Friday, July 22, 2016


I posted early yesterday, fearing that the powerful storms that were about to push through here would take away our electricity.

In fact, our power lines and internet service remained in place, but driving out later with Ed and a visiting colleague to get something to eat, we saw why flash flood warnings were blaring everywhere. Most of the dips in the roads were completely submerged and the rushing waters were frightening enough that several times we turned back and found alternate routing.

Never did a trip to get pizza take so long. Moral of the story: next time make your own pie.

Most of the day lilies looked unscathed and unbothered this morning, though a number of other tall flowers were barely hanging in there. But my attitude toward my flower beds changes right about now: I no longer look for perfection.

(Well, I still trim and pamper the really showy day lilies.)

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The storm pushed the garden into a retreating mode. It's slowing down and turning the corner, as if it's beginning to ready itself for the next season.

Or maybe it's that I have turned the corner. Working outside is less fun in the steamy hot days we've had lately and, too, there are the bugs. Righting fallen stalks was an occasional thing before, but now there are a number that bend this way and that. I don't want to bother picking them all up. A late summer garden isn't about perfect posturing. I learned that in Giverny -- it's about maintaining a balance, nothing more.

We do eat breakfast on the porch...

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And I want to show here a view from it to the side. This part of the garden is too often neglected on Ocean. I think it offers some of the more serene vignettes at the farmette.

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Shortly after, Snowdrop shows up. I have for her Pete the Cat -- a stuffie that is a character straight from some of her favorite books here at the farmhouse.

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As I watch her play (including here, brushing the"teeth" of her favorite penguin), I am reminded that her bangs need a trim.

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I bribe her with blueberries and get to it. Verdict: it always looks better a few days later...

We go out to feed the cheepers. Scotch is studying her dress carefully: is there something for me there? No? Hmmm...

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You sure? Oh, go away, Scotch!
(Me, I notice the girl holding a flower petal, in a flowered dress, against a backdrop of flowers.)

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Okay, cheepers -- Snowdrop and I are off!

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... to the Arboretum.

There are many wonderful things that can be said about that vast expanse of greenery right in the  center of Madison, but from the point of view of a little girl, the allure is loud and clear -- there is space. To run. To take the lead and have me follow.

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(Me, I can't help but notice, too, the flowers...)

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(This would include the rose bushes -- the blooms are fading, but they still are there for her to gently touch. She knows well from the farmette gardens that you do not pick anything unless someone tells you it's okay.)

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The Arboretum feels empty and this is good, though I think it makes it more of a solitary, contemplative outing. Still, Snowdrop is happy. I can tell.

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It's a hot and muggy day and she is delighted when I suggest a trip to a coffee shop on our way back. We sip our cold beverages through our straws.

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Back at the farmhouse, we eat lunch, she naps, her mom comes, I grocery shop  -- -- this is our Friday...

Outside, the warm colors of the garden make me reach for the camera one last time.

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This is home.

Ed and I watch Brooklyn tonight -- a rerun for me  -- and I am again flooded with my own memories of being undecided as to where I should imagine my future.

Those are distant thoughts now. I have no doubt now what place, for me, is home.