Friday, April 22, 2016

the next day

Funny thing about birthdays (what -- she's still going on about that?)... They leave a pleasant afterglow. The thoughtfulness of daughters, the comments here (so sweet! Thank you!), emails, the small stack of cards...

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People really do want to show they care about one another. Silly birthday lore -- but she likes it, so we'll do our bit. It's a good feeling and so it stays.

It is, otherwise, a bit of an odd day, turned sideways and flipped over. We were to have house guests, but a sudden onset of caregiving responsibilities took them elsewhere. Then, too, I was to go to Florida tomorrow to visit my good friend, but these past days, I've been thinking (for a number of reasons) how this just is not a good time for me to go away. I finally called my friend and oh, the irony! It's not a good time for her either! Tact (another sign of caring) prevented us from admitting it, but honesty (sometimes a fine thing) brought about a good outcome for us both.

I write this because there are times like this moment right now -- when people (friends, family) all seem so incredibly in step with one another and that really is such a fine thing!


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And my daily appreciation for the flowering plants at the farmette (the daffodils, rich in detail and also in their abundance):

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(The annuals, not to be outdone...)

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Appreciation, too, for the cheepers -- here, I catch a distant Ed finally succeeding in picking up Java (who, along with Henny, has resisted being touched). Sometimes I think he loves nothing more than to give a rub to the face of a chicken.

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Snowdrop is spending the day at the farmhouse and I have a few photos of her time here.

Ha! I know how to pull the hair clip right out! Ha ha!

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And I know how to distract you, so that you forget about pulling it out! Ha!

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Can you put the cover back on the book, grandma?

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So many good books to read!

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So many kind people to "talk to..."

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After the little one's nap, we go outside. Snowdrop is thrilled, of course, but I tell her that we have work to do: our asparagus is shooting up stalks and since this is the third year after planting, we can harvest the spears! (You have to wait: asparagus is the only vegetable that is a true perennial and the waiting allows the plant to establish itself).

Ed comes out of the sheep shed. We are a happy team of seven.

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I show Snowdrop the asparagus bed, I take out a little knife and we get to work.

The little one loves, absolutely loves the freshly cut spears! Cooking? What for! The tips are juicy and sweet.  In one day they'll shoot up from beneath the ground and in pristine beauty, they'll reach for the sky. Straight for her little mouth.

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She is enthralled.

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I've done my first harvest (I'll be repeating it daily for the next couple of weeks) and even then, she refuses to let go of her precious spears.

The hens follow her as if she were queen. And perhaps to them she is...

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I tell her we are to inspect the new orchard. She darts forward as if walking these parts has been part of her daily repertoire for years.

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Now we must look at this tree!

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The fruit trees are looking good! Of the couple dozen that we have here, we lost only one. Ed and I make a note to prune them this weekend.

We return to the courtyard. I water the pots, I show her the profusion of daffodils (which she adores)
and still she asks for another asparagus spear.

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Okay, Snowdrop, but you must consider asparagus in its cooked form.

We go inside. I steam it, I sprinkle her favorite freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano.

Why do I encourage her in this food preparation? As a grandma,  I'm not making up for lost time -- both my daughters are terrific cooks. If Snowdrop comes anywhere near to where they are, she'll be great. And still, I think what makes me put her so close to the sink, the cutting board, the stove, is that I think what Ed had said a few days back is correct:  a child has a love of learning how to put things together, whether it be a meal, a house, or something in between the two. I'm just following her natural inclination and it's such an obvious one -- Snowdrop loves, really loves to "participate" in cooking up a storm.

(Eating the cooked version.)

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The sun goes down, the "day after" becomes just another spring night -- with all the beauty and promise of a clear sky and a cool breeze that cleanses the air and revives any sagging spirit. May it do good things for you as well. We all need a bit of a pick me up every now and then.