Friday, September 15, 2017


Everyone tells me how hot it is outside. At the eye glass store, wine store, grocery store: man oh man it's hot!

Don't I know it. It's only because I have faith in the cooling properties of a September night that I don't bother with air conditioning. But let me repeat for emphasis -- Madison is one hot town tonday!

(Spot peek at my garden: a lily here and there, but mostly we're hitting the dormant phase of perennial life.)

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The eye glass store visit set off the morning on a low note: I bring my glasses in,  pointing out that the protective coating (hang in there -- this gets intense!) is splotchy and murky and that I can't see anything out of the glasses anymore. Yes, I know I had purchased them years ago. Many years ago. But aren't they under some lifetime (at the very least!) warranty? No? Well then, hrumph. But say, I have this spare pair. True, I didn't purchase them in your shop but they are too tight so might you fix them anyway because otherwise I just can't see and they say it's a beautiful world out there today, if somewhat on the hot side.

By the time I leave the store, I decide that the whole eyeglass project is a big headache, not worth pursuing on this steamy and potentially lovely (if I could just focus on it) day. I need new glasses, but when I look at the tab, all I can think is that the total is nearly as much as a trip to Poland (and if I were to go hog wild with the best possible lens, it would exceed the cost of a trip to Poland) and so I let it go.

Oh, wasn't there a breakfast? Yes, of course, but rather hurried, as Ed had work appointments and I had, well, at the very least, eye glass stuff to look into.

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In the afternoon, I pick up Snowdrop. She is (I can tell) a child that has had a full week. True, she has finally succumbed to The Nap at school, but nonetheless, Friday is Friday. You have to tred more carefully on a Friday with a young school kid than, say, on a Monday.

She shows me some favorite spots at her school playground...

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This includes the vegetable patch...

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And as we play and walk and munch on snacks she tells stories. And if you listen carefully to the make believe, you'll detect that she is a happy girl, but nonetheless, ready to call it a week and head back home.

(Here she is playing one of our favorite games: we're in the car about to head back to the farmhouse. But before she slides into her car seat, she climbs to some elevated spot and gives directions. She is a "music teacher," I am an obedient passenger.)

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And so the afternoon progresses, until her parents drive up and whisk their child away to her safe haven, her yellow house which, she reminds me nearly every day, matches the yellow of the farmhouse.

In the evening, Ed and I drive out to his friends' place out in Lake Mills (a town some 20 miles east of Madison). These good people host periodic reunions for their college pals (Ed is one of them). Between the dozen or so friends there is much to discuss, recall and reflect on. It is, of course, their reunion. I wasn't there, didn't live through those times in the way that they did. Indeed, while Ed was organizing coop life, instructing college kids on the fine art of sailing and fixing ancient motorcycles, I was in Poland, going to Chopin competitions in my free time between university classes and hiking the mountains to visit the highlanders in Rynias.

In other words, we lived in very very different worlds.

Still, as I watch Ed in this mix of people who are as familiar to him as my Warsaw friends are to me, I have to say that it feels good to see this ancient slice of his life.

Too, the view from these people's back yard is magnificent.

Especially as the sun goes down on this unusually warm September day.

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