Thursday, November 09, 2017


As I write this (immediately after supper), it's 20F outside (-7C). When I wake up tomorrow, I am told it will be 16F (-9C). Or maybe even colder.

These are not "November in Wisconsin" numbers. You may think us to be a cold state, but we're not that cold!

The sudden temperature plummet requires an adjustment in the day. Finishing up the winterizing of the garden? Not going to happen... A game of disc golf? Someday. Taking Snowdrop to the playground by the lesser lake? Forget it!

Well, breakfast is the same. No change needed there.

farmette life-2.jpg

And you really have to love the blue skies! The front yard is all gold and blue, with firs of green. Here you go -- a rare view of the farmhouse as it faces the road. It's hidden, it's unkempt, it's ramshackle and lovely.

farmette life-4.jpg

But now comes the issue of what to do with a girl who, after school, relishes her time in the park playground.

I tell her in my "there is no negotiation, it is what it is" voice -- it's too cold. She is disappointed. I offer her a few minutes of play in the car. She takes it!

farmette life-6.jpg

And then the library. She is always happy when I suggest the public library.

I never know how our visits there will go. She wants time at the computer. It's not always available and oftentimes I cannot get it to work well for her. She likes the puzzles scattered on the kid tables. Pieces are missing, kids are often running around dispersing all that can be dispersed. That's all fine, but the toughest part, I think, is taking a toddler to a place where she can pick her own books to read.

Snowdrop is enthusiastic about selecting books. Predictably, it is a hit and miss game. I mean, the girl recently picked up a New Yorker with an exciting cover and asked Ed to please read it to her.

But today she has a home run. She finds a book that she loves so much that she has me read it to her three times. It would have been ten times had I been willing. (It was about a little bear starting school...)

farmette life-14.jpg

Finally I nudge her out. I tell her the Fitchburg Thursday farmers market has moved indoors because of the weather and that the vendors are all just across the parking lot. Let's run for it!

Oh, it is cold! I try to bundle her for the short sprint, but she is feeling the chill. My hands are cold, grandma! Hide them! I'm running!

All for naught. The Fitchburg community center that used to house the winter market houses it no more.

Where has it gone to??

I call Ed. He can't track it down. We're disappointed. We head home. And then, boom! We drive past a big banner announcing its new location. The Promega Corporation (our biggest employer) is housing the market this winter.

Hi Farmer John! We brought you some farmhouse eggs. In exchange, we pick up some cheese curds. (Snowdrop loves all of his free samples.)

farmette life-16.jpg

The girl is fascinated by the Promega space.

farmette life-22.jpg

She wants to explore it.
People are working, you can't go there...
But they will stop working soon and pick up their children at school...
Yes, they will do that soon.

farmette life-23.jpg

The little girl has been "going to school" since she was 18 months old and initially, she didn't give it a second thought. But lately, she's piecing it together for herself. Books about children who love school but also miss home while they're at school are especially important to her and I can see why -- they give voice to her feelings right now.

At the farmhouse, she goes immediately to her characters and starts an elaborate game of school and home and the complicated ways a child navigates these two important centers of her existence.

farmette life-27.jpg