Saturday, February 04, 2017

good adventures, awkward adventures

February is famous for giving us weather surprises and though today wasn't a great shocker one way or another, still, I was surprised how cold it was outside. No, I swear, it's not just me getting tired of winter (though I am slightly miffed at the lack of good snow once again this year). It just felt cold.

(Obviously you could not tell this by looking at Ed at breakfast time.)

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I had a morning date with Snowdrop and her mom: there is, in the wintertime, a musical program for young children at our performing arts center. It's free and it encourages listening and movement and it's a great way to spend a cold weekend day with your young one.

Snowdrop is just out of the tub when I arrive to pick them up, but we bundle her up for the ride over, scarf and leg warmers included. She's happy as anything to be going out on an adventure.

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At the theater, she is captivated by the crowds, the music, the orange slices a kind neighbor shares...

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And she taps her foot (as instructed by the person on stage)...

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...and is in great spirits! This is what good adventures are made of.

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There she is, leaving the auditorium.

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After dropping Snowdrop and mommy off at their home, I have another errand -- one which was born out of a drive by the farm fields just to the east of us. As in most years, there had been some melting and freezing taking place just at the lowest point. This is slightly amusing, as a development is slated to go in there soon and it leaves us wondering whether there'll be some wet basements in the these parts.

For now, there are the ubiquitous cornfields of the midwest. With the frozen "pond" at their base.

I had commented that it would be fun to skate between the stalks and of course Ed thought that was a splendid idea. Anything to get me back on skates! (He himself doesn't ice skate at all but he likes to nudge me toward my forgotten hobbies and sports.)

But my skates are old and rusty!
They can be fixed.
They probably don't fit -- my foot has gotten wider...
You could try.
I do try. They still fit. They're rusty. Ed removes most of the rust and hands them over to a local hockey shop for sharpening.

And so on my way from the theater, I pick up the skates and head for the fields.

On the one hand, it is an exciting prospect. I'm a confident life long skater and I imagine this will be somewhat adventurous but easy.

It's adventurous alright, but my oh my, does the wind kick in!

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Skating toward the camera (perched on a limb for a timed release) is like fighting off an invading army of invisible particles. And the stalks keep appearing out of nowhere. I swear Hans Brinker had it easier on those beautiful, clear canals. After a few minutes I give up, resolving to take my skates to one of the many wonderful skating places in Madison's outdoor parks in the days ahead. Just not while the winds are gusting at fierce levels.

Evening. Snowdrop is at the farmhouse for the night and she is on a roll of wonderfulness and sure, that's grandma talk, but really she has her days and this day definitely is one of her grand days.

(Asking to be seated for our home made pizza supper -- something that she associates with her overnights here.)

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(Very politely, she tells me many times how much she loves the pizza.)

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She is full of energy, but she also takes time out to color with ahah...

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And she is fascinated with our PBS show on polar bears. ...Because this week was, after all, very much about polar bears...

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She dances, she darts, she kicks up her feet and spins round and round.

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And I'm sure she is exhausted, but you'd never know it. Except I do know it. When I lay her down in her crib bed, she offers no protest.

Sweet dreams little one. Sweet dreams to my family, to Ed. To friends, to strangers, to all good people everywhere.


  1. and sweet dreams to you of more guitar playing and ice skating...I love your stories of Ed fixing your "old" pleasures so you can do them again. Bravo to both of you!!

    1. Thank you, Diane! He is a good repair guy, that's for sure!

  2. I imagine the builders will create retention ponds. The houses will probably be set back around a pretty pond with solar fountains to discourage mosquitoes. It's a good idea advocated by environmental biologists to reduce runoff of surface water filled with fertilizer and insecticides into streams.

    Developers would rather cram in a few more houses and get more $$ but this is a compromise they've made everywhere around here.
    It's aesthetically pleasing as well. They usually pile up the excavated dirt to make artful banks along the road and plant conifers, shrubs and grasses. Most communities have ornamental trees and flowers, and the homeowners are charged for that too by their neighborhood association. I've heard complaints about that - fees keep going up - but we simply do need to house more people.

    I hope the development in your area won't be too disappointing to you. When we moved to this sweet old village outside a city of a half-million souls, 30 years ago, the countryside was all around us. Now we are a "bedroom community" - which only means more taxes for the homeowner and more schools to be built. It is still pretty though, and real improvements have been made in infrastructure and flood plain management.

    1. We have actually fought this development for years -- Ed even longer than me. Of course we prefer rural quiet, but it isn't a NIMBY fight: we are surrounded by wetlands that feed springs that run into our lakes. (Our mosquito population will vouch for that!) The same lakes that are no longer swimmable because of runoff pollution.

      On the upside, the development that is slated to go in, beginning next spring, will be denser (new urban) and there have been promises made about green belts, garden plots, ponds of the type you write about, flood management, etc.

      Ed's farmette is 3 acres and the plans actually call for most of the green belts to be around him. So he is lucky: he'll have his quiet.
      Me, I will welcome sidewalks. I dont like taking the young one(s) out along rural roads. We also will eventually get a fire station. So yes, there will be benefits to us. But the wetlands -- that's a real issue and the developer simply prevailed over many administrations and hearings and reviews.


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