Monday, January 02, 2017

Ocean 13

It is not because I think this to be a great accomplishment. Nor is it that I think myself to be doing something important. Nonetheless, each year, on January 2nd, I mark another year of daily blogging. I've ben writing posts here on Ocean for thirteen years today.

I note this fact for several reasons: one is that I want sheepishly to admit how important this is to me. No passing thing, it has become a place where I can easily lose myself in photos and words and in so doing, give shape to a day.

When I think of the past thirteen years in a vacuum, I remember the milestones. There have been many. But when I glance at an older Ocean post, I remember the day's joy, the discovery, the delight.

Another reason to mark the mounting number of years that I have blogged is to acknowledge the efforts of others to help this project along. Oh, I do the writing and the photo taking. But think of the patience of those around me, who understand that each day, I need space and quiet. That I'm likely to have a camera with me. That even though I don't delve into their lives, inevitably, bits and pieces of their lives make it into Ocean, in the same way that a writer of printed matter always includes a bit of her shared experiences into the text.

Too, there are those who occasionally comment here. People who are known to me, people who are familiar only because they pop in to leave a thought, sometimes a suggestion. And people whose lives run parallel to mine and I learn about them only because there is an Ocean.

Equally important are those who read again and again, sometimes every single day, but who never comment and yet they share in my world in some ephemeral fashion, or sometimes in a lasting and enduring way.

Each post is written with the eternal question: what about this day would someone else like to read? What have I done today as a retired woman who also happens to be a grandma, living at the farmette with this guy named Ed and a bunch of free loading chickens that could possibly be of interest to someone else? If you are a serious blogger (and thirteen years of it makes me that!), you think about other people when you write your post. The story may be your story, but it differs markedly from a personal journal. It's written for someone who is not yourself. Press publish and you've let the bird fly. You have to remember that. If you are a responsible human being, you write with care.

Apart from it being a day that marks Ocean's thirteen's birthday, it is also a day when routine slowly creeps back in after the usual holiday craziness. I say "slowly creeps," because it's not altogether sane around here yet. Snowdrop's school is still out for vacation and, too, her birthday is coming up and of course, the older the child, the more important that birthday is.

But despite all that, today is quiet.

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So many stores and businesses are closed for what is referred to as the "observed New Year's Day," that it feels very much like the world is moving at half its normal pace.

Before picking up Snowdrop at her home, I search madly for a place that will have freshly baked bread and I come up with one that is indeed open! (Madison Sourdough Co.) But when I get there just before noon, the shelves look like this:

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I do nab a loaf of the country sandwich and a few ciabatta rolls (I read somewhere that ciabatta breads are supposed to resemble comfy slippers -- okay, we'll be having comfy slippers for supper tonight!), grateful that there is at least that to put in my bag. On the upside, I'm happy that good breads have become so popular here in recent years. Demand for better baked product makes for better bread bakers out there. I still have to drive an awful distance to pick up even a decent baguette, but at least it's within driving distance!

I'm at my daughter's home now. Snowdrop is eager to get going. She is also eager to wear on this day her pink shoes (as opposed to standard winter boots).

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And why not? We're not playing outside today. A drive to the farm house, nothing more.

We play just for a few minutes. Puzzles mostly. The shoes stay on.

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And then we eat lunch. Oh, some corn (because she loves it so), fruits, bread and cheese of course...

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(Sharing her fruit with ahah...)

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And finally, I take out the small treat I purchased at the bakery -- perhaps the only not too sweet pastry there -- the eclair. I tell her she can share it with ahah.

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She's not quite sure how to eat it. It strikes me that she hasn't seen an eclair since Paris and even there, the go to pastry for her was a strawberry tart (same creme patisserie!). Ed pushes the plate toward her and she takes charge.

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She takes a hefty bite. I push the plate back toward Ed. She assumes she is done and so she asks to be excused.

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The lunch gives her the needed energy for a frolic.

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But Ed is still eating his way through his meal and the rest of the eclair remains unfinished. She notes that and comes back to the table asking for another bite. I want to slice off a bit for her, but Ed insists that I give her the independence that she so desires. Let her do it -- are his repeated words.

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I relent. She never really takes more than a bite of a treat anyway.

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And managing her own world makes her very very happy.

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After her nap she goes back to what has been a big favorite for many many months: her play foods. Today, she feeds them, shops for them, cooks them, shelves them, boils them in a soup pot.

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Happiness is sharing (play) stuff with the ones you love.

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Don't I know it!