Saturday, June 24, 2017


Most of the time, when I go to the farmers market with my daughter and granddaughter, I hardly take any family photos. My mind is on other things: picking foods, maneuvering the stroller, chatting up my girls.

But today is different. I use my camera a lot -- not so much on the foods or vendors, but on Snowdrop and family. Here's why:

It is a brilliant day, though a bit on the cool side. I smile to myself on that one: no need to discuss the terrible harms of wearing a sweater with Snowdrop. (Though even on hot days, it is a pointless discussion. Me: Dear one, it's hot! if you keep the sweater on, you'll feel sweaty and awful! You'll feel ill, I'm sure! Snowdrop: I want my sweater on!) The day is made for little girls who love their sweaters.

Big girls too: Ed and I eat breakfast on the porch and I'm definitely wearing a light cardigan.

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A quick look at the garden...

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And I'm off to the young family's home for our weekly trek to the market.

Snowdrop is out of her bath and ready to go. It appears that baby is coming along with us today!

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(Is it that baby picks up Snowdrop's ready smile, or is it that Snowdrop herself responds to baby's exuberance?)

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We are at the market and out comes my camera. Why? Because we're all here today: Snowdrop, both parents and, too, Snowdrop's other grandma who has arrived for a visit with the little girl. (The four of them are in the photo below.)

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And so once again, my focus at the market changes. Oh, I poke about, picking up the asparagus (last time for the year!) and strawberries (these, too, are nearly done) and onions, mushrooms, and the rest of the market bounty, but mostly, I am enjoying watching Snowdrop's big girl antics.

Pushing the stroller...

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(I can see you upside down, gaga!)

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Resting on a bench, waiting for the rest of us to catch up with her...

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Enjoying this grandma's company...

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And, upon hearing music from a curbside band, dancing.

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Oh, does she dance!

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Want to dance with me, Gaga?

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Listen! The music is starting again! Dance!

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And I do, but honestly, today is a day for watching the little one get just that much older, livelier, attuned to the world around her.

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There are other beautiful aspects to this walk (here's one: the view back to the Capitol)...

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After all, it's never all about grandparenting. On a day like this, the garden beckons.

At this time of the year, the rewards are plentiful. Like all concerned stewards of the land, we work to encourage the monarch butterflies to make this their summer home. Milkweed is a pampered plant at the farmette, sometimes growing in terrifically inappropriate places (typical: in front of the garage where the motorbikes are kept, so that if you want to take one out, you have to wiggle your way around the tall stalks).

But the monarchs don't just look for milkweed. They're enticed by many, many blooms. And today, I am thrilled to see them make numerous forays to our gardens.

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There are other details to admire right now and part of the joy is in catching the expected. I know so many of the pairings too well here! I know that this iris will bloom alongside this achillea. And it does, and when it does -- I'm thrilled.

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And now here's a very welcome surprise: the first raspberries are ripening!  Snowdrop will be thrilled with this seasonal development!

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Toward evening, I do my annual takeover of the plowing/mowing at the farmette. Ed does the month to month maintenance, but I do one massive effort to fill in where I think he has too readily looked the other way.

I don't like working the heavy machinery across the rough terrain and I haven't touched some of the wilder regions of the farmette land since my younger daughter's wedding here three years ago.

But I want to bring back the discussion Ed and I have had about what to do with the overgrown fields out back and one way to do it is to plunge into the thicket of weeds and to take stock.

It is a tough job and (predictably) I break the mower forging through the mess out there. But I've made a dent!

(Working the machine across those fields, I again encounter the butterflies that appear to have settled here. No way will I disturb their homes. Swish! Wiggle and zoom around their favorite flower. Ed! I feel car sick!)

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This is our day then. Of little ones and butterflies. Of dances and ripening raspberries. What's there not to like?