Saturday, May 20, 2017

the day before

Last night, at around midnight, I hobbled up to bed, thinking -- what I need is a good rest. But as I turned over to switch off the light, I had this thought: shouldn't I have looked into some child attractions in Paris for Snowdrop? (We're leaving for France tomorrow.) I mean, my kids always just tagged along to the things I wanted to see and do (and eat) and they seemed perfectly content to take in their new surroundings from a mom-beaten path. But maybe I should do something that's really just for the little girl? A zoo perhaps? To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just said pooh pooh... Must be a zoo in Paris. Or a park other than the Jardin de Luxembourg (which, granted, has plenty of sweet things for kids to do), shouldn't I look into this?

So I took out my computer and that is how it came to be that I got very little sleep last night. One thing leads to the next and then you find yourself dangerously close to sunrise.

Though to call anything today a sunrise is laughable. It is a miserable day out there! Cold, very wet, without any sign of improvement.

At breakfast, in the kitchen, I tell Ed how lucky we are to have had time to do all our outdoor work last weekend.

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Though in truth, today's weather is irrelevant for me. There is much to do indoors and I consider it a lucky break that I am not tempted to walk the gardens. Today, I cannot be distracted.

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I promised my daughter just a few short hours of Snowdrop care at her home today. Her parents have many projects that need their attention right now and Snowdrop is a bundle of energy indoors.

We play, yes, there's that. (It's been a while since I've seen her energetic run around the kitchen island with the toy stroller.) What's this I see? Did you bring farmhouse baby to meet your home baby??

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But especially exciting is the moment when she spies her suitcase and is told that it's time to pack for Paris.

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Needless to say, she loves this activity!

She gets it all in. Easily.

We're going to Paris? -- she asks, just to make sure.

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No, no, not today! We'll be going tomorrow.

Perhaps it's at this age that children begin to think that grownups never want to move ahead with anything right now. Every good activity is postponed, nothing happens when you're most eager to plunge ahead.

And then I am off on my final round of shopping chores.

One of them is most unusual for me and rather pleasant: I'd been looking at the Parisian weather maps and I cannot believe how good they appear to be (at the moment)! We are slated to have warm temperatures. That means that sandals would really be a phenomenal addition to my compactly packed fair weather clothes.

But I do not own sandals. Flip flops, yes. Sandals? Well, they're not especially useful on farmette lands and in recent years, I've spent summer breaks on the Scottish isle of Islay: not exactly sandal country. Wellies -- yes. Open toe footwear -- no.

I'd seen sandals that I liked earlier in the week and I proceed to the shoe store to pick them up.

But it strikes me then that perhaps it's not a practical solution. What if it rains or turns chilly?

I call both daughters to consult: can one wear socks with open toe sandals?

One girl indulges me with some obfuscating noncommittal response. The other is more blunt: no.

I glance at my feet: they look like they'd been through a month's worth of hard work -- the kind where even socks can't keep the outdoor elements from roughening things up. I ask the sales clerk (a kind, older man who has been at this store for decades) -- would you happen to know where one gets nail polish these days?
He considers this very seriously, as if he wants to give the very best recommendation.
I'm not sure... There is a nail salon at the mall...
Oh! I wouldn't expect that you would have checked that one out!
Well, not me personally, but the other guys who work here -- they go there regularly.

Perhaps everyone goes to nail salons these days. I myself tried one some dozen years back, but I thought the process took way too long for what it accomplished. I can trim and buff toe nails! As for polish -- well, it's not been part of the farmette lifestyle. (I know, my Italian friend would be horrified at my cavalier attitude toward grooming.)

The shoe salesman suggests -- you could also try Macy's...

I go to Macy's. No, we stopped carrying it a long time ago. Try Target.

And so now you know how I spent a good chunk of my afternoon: in the pursuit of foot gentrification for Paris.

And the winds howl and the rains come down.

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And tomorrow we leave the blustery and suddenly cold Wisconsin for the other side of the ocean.