Wednesday, July 12, 2017


And the storms rage and the mosquitoes rejoice and -- wait, wasn't that yesterday's post? Has anything changed?

In fact, it has. You can't stay mad at the world forever: it's time to do your crazy dance of waving arms and kicking legs (bugs hate motion) and forge ahead with the day.

In the early morning, after the night storms have rumbled away, I go out without protective clothing to survey the (very wet) flowers...

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... and to pick (the very wet) berries, waving my arms, kicking my legs...

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I am reminded of when, nearly seven years ago, a construction guy who was helping with the fixing up of the farmhouse said to me -- I see the footprints of mice in the dust.
Mice? Really? How do I get rid of them?
You can never get rid of them in an old house. They have thousands of routes of entry.
So... I live with mice?
No, you learn to play the game: you try to outsmart them. You win, you lose. It's a challenge.

Since then, we've trapped and released dozens and dozens of mice. It's not that you get used to it, but you learn to live with it. It's a late fall and winter game that completely goes away in the warmer seasons.

To be replaced with the buzz of bugs.

Breakfast. We watch the swallows (raised in the garage) dive through the air and we wish them a happy hunt! Hummingbirds are enjoying the bee balm (which spreads like crazy but I love it anyway -- I pick some for our table), the occasional monarch pops into view.

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The raspberries are rich in flavor, the blueberries, harvested yesterday at dusk, despite the uptick in bugs then (who goes out into the fields at dusk??) are large and delicious.

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The sun pokes out for a few minutes -- lovely after a period of heavy rain!

This is our summer this year. Still uniquely beautiful.

But when the time comes to pick up Snowdrop, the storms come back, fast and furious. Well, there's always the library, I mutter to myself as I get in the car. Yet by the time I am at her school, the waves of thunder and streams of rain have moved on! The hot, steamy air returns. Impossible to make plans!

We go to the playground. There's shelter close by if the rains return. And the girl insists on rubber boots. Just in case. (Hey, sweet one, the girl on your shirt is also wearing yellow boots! And look! A yellow leaf! The day is full of gold!)

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But the air is the opposite of crisp. You feel wilted, sweater or not.

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Or maybe it's me who wilts under the blazing heat. Snowdrop seems to manage just fine.

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A coffee shop respite (a gold finch!)...

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And we return to the farmhouse.
May I have a pony tail, gaga?
Let it not be said that the girl is always predictable. Maybe someday she'll say -- can I take off this sweater already?

Happy to see ahah...

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Happy to play in her own corner of the farmhouse.

As I try to move her toward a nap, she grows a little pensive. She finds a photo of her mom and studies it intensely...

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... then asks to read the book about her own trip to Paris. Mommy photo, Baby Raffi and the bowl of fruits, right there, by her side.

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If family relationships are on her mind, they are on mine as well. I have a daughter in Chicago, a sister in Poland and a mother in California (to say nothing of nephews in still other countries). In many ways, I am the lucky one: because I don't dislike travel and I'm able to do it, I can and do see each at one point or another. But it's unlikely that all of us will ever meet in one place, at the same time.

I take another garden walk -- braver, bolder...

(Scotch, hoping for a handout...)

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The wind picks up. Will there be storms tonight? You can't tell. You can never really tell.

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