Wednesday, January 06, 2016


I had returned to the hotel that I always chose when I passed this way. I vaguely recall it's name -- Hotel Bauer maybe? The sound of it captures the languages of the region -- German,  with a bit of Italian. Or that dialect reserved for those who live on the border between Italy and Austria. Or Switzerland. Or something. The hotel is on the lake. Or across the street from the sea. I can't really tell. They are never nice to me there and I always get the worst possible room. The dinginess of the decor is starting to get to me -- the mustiness, the chipped furniture, the peeling paper. And yet I keep returning. But what's this? Frau (or is it Signora?) Bauer is giving me the best possible room today! Windows on three sides -- I can even see the water! And it's clean and I know for once I will have a good stay.

This ridiculous dream has been with me for so long! True, the airplane landing where it's not supposed to (a city street, remote village in Greenland) is a far more frequent nighttime little clip and I got that one last night as well. But what the heck do dreams mean anyway? I used to tell my girls when they recounted in great detail all aspects of their nocturnal vignettes -- Ah, but it means nothing. Old thoughts stuck in your head... Let's move on. (I know, I know, what kind of a mother denies their child the chance to recall a dream?!)

Still, that hotel scene stayed with me today as I woke at sunrise. The good room in a shabby space... the empty dining room... Okay okay, let's move on!

The tracks of Snowdrop's sled are still visible. The early morning light is always so beautiful on a snowy field just as the sun comes up!

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As I let the cheepers out, I ask them - do chickens have dreams?

They cluck and eat bread and then go to their standard hiding spot in the old barn.

... while the sun climbs higher and higher.

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Ed is still sleeping when I come back upstairs. I glance out the bathroom window and think -- I have a project before me. The snow has really piled high on the porch roof, with a hard layer of ice on top. The glass roof isn't in danger of shattering under its weight, but I know we have some freezing drizzle coming later this week and then we're in for a deep chill. And I love the light that a clean roof brings into the kitchen. It's now or never!

And so I spend the next hour or more trying to crack and shovel off most of the icy rooftop snow while maintaining my grip on the slippery beams.

A hot shower followed by a warm breakfast bring life back into my limbs. It had been a tough morning. Thoughts of the mystical Hotel Bauer left with those shovelfuls of icy snow.

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I hurry then to Snowdrop's home, in time to see her parade down still in her jammies. Her birthday is but a memory now. Leftover balloons still appear in various corners of the room, but we are now focused on the year ahead!

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I'm older and wiser too and so I know that I need not bathe the little one before an art class. Quick, put on something that we can get dirty! Go ahead, look at your book for a minute, but then let's go!

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And she is in fact happy to be going.

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And so here we are again in art class, with the same smock, but a different project.

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You got it -- it's all about snowmen today. Here's Snowdrop's rendition (with a lot of grandma's assistance):

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Alright. Time to return home. Past the seemingly frozen small lake...

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... home. Her home. And finally, a bath. Ed laughs that I am so the wrong person to take Snowdrop to a class where she gets very dirty very deliberately. Ah, but then comes the satisfaction of scrubbing it all off! A clean dress and sweater and away she goes!

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With a koala coaster for company.

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A favorite game -- hide and seek. She hides, I search. The finding part causes her to laugh and laugh and of course, when she laughs, the world laughs with her.

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In the afternoon, the little one is full of energy. She covers miles, going from the living room to the kitchen and back again. And again. And again.

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Such intensity in her play! (Are we as intense in stuff we learn as adults?)

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Towards evening, she gets tired. Of course she does. I encourage her to slow down. We read books. Her favorites, again and again and again. And she hugs her penguin. And she rolls and chortles...

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... and only occasionally stretches her arms out begging to be held and comforted.

(You want to see a tired girl? Here you go...)

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Toward the evening, I'm almost ready to leave, but the young couple have asked me to stay for a brief toast to the year gone by.

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Oh, sweet days of winter! Is it really cold outside? I'm not feeling it.