Saturday, March 04, 2017

slogging through March

Are there Midwesterners who profess a love for the great outdoors in November and March?

They're lying. It just is not very pretty out there right now. You can post endless photos of little buds and yes, even daffodil sprouts and I'll acknowledge their wonderfulness for what they will soon reveal, but for now, they are like a tiny green spec in an ocean of gray and brown.

Still, we're on the right path. We know what's ahead. And so the slog through March is actually not a dispirited one. We can imagine April.

Breakfast is in the sun room because for one brief moment there is sun.

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And the sun sticks with us as I pick up Snowdrop and her mom to go downtown for the weekly kids' music show -- an event that she has grown rather fond of.

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But by the time we get out of the car (a mere three minutes later), the sun is gone, the sky turns gray and even though we're above freezing, we are just above freezing. Snowdrop is still sporting a grin, but me -- I can't wait to be indoors again.

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(Color is everywhere, of course. Just not outside. Here's the little one paying attention to a very good if a bit loud band accompanying kids in their attempts to sing on stage. A sort of karaoke for little ones.)

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In the afternoon, Ed works the yard for a short while, but for once, I do not join him. Turn up the outdoor furnace tomorrow and I'll be there digging and raking. For now, I concentrate on looking through seed and plant catalogues.

Evening. I go upstairs to finish some house cleaning task. Poor weather outside is a grand excuse to get indoor chores out of the way. What's this? A receding sun? Are the clouds really dispersing for the night? For the next day perhaps? Sunshine can make even a brown March day sing!

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I hurry downstairs. Snowdrop is coming for an overnight at the farmhouse and I want to finish spinning the pizza dough into shape. I know, I know -- I always do a pizza for her stays at the farmhouse. It's so predictable and therefore so fine!

(Before the cheese)

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There hasn't been a time when she didn't enjoy this crazy evening meal of ours. Not at the table, but in the living room, oftentimes with a nature or science show on the TV screen. Or worse -- with the news hour going strong.

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After, the little girl discovers a stack of Maisy books. These were her go to favorites maybe a year ago. She has us sit together and each read a few. She takes on the responsibility of reading hers to her Polish rag doll.

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It's getting awfully close to bedtime, but I have one more thing I want to do: it would be so grand to have us all dance a dance that is straight out of the repertoire I saved for my girls when March rolled in. I thought then it sounded Irish. It's not Irish -- it's actually from Newfoundland, but no matter: it's jiggy and bouncy and a total romp and Snowdrop puts all her heart into it.

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We read a few books to settle us all for the night. And then I want to take her upstairs, but she has one more request: I want to look at the stars, gaga.

I'm not sure about that one. It seemed awfully cloudy, even at sunset. Still, I hold her close in her pj's and we step outside.

Oh, but it's a beautiful night! Yes, the moon shines brightly and a few stars twinkle their lovely diamond light.