Thursday, August 25, 2016


I'm back in the saddle again, riding the routines of a farmette life. With Snowdrop galloping alongside. Well, at least for the day. The routines of the summer aren't here to stay. We're awfully close to a complete reset of everything, as Snowdrop will be starting school next week.

But that's not today's story. On this morning, I wake up to a somewhat buggy day, which means that I have little patience for outdoor work. One photo of the farmhouse at summer's end...

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Another -- looking toward the grand crab apple...

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... with a close up of two bees working the same flower...

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... and I'm done with the outdoors.

Oh, how grateful we are for the bug-free porch!


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And a photo of what we see, looking out to the side...

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And then I am in a bit of a rush, because today is Snowdrop's last gym class. She'd had a pause from going there in the weeks I was away, but she is happy to rejoin the group and plunge into the various activities -- including one she hadn't been sure of before but now likes just fine -- being rocked around in a great big parachute.

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As before, she is drawn to the balance beam. I can almost tell what she's thinking -- how did I get myself into this pickle? And more importantly: how do I get out of it?

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There are many large blocks and boulders for her to climb over and she is thrilled to do this again and again.

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The class always ends with balls and bubbles and she is a great fan of both.

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As it's the last class, Snowdrop gets a ribbon of achievement! (Not to worry, so does every other kid in class.) Ah, the girl is growing up so quickly!

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As is our habit, after gym we cross the street and go to the public library, where, as at other times, she loves to sit on this stool and "read."

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And we go to Paul's coffee shop where we pick up pickles for grandpa Ed. We have done this all summer long and I feel the significance of this being our last time. Oh, not forever. Just for this season.

As I get out of the car back at the farmette, I happen to glance toward the crab apples. And I catch sight of the end of summer colors in the big flower field. It's deeply satisfying to know that these flowers are here to stay. They'll come back next spring. They've surely had a good run of it this year!

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Snowdrop plunges into all her favorite play routines at the farmhouse -- with added new twists: really, Snowdrop? Did you pull off the table cloth behind my back? Ha ha ha.

She is by nature extremely playful (aren't all kids...) and though she isn't one to push boundaries and behaves very much within the parameters of the reasonable and good (you would call her a friendly and respectful little one if you met her), she does like to tease.

I have no photos to show any of this. Indeed, I'll give you only three from our farmhouse play and one of them (the first) was taken by Ed.

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In the very last photo, she finally gets what she wants. I had said -- lunch before cookies and she was willing to wait. Through left over shrimp salad (which she loves). Through yogurt (which she loves). Through her plate of fruit (which she loves). Once the last of the peaches, grapes, blueberries and strawberries disappeared (into a very full mouth), she pointed excitedly to yesterday's labors set out on a dish on the counter.

Yes, Snowdrop. Time for (half) a cookie with milk.

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Happiness is (half) a cookie and milk.

Later, much later, Ed and I ride his motorcycle to a cottage by the wetlands, where a small handful of us have been meeting rather regularly to strategize about how best to preserve this precious land that surrounds us. It was a productive meeting and also a beautiful little ride past our neighboring farms and prairies.

I waved to these guys and told them they had a special greeting from all their cousins in Scotland.

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And I took a "whizz-by shot" of this prairie. Meadows of gold.

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I'll leave you with that photo. I love its spectacular rush, even if at times we all yearn just to slow things down a bit.