Saturday, November 05, 2016

the last market day

Just as Madison's first outdoor market heralds the arrival of spring in April, so, too, the last market -- always at the beginning of November (today!) -- tells us that Fall is rapidly changing gears and moving toward a frosty wintry period. It doesn't help that we switch clocks on this same weekend, so that tomorrow I'll be fixing dinner long after sunset.

And yet, if you were to go outside today (and who wouldn't?), you'd think that we are stuck in the warmth of late summer.

Ed and I eat breakfast in the sunniest room of the farmhouse...

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... and when I go outside, I notice that the iris plant just wont give up!

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True, there is at least initially, a nip in the air and when I go to Snowdrop's home for our final walk (with her mom) to the downtown market, I suggest a cap.

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But it turns out to be a ridiculous idea! In fact, within minutes, even the jacket is too much. It's a sunny, warm, and brilliant day to be outside!

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As we do our shopping (and I buy, among other things, twenty pounds of tomatoes because we think we haven't enough of our own to last us all winter), my daughter and I reflect on how much Snowdrop has changed in these last months. She looks forward to our market outings now  and knows what to expect. At times she helps push the stroller...

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At other times, she nibbles on market samples (favorites today: little tomatoes and cheese curds!) and toward the end, she loves to romp on the green grass of the Capitol Square.

(She watches another child climb a tree. Yesterday, I showed her one climbable fir at the farmette. I can see her one day sitting on a branch...)

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But she is still the little girl who every now and then loves just to be held...

(Toy store? Yes, Snowdrop -- we can visit the toy shop.)

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At home, I take stock of the tomatoes...

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...and decide they need a day or two of further ripening. The rest of the daylight hours I spend outside, working the yard from one end to the next -- pruning, snipping, cutting, trimming.

It's a beautiful time! Backbreaking work never felt so good.

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Evening. It's a weekend where Snowdrop is an overnight guest at the farmhouse. She arrives bubbly and happy: there'll be pizza. There'll be a new toy from the toy shop.

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But mostly, there'll be two attentive people -- gaga and ahah -- enjoying her antics, her conversation, her sweet and cheerful disposition.

Pizza night with her is special in that we do not sit around the kitchen table. We take our slices to the living room and turn on the TV! Unpardonable? No, actually great fun. True, she doesn't quite follow the PBS News hour, but maybe that's a good thing!

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Perhaps the most beautiful moment comes when I ask her is she wants to go out with us to put away the cheepers. Of course she does!

It's dark now, but there is a sliver of a moon. Snowdrop looks up, acknowledges the moon ("there's moon!"), then tells me, excitedly, "two stars!"

Yes, there are two stars. Possibly more than that, but at the very least -- two stars.

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