Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday warmth

What can I say... The weather is not only my topic, it's everyone's topic here in Wisconsin. It's the talk of the town, the subject du jour, the theme that overrides nearly every other.

So I start with my afternoon temperature reading: 62F (nearly 17C).

There are clouds, yes and there will be rain. Our muddy courtyard will surely have us sinking ankle deep in dirt. But who can complain?!


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After that I play catch up. If yesterday was about being with Snowdrop and then working in the yard, today I'm faced with the inevitable round of house chores.

When I pick up the little girl at school, she is like a broken record: I want to go in the stroller I want to go in the stroller... Please!

It's not raining yet. Off we go. Our usual route -- to the playground and this time, she is happy to climb and slide and do all those things that really tell me that she is back in good weather outdoor play mode.

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(What am I going to tell her when it turns cold again in March? Because I know we have flipped months and we will pay a price for this luxurious trip into the balmy air more appropriate for southern Spain than for the upper Midwest right now.)

At the farmhouse, Snowdrop happily falls into her regular play routines. Me, I tease her. I think she knows it's a tease because I don't look serious. But I'm not sure.
You put out such nice cakes for your wild animals. But I'm going to eat them, one by one!
No, gaga, they're not for you!
Oh but they're so yummy looking. Yeah, I'm going to help myself to all of them!
Those are for the animals!

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She laughs then and I know she gets the joke.

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The three of us draw and this is always wonderful. Snowdrop gets one page, Ed and I get the other. There are always instructions from her: which color to use and what should emerge from our sketches.

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She appears satisfied with the final product.

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Later, much later, I get ready to drive her home. She pauses to chat with the cheepers, to ride ahah's shoulders...

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... and then we are at her house where I linger, fascinated by her love of music: the Dancing Queen is playing and she runs to get her dancing circle (whaaat? it looks like a frying pan cover to me!)... And now she is exuberant and my time with her ends for me on this high note.

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I drive home as the sun sets and the mist rolls in.

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So this is like a regular day, isn't it? There are chores. There's a little girl laughing, drawing, there's Ed looking serious at breakfast, less so when he is playing with Snowdrop, there's music, there is the dancing.

And yet, it hardly feels regular. The February warmth! So unexpected! Gentle and kind. Generous and beautiful. Giving a respite from other realities as they unfold alongside the everyday.