Friday, February 10, 2012

regional seasonal

A friend wrote – so far, this winter has felt like one long month of March. I have to agree. And let me say here, for the record, that March is one visually ugly month in Wisconsin. Nothing’s blooming, nothing’s budding. People have spring on their minds, but it’s all quite imaginary because spring is never really with us until my birthday. And that’s in April.

And so today, when I look outside and see flakes in the air, I hustle. After all, it may all end in minutes. And revert back to March. Cold and bare.

The snowfall does not end. Not right away. Take a look – the farmette looks lovely again! Whipped by flurries and gusts – this is as it should be in February.


The farmhouse stands proud and yellow against the unexpected onslaught of white stuff. Caribbean gold against Wisconsin white. 


And the winds howl and the temperatures drop and I’m thinking – was I complaining about March?


In the early evening, Ed and I drive down to Madison’s Expo Center. It’s the week-end of gardening ideas and planting demos and it just seems like such a good place to be when the thermometer reading (14 and falling) is so disheartening.

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We listen to a presentation on bee keeping. Not great. The presenter loses us when he begins to reflect on the healing properties of watching bees play.

We then listen to a person talk up grapevine-growing. And now I’m mesmerized. Us? Growing grapes?

I could do this! I say to Ed. Grape vines on the farmette! I’ve always thought that rows of vines are beautiful to behold, at any time of the year.
Now you couldn’t. Not without help.
I could take an online course!
You can’t even drive a post into the ground.

Ah dreams! They are so pleasant at a time where no decisions need be made. No pressures, no imperatives. Spring and summer possibilities, nothing more.

We take pamphlets and information on where to get more information.

Our walk through the expo center is delightful. We buy seeds for the summer garden and talk to experts about the possibility of planting a forest in the acre behind the barn (in case the grape vine project proves too... stressful).


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On the way out Ed tells me – you wanted a plant for the farmhouse. Let’s go back and pick it up.
Really? You’ll buy me a plant? I know why this sweet impulse: it’s to demonstrate that every day is Valentine’s Day. Not just the forthcoming February 14th. That's for fools. Real people treat each day with care.

Look! I tell him. Three for $12!
Ed takes out his wallet. Do you think I’m too nice to you? He asks.

It’s late. We walk toward the car with our delicate purchases. Not a trivial walk – we park far far away, outside the expo grounds, to avoid the fees.
Do you mind if we go easy on dinner tonight? -- I ask. I’m tired and hungry and a freshly cooked dinner seems terribly out of reach.
Of course not! I just picked up some more frozen lasagna at Woodman’s.

Every day is Valentine’s Day.