Wednesday, February 01, 2017


Sunshine! It came, it went, but it always came back. Lovely, lovely sunshine!

Breakfast, of course, in the sun room.

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I had to grocery shop today. I'm terribly off schedule and can't seem to hop back on, but no matter -- on a day where it's just at freezing and the sun plays hide and seek games with us, I don't mind heading out.

(At the check out counter, the clerk asks me -- are you planning a Groundhog Day celebration? The answer is of course "no," but I am amused that my weekly shopping looks like it's food for a party.)

I thought long and hard how Snowdrop and I might profit today from the good weather. The snow cover is still icy and slippery and no fun to navigate. The playgrounds are inaccessible. Walking the neighborhood is fun, but we'd done that yesterday.

In the end, I ask her as we are leaving school if she would like to go to the zoo to check out the polar bears, who surely would relish a January in Wisconsin.

She is more than happy to go!

After playing for weeks and weeks with her Duplo wild animals, she is pretty interested in revisiting some familiar faces: lions, for example. (Though she is taken aback when the one with the mane released quite the roar.)

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But we are on a bear hunt (!).  Snowdrop finds this one to be pretty agreeable:

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But the real deal? Well, she has a wonderful chance to inspect a pair of polars, who, perhaps because there are no people at the zoo, decide to pace close to the window in powerful strides.

Bears? Up close and personal? Snowdrop's self preservation kicks in!

Let's go back to the car, gaga!

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You can get out of the stroller and watch them right by the window!
No, gaga, I don't want to.

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She does offer them a friendly wave and a parting salutation -- bye polar bears! -- from a distance.

Smart girl.

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At the farmhouse, she encounters Ed, fixing the door lock. Though he had just installed a new handle and lock five years ago, it broke on us some weeks back. When he discovered the contraption had a lifetime warrantee, he called the company to get replacement parts. It took a while to receive them and so for the past month we've been without a lock. You could have entered at any time just by pushing on the door with your little pinkie finger -- there was nothing to hold you back! (It is also true that Ed is almost always home so that you would have encountered a big gruff guy, but still, it was interesting to be living, as it were, without the protection of a closed door.)

Snowdrop is fascinated by Ed's work with tools! She watches closely for a long while...

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And she loves to be of assistance. Keep turning the screwdriver, little one!

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(Looking on, to make sure he does the job well!)

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And after these adventures, she is thrilled to snack on a piece of baguette. With fruit.

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(Yes, she also does go back to her tea set, but only for a little minute. We've got books to read and naps to take!)

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Much later, just as the sun is nearly at the horizon, Snowdrop articulates her most fervent desire:
can we go outside?

Sure, sweet one. Barn?

We're off.

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Cheepers! Where are you?

They come running.

She explains to them all her troubles and gives them ample opportunity to do the same.

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I want to interrupt and tell her that they have no reason to complain: treats, food, shelter. Safety. And we do not even demand eggs in return.

But I need say nothing. Snowdrop is in her own world with the hens. And she is happy. And we are happy. How good is that!