Wednesday, February 08, 2017


At last! The pillows Ed and I use became so lumpy, so terribly uncomfortable that I convinced Ed we needed new ones. They came in the mail yesterday.

Perhaps Ed hadn't been fully paying attention when I pushed my new pillow proposal because even though I had heard an "oh fine, go ahead and get them," in the end he decided to cling to his old lumpy one. And so I have two new pillows and he has none. And the bed looks oddly skewed but I do not mind! A night on good, soft pillows -- heaven!

The moral of this little story: you do not appreciate the small details of daily life (eg. a soft pillow) until you lose them. And when you lay your head down on that soft pillow again, the night is exquisitely sublime!

I could not get myself to rise out of bed until 9, which surely is some sort of record for me.

Breakfast is, therefore, late.

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As we linger over this grand morning meal, we begin to hear it -- the rumble. The bing bing bing of a truck mvoing backwards. More rumble.

The construction to the west and north of us has begun.

Ed had worked tirelessly to stall the development that's slated to go in on the acres and acres of farmland all around us. And it wasn't only because he hated the idea of construction noise and a development closing in on us. The more he met with scientists and those who studied wetland ecosystems, the more obvious it became that this particular development is going to have a detrimental impact on the water quality of the streams that feed our (once) beautiful lakes.

I've written about our appearances at public hearings. And indeed, the development was stalled for many many years. But in the end, the location could not be ignored: it's just too good (don't we know it!) and the developer danced visions of sugarplums before the eyes of the decisionmakers urging them to move ahead with the building plan. He received approval late last year and today we hear the movement of an army of trucks.

On the upside, the years of struggle weren't for naught. The plan now is much saner than the original one put forth by the developer. Green spaces abound and there is more than a nod to a new urbanism, with bike paths, community gardens, buffer zones, parks and this part I find terribly amusing -- even names of streets that presumably have some marketing appeal: Arugula Road, Radicchio Lane, Spinach Street. I kid you not!

From a personal standpoint, the development, to me, offers many upsides. The idea of having sidewalks and parks nearby thrills me. Snowdrop loves to go out exploring and I have not liked taking her out on the rural roads. Each time a car approaches I feel compelled to step into the ditch.

I tell Ed that we must look at the bright side of it, but of course, Ed is a consummate lover of the natural world. Even though we had mainly cultivated lands around us, nonetheless, we had our share of flowers and crops from the truck farmers. Concrete to him is a poor alternative.

When I pick up Snowdrop, it's still very chilly outside. There will be a warmup later this week, but today, the air feels winter-cold. Not that she appears to notice.

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I need indoor distractions for us and so I tell her we're going to the store to pick up a big box of crayons. (She has a little set and I know that a kid her age can well be satisfied with 24 colors, but I have this childhood longing for that magnificent set of 64!) While at the store, I throw in some stars -- you know the kind: our teachers used them to reward our schoolwork decades ago, when kids still thought that getting a star on a paper was big stuff.

But when we come to the farmhouse, first thing's first. I give her what has become her very favorite snack: a fresh, cheesy herbed croissant.

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And as she is happily munching away at it, I tell her about the trucks that are rumbling nearby.
I hear it!  -- she tells me with excitement. Indeed. I had paused the car just before pulling into the driveway so that she could see it too: a plethora of trucks.

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I suppose you could add this to the upside: Snowdrop will, in the course of spring, have many an opportunity to see trucks in action.

And now -- play time!

Within a minute of being on the ground, Snowdrop discovers every single new item in the house. Colorful index cards! Woah! A pack of alphabet cards! Yes!

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Two new books! Let's read!

But eventually she returns to her favorite toys. She takes command of her play space (after cajoling ahah to sit down with us). This goes here, that she needs for over there...

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For a while, she and Ed build, but then Snowdrop remembers that it's been a while since she's played with her grocery cart. She pats Ed on the back and tells him -- be right back, ahah!

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An important component of playing "grocery shopping" is, for her, finding and putting on her necklace. Purse goes on crook of elbow and away she goes!

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Snowdrop is in a joyful mood! She gathers up the scattered pinwheels and she dances as we blow on their tails and make them spin. (When do we lose that giddiness that a two year old so freely expresses? That pleasure in just watching a pinwheel twirl?)

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To settle her into a prenap mood, I take out the sticky stars. She colors a sky with rainbow hues and ever so carefully, manipulates each little star into a special place on the page.

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Outside, the skies clear and the late afternoon sun recedes, ever so slowly, and the farmette lands take on their honey tone.

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Snowdrop wakes up to music. Mine, hers, it's all so fantastic for her.

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After she leaves, the house grows quiet. It's going to be a cold night. On the upside, it will be studded with stars. A lunar eclipse, a comet and a full moon will fill our dark country skies on Friday. But tonight, we'll have the stars. And a nearly full moon shining brightly over us all.