Thursday, December 03, 2015

a very special Thursday

Of course every day is special. Of course. Ed and I agree on this. So that breakfast is special. Always. Every day.

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And planning out a day is wonderful, too. I have a mental list of things to accomplish, foods to get ready for supper. It's all quite sublime.

But as we get closer to the holidays and I get closer to my departure date (it's not a long trip -- just ten days), I especially savor these early days of December.

It's not a drop dead gorgeous landscape right now. Not enough snow. But what little there is makes me pause to admire it. This photo is from my drive to Snowdrop's home. The fields are across the road from us and though I have not a small amount of regret that the landowner no longer wants to let the truck farmers plant their crops here, turning the land over to corn and soy farming instead, I do smile at his annual habit of putting a bike and a wreath out there for all to see. It's a modest decoration, but I do appreciate the effort.

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At her house, Snowdrop wakes, eats, and gives that "let's go!" smile I so associate with her in the morning.

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Yesterday's mall outing convinced me that we ought to get her more used to shoes and so I dig out the pretty pair in her closet and tell her that she should romp in them today. She pretended not to mind. For a minute. Clap clap clap your hands!

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I had to roll her around on the floor to bring back the smile after that.

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Bouncing high in the air helped too. Way up high, in the sky, Snowdrop will fly...

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And one more sure fire winning activity: reminding her that there is this magnetic Christmas tree downstairs...

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Oh, she does not want to leave it! Even after I tell her I'll be boiling water for tea -- something that we do daily and that thrills her no end (in a happy but terrified way, as we wait for the tea kettle to whistle) -- she does not want to leave that tree.

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Nap time. Followed by a beautiful wake up. Well, it's nearly always a beautiful wake up!

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And now comes the afternoon and the day takes on an additional patina of wonderfulness. Snowdrop and I pick up her mommy at work and the three of us make our way to our favorite holiday bakery -- Clasen's. We come here only during the Christmas season and we do so for that wonderful treat that is impossible to find anywhere else here (and it's so ever-present in Germany and, too, in Poland): chocolate covered gingerbread.

For Snowdrop, there is the added bonus: the life-size gingerbread house.  I brought my daughters here every year of their childhood (presumably it's not the same gingerbread house... surely they bake a new one each year?). And now it's Snowdrop's turn.

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At first, she doesn't know what to make of it. But after running a finger across the surface, she realizes that it... is... sweet!

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It gets better. Today is the day that she is given her first sugared delicacy. Clasen's always has samples of sweet stuff around and the raspberry spice cake becomes Snowdrop's first great indulgence.

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Verdict? Oh, come on! Of course she loves it!

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So much good stuff here! The girl just can't get enough of it! (what else? Cinnamon twist? Yum!)

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Out of the cart again, she is thrilled with the crinkly paper and the ribbons tying each bag of cookies or candies.

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Such a day!

And for me, it does not end with this.

I drive home smiling. It's been a good set of weeks. If I am sometimes out of hours, or a tad tired, it's for the best of reasons. My young families are thriving. The farmette is keeping it's own. The cheepers are resilient. And Ed -- he's as he always is: smart, steady and calm.

I'm feeling steady and calm myself.

And then at home, I find a package. It's from Dan, an artist  and an enduring friend of Ocean. An image of Snowdrop inspired him to paint. Here's his gift -- a painting so exquisitely beautiful that it truly makes me spin.

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This isn't the place to thank Dan. That comes separately. But I do want to say that I have come across these beautiful spirits here on Ocean and it is so reassuring, so very reassuring, because I know that this is what we really do leave behind for our children and grandchildren. Generosity and love.

I'll leave you with that message.