Sunday, November 15, 2015


Morning. Our farmette visitor is no longer staying here. We're back to old routines. I get up to release the cheepers.

And I notice this one solitary flower, still holding its own, still giving that radiant color that we would normally associate with summer.

It is one of those treasured moments. Something that shouldn't be here. That should have given up long ago. And yet it's here. Feeble, but beautiful nonetheless.

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I'm back, giving my morning report to a still drowsy Ed. He listens, then says -- we should do some volunteer work for the Ice Age Trail today. We hike it a lot. We haven't contributed much to its maintenance this year.
I hesitate. I give my time (happily I should note) to Snowdrop and to us, here at the farmhouse. Can't we be selfish and use the one free afternoon to do something decadent? Like maybe take a leisurely walk, or visit a winery? (Ed had clipped an article about a couple who made their own wine and a visit there sounded sort of interesting.)
Doing stuff for your family isn't exactly volunteering. I think we should work on the trail.

He is right, of course. We've hiked. We need to do our bit.

And so after the usual cleaning and the lovely breakfast...

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...we set out to find the volunteers who are working on a segment of the trail that we have trampled over more than once.

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The work is of the standard sort: pull out or hack down invasive plants, which in this case basically means doing away with the honeysuckle bushes that take over the forest floor.

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We don't knock ourselves out. Just two hours of heaving, hacking, pulling. And then we are done and I am so happy to have put in those hours, because they felt so productive, so wonderfully laborious!

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And the skies are blue and the day is warm, how good is that!

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And in the evening, the young family drives straight from Minneapolis to the farmhouse and I have a wonderful reunion with Snowdrop...

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(Who, after a five hour car ride, is happy to be free to roam and give penguin a great big hug...)

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Me, I have  a chance to listen to all the stories of their wonderful visit with my younger daughter and her husband.

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And the little girl -- she just seems to get satisfaction from being a the table and stuffing pasta and eggplant in her sweet little mouth.

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We are an enormously lucky bunch!