Saturday, December 05, 2015

a memorable Saturday

I had to make a lot of noise to wake the guy up to ask him then if he was alert enough to have breakfast with me.

The answer:

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After the morning meal, I drive to Snowdrop's home. Her mom and I have a date to take the little one (who is eleven months old today!) to the Children's Museum. There is to be a toddler-targeted presentation of the Nutcracker ballet. We are curious if Snowdrop will like it.

On goes her holiday dress. One last glance at the Christmas tree (which still leaves her quite mystified, in a delighted sort of way - as in: why is there a tree with toys on it in the house?)...

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... and we're off.

The production is quite informal -- a few dancers perform in the middle of the Museum's art room, with a smattering of chairs scattered at the side for the audience. But here's the thing: the director of today's mini Nutcracker had been in charge of Madison's grand Nutcracker when my younger daughter was herself a serious ballet dancer. I think my girl must have danced in it some five years in a row and what we all remember is that one of those years, she danced the part of Clara. The memories of this are especially poignant, since today's dancers appear to be wearing the same costumes that my daughter once wore.

And Snowdrop? She loves it! Unlike many of the kids who are mildly indifferent to the whole thing, she is mesmerized by every dancer,

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... every movement, every bit of music.

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... clapping away, even when it isn't a dance's end.

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And not a little in awe of today's Clara.

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We have a lovely encounter with the director (who herself is now a grandma) and the morning surely gets tucked into the files of good memories that we acquire from events that repeat themselves, but now with a different cast of players, from a different generation.

At Snowdrop's home, I have my last handful of hours with her. I'm leaving tomorrow and so I wont see the wee one until the end of the following week.

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Much of our play centers around the tree.

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She has grown to like it, but if I worried that she would be reaching to pull it apart, I was wrong. She is in awe of it and that, perhaps, is a good thing. Even so, it's not hard to get her to giggle with delight.

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Because, really, there is a magic to the whole enterprise, no?  The sudden burst of color, the presence of pine needles on the floor, the smell of a forest... Over time, you find your favorite ornaments -- here are some that are carried over from my daughters' childhood...

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and it's all exquisitely beautiful, in an expansive sort of way.

We read a Christmas book...

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I roll her around some...

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And then it's time to say good bye. Stay healthy and happy, little girl!

Back at the farmette, my list of tasks is long but I hesitate to rush through it. Instead, Ed and I take a walk...

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sunset over the farmette

And after, in a very unusual move, he and I go out to dinner at Tempest -- a seafood restaurant downtown. Entirely his idea.

We eat well of course. It reminds me so much of all the great meals we've eaten together, especially across the ocean. We nearly always agree if a kitchen is producing good food or if it's just stumbling through the motions. The funny thing about Ed is that he actually has a keen sense of what makes for good eating, even if so often he'll choose to ignore it, preferring to reheat the old rather than spend time (or have me spend time) on creating something new.

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All this of course makes it harder for me to leave tomorrow. And still, as always, I cannot imagine not going.

The usual Ocean warning: travel tends to disrupt the schedule of postings. If all goes well, I'll write something en route. If not, you'll surely hear from me soon, from the other side of the ocean.