Thursday, July 16, 2015

halcyon days

 A post in three parts:

Part One

We leave our beautiful cabin in the Adirondacks. I turn around for one last look and something prompts me to photograph that entryway. Maybe because it displays the name of the cabin: Halcyon.

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It's a wonderful name and too fitting for our one week on the lakes and rivers here. Way too fitting.

But why are the skies so brooding? How is it that only now the clouds set in over this ancient mountain range?

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We eat breakfast in the car, on the ride to Albany International. Ed's to fly through Atlanta, I'm to catch my Madison connection in Detroit.

One last check of email at the airport.

One last feeling of complete tranquility.

We find out then that Ed's longtime friend and business partner Greg died last night, sailing on Lake Michigan.

It is so unexpected, so terribly tragic that it knocks the wind out of both of us, but of course, especially Ed.

Greg grew the company that arose out of a dream Ed had -- of creating computer operated milling machines that would be accessible (cost wise and size wise) to the hobbyist, the inventor, the innovator. The educator, the developer. With workshops and support services to help you along, so that you can create anything your imagination allows. Metal fittings for a flute, intricate knives, golf clubs. Simple things, complicated gears and machine parts. A milling machine to put in your basement or garage, school classroom, or plant.

Ed the designer, Greg the organizational star with engineering skills to boot. One guy's dream, turned into a team collaboration. But Greg was the one who worked daily to make the company a success. You can now find Tormach milling machines all over the world. Apple, Intel, GE, Amazon. Universities, many dozens of them -- from Harvard, to the University of Nairobi.

Greg shared Ed's passion for sailing as well. Ed says that if you must die, what better way than out on the water. But must it be now? So tragically early?

Part Two

We fly in at different times and the whirligig of events, commitments, lovely commitments, beautiful and pure pull me in right away. My most wonderful nephew is on his last day and night at the farmette and I want it to be a good set of hours for him. And I'm anxious to see Snowdrop!

My nephew and I hurry down to little Snowdrop's music class and this is where I first spot my daughter and granddaughter...

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After we sing, dance and shake rattles in the air, we leave the car and walk over to the Capitol Square for Madison's beautiful summer event -- concerts on the square.

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We buy foods and settle in on blankets that my daughter had set down for us and as the music seeps in and the hushed whispers and the clash of plastic forks and splash of wine into plastic cups fills the evening, I sit back and breathe deeply.

I watch Snowdrop and she is at her best, playing first with her little rattles and chewies and then climbing on her mom and finally settling into the safety of that well known shoulder.

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Part Three

This morning, the skies are once again cloudy. Occasional drops of rain suggest a wet day ahead. I have only a few minutes for a glance out at my garden.


I'll give it more time later. July is its prize month. I wont ignore my blooms.

We eat breakfast on the porch. It's an early meal. Ed must go off to Tormach and, too, my nephew will have a bus to catch for Chicago's airport. This evening, he'll be in Stockholm again and the farmette will be strangely empty without him here.


I grocery shop of course. Stock up, fill the fridge, think cooking thoughts. No no, not just boiled water into a pouch, eaten on a bed of pine needles! Halcyon, halcyon...

I poke in on Snowdrop whose smile fills the room.


And here's a wonderful thing -- I get to have her at the farmhouse all evening and through the night.

Watching her exploratory roll, and now perfectly supported sit, her play, bounce, and grab is so wonderfully satisfying -- as if she is there to show us how it all begins, how all that energy grows into something deeply creative and beautiful.


We play, she eats... well, I try to convince her that veggies (peas, beans and spinach) rule!


She gives them a wee chance...


And then she relaxes over a bottle of the usual. Such a relief to have something familiar to hold onto.

And so we are back, Ed and I. As my nephew reminded me -- good trips are never pushed aside in the tumult of an especially rocky return. They recede, but you come back to them in future times and you remember and you smile.


  1. Nina, my deepest condolences to you and Ed for the loss of his colleague and your friend. Your nephew offered such sage advice. I know you and Ed will keep seeing the beauty in every day things, even in this hard time.

  2. I read every single post and enjoy them so much. There's always something interesting... a new discovery for me. Laughter. This time I was a tad bit concerned with your isolation and surprise challenges. I especially enjoyed the reunion photos of Snowdrop.

    Just wanted you to know that I visit, but am sometimes too tired to comment.

    I now look forward to continued adventures on the farmette and Oreo.

    My regards to Ed and the loss of his close friend. Love.

  3. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. And I'm glad you are in the bosom of your loved ones, safe and sound. xox

  4. I'm sorry for the loss of a friend and business partner (his and Ed's work looks amazing).

    Of the photos this time, I like the one of the cousins best :) Though naturally Snowdrop will steal the show every time.

  5. Sounds as if you've settled back in, probably noticing lots of Snowdrop changes in just the short interval you were away... amazing how fast she's changing! Great that you got to go to the Music Together class with S and her mom. You've certainly given her a taste for music!
    Loss of Ed's friend and partner must have been, must still be, a shock... my sympathy to both of you, but especially to Ed. .

  6. Running behind again, and want to offer my tardy condolences to Ed and to you on the loss of his partner. Not the "real world" you wanted to come back to.

  7. Catching up just now and am saddened to read of Ed's business partners passing. Sending hugs and comforting thoughts while the shock passes. -M


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