itself without a glitch.

So I did the laundry and ran the shower and flushed the toilet many times. Great! No sign of a back up in the farmhouse! Big sigh of relief!

What now? Let me attack the sheep shed.

You'll recall, perhaps, that the sheep shed is where Ed housed himself before I agreed to move to the renovated by us farmhouse (now three years ago). In the first six years of my life with him, I rarely came down to the farmette. We spent all our time in the places I lived: first the apartment downtown, then the condo, also downtown. When Ed coaxed me to spend more time at the farmette, I balked. The farmhouse was unfinished, dirty, not at all inviting, not even for an afternoon. The sheep shed -- worse. It houses many of Ed's machines and there is the perpetual smell of grease and oil and who knows what else. And of course, I'm the clean nut, Ed is the opposite.

Several times I volunteered to clean the sheep shed, but it was pointless. He didn't want his machine stuff disturbed. And even if I wiped down the kichenette and the bathroom, it never was good enough for me even as it was horribly discomforting for him.

One solution was to built a separate shed for me to hang out in. Ergo -- the building of the writer's shed. We never finished it (the project will be continued some day, with different use plans) because halfway through, I agreed to move permanently to the farmhouse.

Why this reliving of our history? Because when I went down to the sheep shed today (I rarely go there -- I have no reason to do so; it's his space and I don't care how cluttered and dusty it is), I smiled at the memories of my first attempts to clean the place up. And I smiled, too, because I was getting it ready for the wedding: it's a bathroom option for elderly guests who can't navigate the portable toilet system that has been rented and, too, it's handy for caterers who can access the sink there.

So I cleaned. And in running that shower and that toilet, I backed up the septic system and basically flooded the shed's bathroom with stuff you'd never want to see.

Tomorrow, the septic team will be here trying to again locate the problem. Will they? We don't know. It could be that the entire system will need to be dug up and we'll have to start from scratch. (That's a very complicated project.) The hope is that the correction will be easy and we will continue as before. If not, well then we can probably coast on borrowed time this week. I think.

No, I'm not at the point where you'd catch me singing -- "darling I love you, but give me Park Avenue" -- but I have to say, living in the country is not dull!

Disheartened somewhat by this new wrinkle, I needed a pick me up and nothing hollers happy times more than a trip to my new found perennial growers -- the two older women who who sell their  divided plants. We didn't buy much, but simply being among plants with people who love their flowers and especially their daylilies felt good. Joyous. It placed things in perspective. (And BTW, here's another day lily at the farmette, beginning its bloom. She's radiant and rather jolly, no?)


On our way home, we stopped at a grocery store to pick up ice cream bars for Ed. He had a hankering and we're slated to have some hot days before us so it seemed opportune. We looked at all the boxes of chocolate covered vanilla bars. The ingredients seemed positively frightening, but still, the hankering continued and so we bought a box. In true Ed fashion, he took out a few bars for the car ride home. I sampled one. The taste was exactly as you would remember it from fifty years ago were you alive then! And so we rode home munching nostalgia bars and admiring the beauty of our farmlands fronting the rural roads.

It was a very good moment.

My older girl and her husband came over for dinner and as we sat on the parch, the sun came out again and the moody strain of the day completely fizzled.


By the time I readied the coop for the night, the day had redeemed itself completely and I refused to give even a passing thought to sinks draining and toilets flushing. And that's a good thing.

I'll leave you with a photo of one of my most reliably blooming flowers -- for weeks now it has held steady and strong. Tonight's colors remind me of the Polish flag!


And now let the wedding week begin!