Saturday, February 20, 2016


Wow, even spring doesn't always throw us such beautiful days! Warm sunshine, calm air, muddy soils -- you couldn't ask for a more stunning display.

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I'm up early. I'm one of those grandmothers who needs to do chores before the child stirs. Typically, Snowdrop is a late riser. But not here, not at the farmhouse. She is ready to come down just as I put the last pieces of chopped fruits into bowls. Three today, reminding me a bit of the three bears and their bowls of porridge (and, in fact, we do also eat porridge).

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Though we often cheat and eat dinner by the TV, breakfast is sacred, as you well know. Today, of course, Snowdrop is part of this wonderful meal.

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In her cow pajamas.

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Bathed and dressed, she makes her way to grandpa Ed.
Aren't you going to play with me?

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There's lots for her to do here...
(Why is taking them out so much easier than putting them back in?)

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... but I can't take my eyes off the outdoors.  
Snowdrop, we're going out!
Grandma, you have that wicked gleam in your eye...
The yard beckons, my dear girl, the yard beckons!

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I don't get these boots, grandma.

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Ed joins us and we walk through our young orchard, righting a tilted fence around a fruit tree, picking up a few fallen willow branches. Snowdrop prefers to observe from my hip. Give her a few months and I'll put her to work dragging twigs. Unless she prefers clipping spent flowers... Snowdrop, have I got a gardening agenda for you!

We pause with our farmette stroll, since Snowdrop has a Saturday music class (it's part of the national -- or rather international, as it's offered in some 40 countries -- Music Together program and honestly, she just loves it! Very young kids sing, dance and use basic musical instruments, with the active participation of a parent and the occasional grandma; Snowdrop is on her third semester of this and she is always very happy to be there).

Before you know it, it's afternoon. Again, I'm drawn to the outdoors.

Ed and I pack up the stroller and the three of us drive over to the rural roads we'd been exploring just south of us.

Off we go!

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The segment of road we follow today has an especially rich tapestry of farm life, as evidenced by the presence of barns -- some beautifully maintained, others -- well, their time has come and gone.

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With a lot somewhere between the two extremes.

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Is she okay? -- he asks.
Yep. She's incorporating exercise into a stroller ride.

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At home, Ed continues to work on my car and I try to vacuum up some dust I noticed under the treadmill. Snowdrop is aghast: vacuum cleaner?? Nooooo!!

I put it away. Still, I have to think that I have singularly traumatized her. Someday when she is in her teens and doing goth stuff and joining fringe clubs and deciding between a shaved head and a purple wig, people will say -- my my, she has such lovely parents, where did this erratic behavior come from? They will not have known, of course, that at age 13.5 months, grandma wrecked her equilibrium by turning on a vacuum cleaner.

And yet, she is in such a lovely mood come evening. Before bedtime, she runs from one room to the next, as if filling up the steps needed for a perfect fitbit workout. She smiles each time she passes us and I know all is right with her world.

A beautiful spring day. For you as well, I hope.