Friday, June 24, 2016

farmette vacation, continued

With all the Snowdrop-filled posts, I should take a moment to remind us all of one very important point about my Ocean writings: in very many ways, even the most child focused posts are not exactly about Snowdrop. Rather, they are about a child's effect on her grandma. On this grandma.

Oh, sure, Snowdrop's personality comes through in bits and pieces -- how can it not. But in fact,  the little girl's time with me is but one element of her rich and varied life. Snowdrop goes to numerous classes, she has play dates. She is used to people because there is a steady stream of visitors to her home and there are evening outings that quite regularly put her in unfamiliar settings.

Fact is that I am far more retreating in my habits and, my travels notwithstanding, I like to come back to my own peaceful corner come evening time. Ed will ask if I want to go out to dinner and inevitably I will say no. I deeply prefer to cook for the both of us. We eat breakfasts and dinners together just about every day that I am not on the other side of the ocean. You could say that my entire adult life has been structured around preparing dinners for people I love -- mainly my family, sometimes visitors.

And Snowdrop, when she comes here, she participates in life according to the rhythm I have set out for myself. Though she is deeply social, at the farmette, we focus on the other stuff. Chickens. Flowers. Cooking together. And she falls into that pace beautifully. She adapts.

Today raises no questions about the weather: warm and sunny. No breeze. Just summer-like heat.

I let the cheepers out just before sunrise...

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... and take a look at my front road flower bed. There's that Japanese iris again with the spilling petals. Lovely and bold, even in a pure white form.

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And here's a day lily that just happens to catch the first rays of the sun. Apricot turns to gold.

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Speaking of apricot, this year I planted not a small number of lilium bulbs. This is the first one to give us a stunning display.

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Breakfast is on the porch.

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And then Ed is off for his meetings and Snowdrop and I pack into the car and set out on an adventure.

Perhaps you would question the sanity of taking a 17.5 month old to a u-pick strawberry farm (Carandale's) anytime and especially on a warm, sunny day, but we are nearing the end of the strawberry season and I have no great expectations that I should pick an abundant load of berries. I just want the little girl to see her beloved berries growing out there in the fields. (The farmette's rather large strawberry patch fed a robust family of groundhogs this year and I think rabbits and chipmunks helped clean up the remains. We had many berries -- all gone before a single one ripened.)

Carandale Berry Farm is a scant ten miles from here. They are well set up for picking and I used to go there quite regularly, whenever I need quality berries in large amounts..

Follow the road, Snowdrop!

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It is a toasty day, but it's morning still and I'm hoping her hat provides some shady relief.

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Picking berries is hard -- for me and for her. The few berries that remain are buried under dense leaves and there's prickly stuff everywhere (I heard the words poison ivy from another picker... Hmmm...).

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But Snowdrop is up for an adventure and you really get a different perspective on life after you've stuffed some sun warmed berries in your mouth...

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... ignoring the juice that dribbles down your chin.

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I do not push this project. We have a few to take home. We're satisfied.

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At home, I'm interested in cooling off at the farmhouse. Crayon time!

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Yeah, crayons!!

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In the late afternoon, I'm willing to brave the great outdoors again. Equipped with a splash pool and a red wagon.

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I'm starting to see the emergence of summer bugs, but she is still in love with the run, the ride, the play out in the deep (unmowed) grass.

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Ed comes home. We review the berries, the cheepers, the outdoor work, the robin's nest, the pile of woodchips, the tomato growth.

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And then it's time to fix supper. Home made pizza, because I know she loves home made pizza. With mushrooms and olives.

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A quiet night. Someday, Snowdrop may yawn at the idea of coming here, to our quiet farmhouse for a vacation, but for now, she is full of smiles and impish good cheer. And that's such a good thing!