Sunday, November 29, 2015

passing through, returning home

While my daughters and their families were in transit today, journeying to their respective homes, Ed and I put in a maximal effort to rid the farmhouse of allergens. Not only did I thoroughly dust and vacuum the place, I stripped every bit of bedding, every sofa and pillow cover, everything that could be stripped -- off it went. We turned up the water heater to a scorching 140F and ran load after load of upholstery and bedding, at the same time keeping the fan going, the windows open -- vents cleaned and inspected, carpets lifted, furniture moved  -- all this to minimize Ed's asthmatic flareups.

Of course, we can't change the winter weather (possible culprit). And yes, there are still steps we can take -- get rid of the couch, get rid of indoor plants, get rid of carpeting -- woosh, out it all goes! And we can sanitize the sheep shed (now that's a project!). And then we hope for the best.

It's Sunday. House cleaning notwithstanding, I love this day, this end of week moment in time, when there is no rush, when I can think back and look forward to all that the next week will bring.

And despite the cleaning frenzy at the farmhouse, we have three beautiful round-the-table moments today.

The first -- breakfast. The sun has moved away from the east facing windows of the sun room, but Ed and I eat here anyway, because the cactus is in full bloom and it fills the small space with such vibrant color!

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Next there is lunch. My younger girl and her husband detour into Madison on their way home and Ed and I have a wonderful meal with them just off the Capitol Square, at Heritage Tavern.

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We linger for a while. How can you not? The after holiday release. The stories. The review of the month before us. And of course, there is the real pleasure of just being with them again.

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Let me jump then to the third meal -- a Sunday dinner at the farmhouse, where the other travelers -- my older daughter and her family come over, again filling the (very clean!) spaces with stories and of course, giving me a chance to have my own quick visit with Snowdrop. (She comes, sees penguin, coos with pleasure and gives him the biggest kiss.)

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And I should end the post with that. Because the little girl is such an easy closing story. A photo of her is a statement about all that we love so much.

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I would include, of course, our wonderful Sunday dinner -- of childhood favorites today: comfort foods: crunchy chicken, risotto -- things Snowdrop will learn to love, I think...

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Oh, and the minutes after, when she shows off her walking with her dad...

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Yes, these were the grand Sunday moments. I should just end with that. Because the rest of the day was a blur of cooking, laundering, drying, and then re-covering the furniture. There was an Ed and Nina walk, too, but not along the country road: we hauled ourselves to Farm and Fleet to pick up a new jacket for Ed and some scratch food for the cheepers.

But I want to go back to something else -- the moment when Ed and I were driving downtown. The skies were nearly sunny. The smattering of clouds was almost insignificant. And in this beautiful pale blue celestial sphere, there appeared a faint rainbow, perfectly positioned over Madison's skyline.

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That's how good this Sunday was. So brilliant. So very memorable!