Saturday, May 13, 2017

the guilt

Wake up early. C'mon, get moving. Oh, stiff back from the heavy digging? Well, a warm shower and some stretches ought to help.

Open the box of day lilies that I get every year from Kentucky. Such potentially pretty stuff! They're for the expanded front bed, but I can't resist keeping some for the court yard, for porch viewing. Let me plan out their distribution.

What's this? Blasted ground hog! Overnight, he decided to rebuild his condo number three just by the lilac, under my hostas. The weird thing is that he moved the soil and quite a number of big rocks around the hostas and dumped them to the side of my great daylily bed. Can groundhogs carry heavy stones??

I go inside.
Ed, do we have a gun?
Say what?
Well, you know how our neighbor hunts down pesky animals?

Ed knows I'm not serious, but, too, that I am annoyed. Last year we filled that very hole. The groundhog dug it up the next day. We filled it again. Eventually he gave up.

No, I don't want to shoot him, but nor do I want him right at the edge of my day lilies throwing boulders and loose dirt around.

We decide to let him keep his hole, but we camouflage it with chips so that at least it doesn't look awful to the passerby. (Who am I kidding: there are no passerbys by the lilac. Our courtyard is very private.) Ed will say -- he has as much right to be here as you and I...

Breakfast, lovely, on the porch.

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A quick garden walk...

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...and I'm off to my daughter's so that she, Snowdrop and I can walk to the downtown farmers market together.

(On the drive over, I spot two sandhills in the field just west of us. In the next months, this field will be given over to a development. Right now, it belongs to the cranes.)

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It's a beautiful day! The sun comes out and the air quickly warms to a perfect May day (really more like a June day -- temps reach the upper 70sF, or around 25C).

While Snowdrop's mommy shops for some cheese curds, I make a mistake. I figure the girl's been sitting long enough in the stroller.
Want to stretch and run up the hill?--  I ask, taking her out of the stroller and placing her on a grassy knoll, perched just over the sidewalk.

Snowdrop is totally cooperative and she does a lovely stretch, then runs up to a tree and back down to the ledge. Only neither she nor I realize that a hefty run down will propel her with a good bit of speed, so much so, that it's not easy for her to stop when she reaches the ledge. And she doesn't stop, tumbling down the few feet to the sidewalk, face catching the concrete slab.

It's my fault.

This being Madison, people are ever helpful. A young woman takes out a first aid kit and gives me clean tissues to wipe her up.

Oh, it could have been so much worse. Snowdrop is a bit rattled and complains that her nose hurts (indeed: the skin below it is rubbed raw), but apart from that she seems to have caught the fall well and I can't find any other bruises.

By the time my daughter rejoins us, the little one is settled back in the stroller.
You wont believe what just happened... I tell her.

As we continue our walk around the Square, Snowdrop is a bit subdued and unhappy about her upper lip (which she refers to as her nose area), but, too, the sun is now squarely in her face so there are many reasons to be a tad less cheerful.

We recall the first emergency room visits my own girls endured: my older girl, when she was short of one, tumbled with greater force at the zoo, getting grit and pebbles into several wounds (I know, I know -- not really ER material, but first time parents tend to panic at the sight of a lot of blood). Then there was her sister, at two and a half, with an onset of pneumonia. I suppose Snowdrop, at 28 months is lucky to have rarely been sick enough to even call a doctor and she isn't the kind of kid who gets bloody knees and bruised elbows often.

Still, watching her uncheerful face, gaga feels the guilt.

We're done with our market walk. Oh! I spot the perfect pick me up: honey sticks!
Can I get her one?
Sure. My daughter knows how much Snowdrop and I both love honey. The little girl doesn't know about honey sticks.

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She is hooked. And happy.

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Her old self now, walking with us, pushing her stroller, chatting the whole way about things she sees, challenges she faces... (I can climb over that wall! I can walk by myself!)

(She appears to me as if she's ready to take on the world again, or at least the state of Wisconsin!)

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(Finding pleasure in the sprinklers that are dousing the Capitol Square tulips right now. What kid doesn't love a sprinkler?)

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Still, I want to offer her one more small pleasure -- a visit to the toy store. Needless to say, she loves it there. Toys to admire, a free balloon to take home.

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And then we're back along the lake, walking to her home, and from there I drive to the farmette, where I work the whole afternoon digging, digging, planting, moving, planting some more. Uff!

In the evening, Snowdrop is with us for supper and a sleepover. Pizza! And play. She brings her baby from home and tells her: you're visiting grandma and grandpa now! (Home baby, meet farmhouse baby!)

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It's a fairly early bedtime. Perhaps she doesn't need it, but I do! Tomorrow is a very full day. One hundred tomatoes to plant, daylilies to finish... So much to look forward to! And I do. Guilt slowly receding, I look ahead to a day that I'm sure will be beautiful, in all ways.