Sunday, November 02, 2014

week-end's end

Well, it's a new day, but my foot is still stuck a little in the old one. Events like my daughter's shower define not only a given day, but, too, the weeks (months?) that precede it and, at least to some extent, the days that follow. And, just as the wedding this June had set the farmette (and me in it) spinning, so, too, this gathering invigorated my surroundings and my attention to them. In such a good way!

Immediately after the shower, I wanted, of course, to put things in order again: to return the extra chairs to Ed's sheep shed, to throw the tablecloths and napkins in the washing machine, to put in the recycling bin all that paper and cardboard, to freeze leftovers and wipe down surfaces. And I did most of it last night (with some help, of course). And I finished it off this morning.

My younger girl and her husband, exhausted from months of work and the long drive down from Minneapolis, slept soundly and late today, despite the extra hour thrown in by the gracious time change. I was so happy for that down time they found in the little upstairs room in the farmhouse!

And now is the time to repeat quickly a run down of this place, because I know I have new readers who don't quite know the farmhouse as intimately as you long time friends do.

The farmhouse is about 100 years old. It was a dairy and sheep farmstead once and for a very many years it was in disrepair. The original barn burned down and the neighbors say the fire smoldered in the silo for years. The farming family by then had neither the means nor the interest to do much about it. The framers had children here and that in itself must have been difficult. The house is small by modern standards: two bedrooms upstairs, kitchen and living/dining area downstairs and an unfinished basement. Over the years, they tried to add space by enclosing the front porch (what I call the front room -- we eat breakfast there sometimes, as it faces south) and then by adding an east annex (what I call the sun room), but they finished neither and eventually they moved out and subsequent dwellers continued to neglect the place.

Many years passed before I agreed to take on the project of renovating the house -- it basically filled me with despair every time I looked inside. But, we did it and we finished it off last summer, when Ed screened a back porch and we put glass panels on its roof to create more light throughout. Seventeen glass panels. It was an extraordinary act of farmhouse love and of determination to get things right.

Were we to build from scratch, we would never design the farmhouse in the way that it's laid out: a living room with only one outside wall and the rest -- with doorways to other spaces. However, given this quirkiness, it does have a virtue that few old farmhouses have: the added spaces and the kitchen have a huge number of windows. And so despite it all, the place reeks of sunlight. Moreover, if you stand by the kitchen entryway, you can actually look out through windows facing every exposure: north, west, south and east. Remarkable.

Here's a general view of the living room and the front room and the sun room this morning as I come down:


Ed and I eat a quiet breakfast together.


And later, much later, the young couple appears and we have a wonderful set of minutes when no one has any thing they have to do, or any place they have to be just yet.


And then, one more final meal together -- brunch this time, with my two girls, their husbands and my older one's friend who came down from D.C. for the shower.


That's a dreamy set of minutes. Over food, unrushed, happy with the way the weekend had proceeded.

And then it is time for the out-of-towners to leave, though I do pose for one  last weekend photo: just me and my girls. Together. (Yep, I'm the shortest.)


At home, the laundry is done, the house is still shining. Or maybe it's that the days' shine just sunk into those plaster walls and stayed.

The cheepers appear happy with the sudden quiet here. Or maybe they're happy that I'm home. Or maybe they're just happy to be out and about on a cold but sunny November day. As usual, I can't read cheeper thoughts.

(Where have you been??)

For supper -- Ed and I eat leftovers. Of course. [Footnote here in answer to Qs: all salads, including the roasted squash and lentils, are from online recipes at the ever wonderful]