Monday, March 07, 2016


Rise before dawn, sleep soon after dinner. It's a good pattern, if a bit out of step with the modern world. (My grandma favored it. My grandma was not modern.)

Let the chickens out, study the skies, inhale deeply.

In anticipation of Snowdrop's Monday visit, I ask Ed to put together the red wagon that I have added to the farmette stock of childhood essentials. Watching him work, systematically, almost rhythmically is always deeply satisfying. In building something, he displays his fantastic patience and great care. He'll never throw out a curse or an exasperated groan when things go wrong. (Unlike me.) And so I look on, taking in, too, the pale sunshine that warms the morning air to a whopping 60F (15C) today.

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Breakfast is late. The sun has almost left the east facing room. No matter. There is no rush today.

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And shortly after, Snowdrop arrives.

Let me post a very representative trilogy -- it documents well her typical first minutes at the farmhouse.

There is the search for a favorite stuffed animal to hug.

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An initial run between rooms, at first with just the stuffed rabbit.

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With a pause for a look at a favorite book.

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And now I interrupt her play and suggest taking bread to the cheepers. At first, she is happy with the prospect of putting on the shoes and zipping up the fleece jacket. But her love of the red wagon is not instantaneous. I took a handful of photos. This is the only one where her face is not sporting a grimace.

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But you know how it is: if you're unsure about an activity, you get very excited when you're on safe ground again. And so back in the farmhouse, she is especially happy to be doing one of her very favorite things these days: filling her arms with a jacket, shoes, maybe gloves, and, too, a stuffed animal...

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...she runs with all this in a delightfully hoppy happy manner.

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And if Ed's patience is in putting together parts to form a coherent whole, her's is in keeping a load in her arms. If something is dropped (and it is -- every few sauntering steps), she picks it up and tries again. And again. And again.

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Lunchtime. Hey, little girl -- a new bib from the Conservatory in Minneapolis!

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And the afternoon? Oh, the games Snowdrop invents for herself!

She makes penguin stew... (penguin stew???)

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She brings her stack of stuff to "work" alongside Ed, who watches, amused at her cleverness, her sparkle.

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The two with the wild hair!

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Later, toward the end of the day, I take her back to her own neighborhood and Ed tags along, happy to go out for a walk with us...

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And we find that first beautiful sign of growth: snowdrops.

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We stop briefly at the coffee shop...

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Snowdrop knows she has to wait for her wee morsel.

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She is also learning that sharing is important. That even a wee crumb tastes better if you can eat it with a friend.

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Such a good beginning to a week! But you could have guessed that just by reading this one fact: we had May-like weather today. On March 7th. In Wisconsin. Amazing.