Saturday, February 11, 2017


Every day offers its surprises.

Take the weather: we have above freezing temps in the week before us. In February? Unusual. (And very much appreciated!)

(But the sun stays hidden. Breakfast is in the front room.)

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The unpredictability of life! It's always so apparent to me! You think you have it all figured out? You know what's coming? Really??

In the late morning, I go over to Snowdrop's home. I'm to pick up the little girl and her mom so that we can drive downtown to the performing arts center.  We'll be going to listen to Klezmer music for children (you don't know it? Jewish music with Eastern European origins. It's like hearing something from Poland, only different! Of course, the forced movement of Jewish populations in the last century transformed this music. Think Klezmer with Mexican influence in Texas, or Klezmer with jazz influence in New York.)

I arrive at Snowdrop's home. She is ready.
Mommy, where are you? Come down mommy!

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Coat on, little girl!

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At the performing arts center, Snowdrop is again fascinated by the skylight.

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And the music thrills her!

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She wears herself out with her enthusiasm!

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Applause applause! Yeah!

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I return the girl and her mommy home.

Afternoon at the farmhouse. Ed and I try to Get Things Done! But somehow it's not all falling together. It's as if you had the simplest leggo structure to put together and you were absolutely sure that a crucial piece was missing. And your partner in the building project firmly believed that you had the wrong sketch before you.
It's not the piece, it's the plan!
You don't see it, but it's the piece! There's nothing wrong with the plan!

Somewhere down the line Ed suggests that we go to Candina's chocolate shop -- a pleasant country drive to a chocolatier that we both love.
I'll buy you a box of chocolates, gorgeous.

I know, of course, what he's up to. First of all, he wants to get us off the "leggo plan versus missing piece" discussion. Too, he doesn't really want to get sucked into the whole Valentine's Day game and he's doing the preemptive move: get her chocolates now.

I'm agreeable. Not because I am desperate for chocolates, but because I think it's cool that every now and then Ed wants to be the good guy in the game of relational shenanigans, even as he presents a stern front of indifference to it all.

We enter the chocolate shop. Ed sits down as I put in my special chocolate request to the clerk. He happens to be positioned right by a rack of Valentine's Day cards.
If you've got nothing to do, you might pick out a card for me...
You want a card?
Only if you want to get me a card.

So you want a card, right?
Not if you're not into it.
Okay, I'll get you a card. Which one?
Oh for goodness sake: you decide!
But which one do you want???
Pick one that best expresses your feelings!

That's just such a funny statement on my part. "Best expresses your feelings..." Does Ed really probe into his feelings to examine them carefully enough to see which card best expresses what's there?


But I offer no help. I pick the chocolates, he picks the card. Here's the winning combo:


But I tell him he's not done.
Whaaat? I got the card!
It's blank inside. You need to write something. 
Do you have a pencil?
A pencil?
So that if I get it wrong and you don't like it, we can erase and start all over.

I'll like it if it expresses your feelings...
How about something like "you're difficult but I adore you anyway?"
I give him a hard look.

In the end, he does write, and with a pen, and it's sweet as can be. I'll let that stay between him and me.

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I must mention that earlier, before the chocolates and the card, Ed and I went to the garden expo. Yes, that! And it was fine. We spoke to one set of experts about red aphids invading my mock sunflowers and the beetles invading our grapes and cherries and then on a less troubled note, we went back to the Minnesota couple who come here to sell their lily bulbs. We'd bought some bulbs last year and they were wonderful. Today, in a nod to our imminent (well sort of) planting season, we buy some more.

But I have no photos of that. Instead, I'll leave you with a picture of something that another vendor brought down all the way from Seattle. Vases. Lovely ones that show off each stem of a flower (or vegetable or fruit and herb!) combination.  We did not buy any because they were pricey and because we felt that they were not fitting with the more traditional style of the farmhouse. But my oh my, do I admire these presentations! I love bringing flowers (and then some!) into the house. Perhaps in these months of rampant words and acts of violence and cruelty, we need flowers more than ever to help elevate our spirits.

Beauty, goodness, kindness. Flowers, fruits and vegetables. Grown with hard work, presented with exquisite artistic flair. The kind you have to welcome from far and wide.

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