Monday, March 02, 2015


It was the day for my annual skin check. My doc and I are the same age and we share something else: a desire to get to the essentials. Rather than starting each visit with polite how are yous, we instead get to the heart of things by asking  -- so where are going next? She and I share a love of travel and though our trips are somewhat different (I haven't been to a resort in a very long time), it hardly matters: we like to weigh options out loud and we have in each other a ready audience. Luckily it's like visiting a dentist: one can do an exam and chat at the same time so no minutes are wasted and it's a lot more pleasant than listening to the doctor recite your skin imperfections, giving them clinical names that make you seem terribly flawed.

I mention this because today I had to cut the travel talk short and work in the fact that I was a grandmother. Well wouldn't you know it -- my doc became a grandma of a baby girl this past Thanksgiving! I worry now how we're going to fit in mention of trips and granddaughter progress during future visits.

In the middle of this week, we are to have our one final blast of real winter. Snow, arctic air, bla, bla -- the usual. After? Sunshine and a warmup. You can't really get me to complain about three bad days when we have the beauty of spring waiting to make her presence known. 

There is a beautiful poem by one of my favorite poets -- Szymborska. It's called "Nothing Twice" -- here are the first two verses:

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you're the planet's biggest dunce,
you can't repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

I thought quite a bit about it today. It struck me how much I adore my granddaughter and how I'd move mountains for her. And how thrilled I am to have this chance to spend time with her and give her only my best words, my brightest smiles. Maybe the poem is wrong then? Maybe, in being a grandmother, you get to have a stab at being an even better person. To repeat the course, as it were.

My photos from today:



The entrance to the barn is so iced over that the cheepers cannot pass. I come out to lure them with bread. Each in turn flies over the tricky spot.


I sneak away without telling them that after their bread treat, they have to fly over the ice again to get back in the barn. The exercise is good for them!


After my appointment, Ed and I go for a walk. In our "neighborhood." Did I mention that the sun is piercingly brilliant today?


We hike off trail, trampling down the variously distributed snow and last year's prairie. Next summer, this field will be abloom with cone flowers and goldenrod.


Here's one last good look at winter. Deer on a field of snow -- yes, it all belongs to yesterday's season. (I'm forward thinking.)


Finally -- an afternoon with Snowdrop.


Oh, Snowdrop!


And from Wordsworth:

Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing                
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!