Sunday, October 23, 2016

the weekend: family album

Let me say it right at the outset: you may find this post to be too over the top. Too photo heavy. You may want to shout at me (though I know you're too polite) -- Nina, reign it in!

I will have to respond: I understand. But you see -- this weekend was so intense and beautiful, that slighting favorite photos is impossible for me. I've whittled it down and still it is, I agree, a handful. For you. But honestly, not for me.

So here's the deal: I promise no denouement, no interesting revelation. No good story, no mishap or adventure. You can skip this post and no one would be the wiser.

Or, you can look at my photos and smile, because surely they are not really just mine. We all have these superb family moments when everything about life seems fine and beautiful. My weekend was not unique or unusual. It was yours and everyone's. For all the days that go wrong, there are these -- the ones that go very very right.

Because there is a photo overload (understand: I will not see my daughters or Snowdrop until after I come back from Poland, so for me, it's not an overload at all), I'll keep words to a minimum. I'll merely give a phrase that tells you what I think a given scene represents.

Let's go back to Saturday. Remember? My younger daughter and her husband are at the farmhouse for the weekend. We meet my older girl and Snowdrop and, too, Snowdrop's grandma Charlotte (who is in town for an extended visit) downtown, for a market stroll.

 farmette life-14.jpg

(I love having you all here with me!)

farmette life-18.jpg

(Playing with my aunt and uncle is the coolest of all cool things!)

farmette life-40.jpg

(After the market: a quick peek at the toy store...)

farmette life-48.jpg

(Snowdrop gets a balloon, grandma Charlotte makes sure it doesn't blow away.)

farmette life-62.jpg

Lunchtime: at Snowdrop's home. Can I have some of your baguette?

farmette life-71.jpg

Mommy, can you read me the book about how we belong together, again and again and again?

farmette life-77.jpg

Later, at the farmhouse, Snowdrop wants to show her uncle (who always comes with good music to share) how she loves to dance. I mean, she really loves to dance!

farmette life-83.jpg

In the meantime, my younger girl helps me cook. I've chosen a Jamaican curried chicken with squash for the main course.

farmette life-93.jpg

And a rustic apple tart for dessert.

farmette life-97.jpg

My daughter's husband is also very good in the kitchen. She consults with him about the caramelization of the tomatoes.

farmette life-100.jpg

Finally, dinnertime. Snowdrop entertains her family with an intricate tale that keeps us spellbound!

farmette life-105.jpg

The dinner draws to a close. Snowdrop (who has insisted on wearing her new winter boots all evening long) gets a spin holding on to Ed's big hands...

farmette life-108.jpg

Late night story sharing, sleepy hours, not willing for the night to end and then boom! It's Sunday. I offered to do brunch at the farmhouse. The young family (and grandma Charlotte) arrive...

farmette life-3.jpg

A happy Snowdrop.

farmette life-5.jpg

My younger girl helps me with the frittata (this time it's with yellow and orange peppers, mushrooms, corn, gruyere cheese and fresh herbs)

farmette life-6.jpg

We all love our time around the table.

farmette life-10.jpg

To be clear: it's not just one table: we're again using a combination of square and oval tables brought together from various farmhouse corners.

farmette life-20.jpg

Before and after, Snowdrop, at play...

farmette life-16.jpg

... getting ah-ah to dance.

farmette life-26.jpg

... showing grandma Charlotte where the cheepers roost. Then, happily running back to the farmhouse.

farmette life-33-2.jpg

... where she practices independence on the very steep farmhouse stairs.

farmette life-36.jpg

And here you get a break from family photos, because in the afternoon, Ed and I go out, just the two of us, to the Arboretum. We drive over, listening to This American Life (no. 599, entitled "Seriously?" I highly recommend it). You need to exhale after that. We try to reclaim the peace that this day offers.

Just six photos from that walk (plus a selfie!):

farmette life-8-2.jpg

farmette life-29-2.jpg

farmette life-17-2.jpg

farmette life-34-2.jpg

farmette life-22-2.jpg

farmette life-48.jpg

farmette life-44.jpg

And then it's evening. The young couple has left. I'm cooking dinner again. The colors of fall are just outside my kitchen window,

farmette life-55.jpg

And the young family comes over. We're having predinner drinks, but Snowdrop wants to work the stairs again. Her mommy keeps an eye on her.

farmette life-65.jpg

Snowdrop is irrepressible.

farmette life-64.jpg

Dinner. Shrimp and pasta with tomatoes, fennel, garlic.

farmette life-73.jpg

Snowdrop hurts her finger. She lets me kiss and make it better. Ed snaps.

farmette life-77.jpg

I have a tiny bit of heavy cream in the fridge. Enough to whip up for Snowdrop. To put over raspberries. I'll end my family album with three photos of an appreciative Snowdrop.

farmette life-82.jpg

farmette life-83.jpg

farmette life-85.jpg

An incredibly busy weekend. But I wouldn't rewrite a single minute of it.

Tomorrow I leave for Poland. I'll be there for a week and it will be a very busy week. I have an apartment to get to know, but, too, I have one of my very closest American friends (and her husband) there, in Warsaw for the week as well. And of course, I have my sister and my Polish friends -- all to merge together into one  cohesive whole.

Confusing? It wont be, if you follow along. My next post will be en route. Sometime tomorrow.


  1. You can never have too many photos as far as I'm concerned... especially from such a wonderful weekend!

    Hope it's an easy trip and a great stay in Warsaw!

  2. So many wonderful photos, but one so clearly meaningful to this teacher: Snowdrop, holding the rapt attention of all four adults at the table as she speaks. She will grow up KNOWING that what she says is valued, EXPECTING others to listen to her, and they will. Awesome family!


I welcome comments, but I will not publish submissions that insult or demean, or that are posted anonymously. I am sorry to lose commenting Ocean friends who are not registered, but I want to encourage readers to submit remarks only if they feel they can stand behind their words. I do not seek a free-for-all here. I like camaraderie far more than conflict.