Sunday, June 04, 2017


Farms, working farms, aren't always the safest places: the machinery, the fast paced operations -- all this creates some risk. But who would think that a threesome of hens would turn out to pose their own hazards?

The farmette isn't a working farm, but it does have those lovely little girls -- cheeper girls -- and today they really did me in!

I step out early to take a look at the state of the garden. Immediately the cheepers run to greet me. They want bread and they're hopeful that I come with some in hand.
I don't have any bread for you, now step aside! -- I tell them. I use the same words each time, hoping that one day they'll get the message.

Not today. Each girl wants to be the closest to me, in case I throw out the coveted crumb. I'm used to this: I shuffle along, sidestepping over eager chickens. But today, Java steps right in front of me and my foot goes straight down on her claw, leading me to quickly back off, but by that time Henny is behind me and I tumble straight down on top of her, as the hens screech and feathers fly.

(For the rest of the day Henny runs whenever she sees me. See her there, to the right?)

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I'm plenty wounded, though the gashes in my leg and arm are more of a visual marker of my mishap than an indication of real damage. (When Snowdrop sees me later in the day, she demands an explanation. I tell her what happened and she immediately goes to her parents and recounts my woes: "Gaga fell on the chickens and hurt her leg and ahah helped her!" For Snowdrop, all stories have an element of the good in them.)

I continue to survey the garden...

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... then retreat to the farmhouse for breakfast.
Ed, it's ready!

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I'm here, gorgeous.

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My fall provides a good excuse to take the rest of the day off. I don't do that. I scrub the farmhouse from top to bottom, take a long and luxurious shower, and then I go outside and spend nearly two hours watering the flower fields that abut the courtyard.

Many people regard such protracted watering as a tedious element of gardening. Not me. I rather love it. Ed asks -- why?
It's really quite simple: I imagine the flowers to be parched. Dry in the mouth, so to speak. And I have the ability to relieve that: to give each plant a good dose of the water that it craves. It's so rewarding! How often in life do you feel yourself to be the conduit of something so beneficial, so helpful, so lovely? Water, delivered to the plants that need it most (I set out to water just the newly planted stuff, but of course, I don't stop there...).

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In the afternoon, Ed and I drive the few miles down the road to our favorite annuals greenhouse. I need to replace the ancient geranium plants in the front room. It's a curious thing about the sale of plants: it's all very seasonal. Our indoor geraniums should have been replaced many month ago, but you can't get those blazing beauties except in May or June. So we pick up a threesome today and I am sure they will add radiant color to the farmhouse for many years going forward.

(On the way, we see the truck farmers to the east of us, working the fields in the way that is their habit: with a bent back and little more than a hoe to help yourself along. You may be curious as to why we have farmers moving about rather than a development sprouting up. The answer is confusing and possibly not together honest on the part of the decisionmakers here: there appear to be permission delays. Yes, we'll have a development soon enough. Only not just yet.)

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Evening: The young family comes running. No, Snowdrop comes running and the parents toddle along...

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These summer-like dinners outside are heavenly. The air begins to cool down, the light is especially beautiful then...

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(Chantilly raspberries for dessert.)

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For whatever reason, I am reminded of an excursion I took with a Thai friend up to a northern part of her home country some fifteen years ago. We drove to a large lake and the air was warm and the breezes were lovely. Everywhere you looked, you'd see families and perhaps friends gathering to eat an evening meal outside, by the lake. These were no small picnics: food was grilled, roasted, plates were filled, children were everywhere and if you slightly knew someone (as my friend seemed to be at least acquainted with this person and the other), you were invited to join in. And my friend did have us join in and she lapsed into her native language and in her love of the moment she sort of forgot about me, which allowed me to exhale and really look around..

All this came to me as Snowdrop cavorted between house and porch and food was consumed and it felt like this is the moment we wait for during a work-filled week -- the time when we can be outdoors, together, over food, without fuss or worry, relaxed, happy.