Tuesday, August 23, 2016

first day back

If you count the nights I was away, this trip to Scotland wasn't especially long. When Ed and I used to travel in the summertime, we'd often be away for a month. I was gone only 12 nights. But because my garden was entering its transitional phase ,and because Snowdrop and her family had left town even earlier than I did, it felt that I'd been away from the usual routines far longer.

So I wonder: with my garden, what would I return to?

The mosquitoes had been at their worst when I left. What would I return to?

Snowdrop is growing in leaps and bounds. I hadn't seen her for a couple of weeks now. What would I return to?

I have answers to all those questions!

I begin with the morning. Ed is finally given his reprieve. I'm up at dawn to open up the cheeper coop.

So... what's with the flowers? Ed had said he had enjoyed many a moment on the porch, looking out at the butterflies and the bees that came to visit the gardens. But is anything still blooming?

It is.

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The cheepers were pretending to be annoyed that I waited until after 6 to let them out, but they "forgave me" and came rushing over when I brought out the corn.

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The mosquitoes are still here, but they're greatly diminished! It seems I really struck gold by staying away just as they were peaking, coming back to when their populations are receding.

(Looking toward the venerable farmhouse.)

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(Last year's new bed looks especially lovely at sunrise.)

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There's no point in going back to sleep after all this. I'm on Europe time still, so at sunrise,  I feel the day is half gone!

I clean house, do laundry, tidy a few garden disasters.  And I fix breakfast and it is outside on the porch and it is wonderful!

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And Snowdrop? Well, her other grandma is still with her today, so I do not want to intrude on their time. But I'm encouraged and prodded to stop by in the morning and so just before appointments/chores/shopping and all the rest of the travails of post travel, I drive over to see the ever wonderful (remember -- I am a grandma, I'm allowed to say those things) Snowdrop.

I only have a few minutes, but still, her mom and I take the little one for a short walk to the next door park. She is tickled by the unpredictability of life: one day, someone you love disappears, then, a few days/weeks later -- they're back! And you can see that befuddled but happy smile in this shot where her mom and I are walking with her...

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(In the park. Her hair just keeps getting longer!)

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(On a swing...)

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And then I scoot off and do all my errands/chores/appointments/cleanings/ and food preparations. Because in the evening, the little girl returns to the farmhouse (along with her mommy and daddy and her other grandma).

Snowdrop hasn't been here for many a day (it's been her longest break ever from the farmette). And she is so happy to rediscover all her beloveds! So happy! New clothes? Nice, nice, but hey, bises -- (what she calls her toy penguins) -- remember this book???

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I give her the little sheep from Scotland. I had showed it to her on FaceTime when I had still been not that far from the sheep that like to graze daze and amaze. Does she like it?

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We eat a shrimp dish because hey, I want to do a favorite for the little girl (and she is appreciative, eating way more than I could have imagined).

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And after, she is so very happy to show me how these days, she just likes to dance. Oftentimes with penguins...

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But it's all about moving to the music.

Well, it's about the penguins too.

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My first day back. I write the post even as, by my European clock, the dawn has long taken hold in Islay. For me, tomorrow wont be less busy, but it will be more of a routine, as I will have reclaimed by then my habits here. And I'll take the time to tell Snowdrop more about Scotland. And the sheep that leap and sleep and peep out at you from all corners.