Sunday, November 12, 2017


No luxuriating in bed today: I want to be up before Snowdrop. Get the kitchen in motion. Warm up the place. Peel the fruit, prepare the pancake batter.

I do all that and more. I sit down and listen. I hear her upstairs, talking to herself in bed. This is such a beautiful time to be a grandparent -- when the child is still young (but not so young that she wakes up before you!), when she is full of joy at the prospect of a new day, when she finally calls out -- grandma! And I walk upstairs and open the door and she sits up in her bed and says -- grandma, I've been waiting FOR-EVER for you!

The routines are familiar. She has her "first breakfast" -- a bare nibble on cereal and a yogurt...

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And then she runs off to cook for "her kids" while I try to coax her toward a bath.
I have to flip the pancake! -- she protests.

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Later, dressed and ready to feed anyone who'll sit down with her...

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...while I finish off the bacon and pancakes. Of the three -- fruits, pancakes with syrup, and bacon, it would be hard to choose which she devours with the greatest pleasure. I'm guessing it's bacon.

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Happy girl, playful girl!

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Her scope of cavorting is large now -- the whole farmhouse.

(Putting her babes to bed, her bed. Upstairs.)

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I wont let her go up and down the stairs without slippers -- they lessen the chance of a slide down. Even so, the staircase is a problem for anyone who isn't careful. Built by the original farmhouse owners (if there is a wrong way of doing something, they did it!), it offers very narrow steps -- too narrow for a natural step down. If a guest wants to go upstairs to use the bathroom (there is only one and it is upstairs), we always warn them -- careful when you walk down!

This raises the topic of redesigning and rebuilding the stairwell -- something I very much want to do. (If you are from Madison and you know of a superb carpenter who could take on this rather large project, would you send me a note? Thanks!) Such a boring job in the scheme of things, but so necessary in my opinion!

The little girl leaves. Ed and I settle into our usual back and forth on these cold gray days:

We really should go out for a hike...
But the hunters!
We'll wear blaze orange.
So cold! But we really should...

And of course we do go. Eventually. Clad in blaze orange, we head out to the Brooklyn Wildlife Area -- a favorite hiking segment for us as it has forest, undulating terrain and a view. And it's a short drive. Less than one story of This American Life!

Yes, it's a brown landscape: but varying and pretty shades of brown.

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But for the (thankfully) rare gunshot, it is quiet. The smell of a late fall forest is, in my opinion sublime!

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And of course, there's the view -- one that we like quite a bit: woodland, farm fields -- the riches of southern Wisconsin!

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Evening. Snowdrop is back with her mom for supper at the farmhouse.

She's had a full day and so predictably, she begs for books, one after another. Lucky girl -- she has many readers to keep her happy tonight!

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(You mean you both will play with me??)

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She is a natural storyteller. We are the happy listeners.

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It is late. Way past her bedtime. Pj's little one! Fine, but can we have some music too? Grandma, I'll play the xylophone. Can you play the guitar?

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Such a day! November dark? It passed me by. The farmhouse was ablaze with sound and light and warm feelings. And that's such a good thing!