Wednesday, January 03, 2018

back to school

We're all adjusting: winter vacation is over, Snowdrop returns to school.

Yes, everyone is suddenly rich with their own time. Or at least richer than, say, a day or two ago.

Or, is it that we're not rich at all, but rather we force ourselves back on the treadmill of life. The luxury of a free flow of hours has to be shelved for now. To be continued, during the next school vacation.

All this against a backdrop of bitter cold weather. Suddenly, like it or not, you have to get out there and get going, whatever the weather.

Me, I'm nearly always outside in the early morning anyway. Ed is keeping grad student hours (late to sleep, late to rise) and I'm feeling like someone should be there to greet the cheepers as they leave the coop.

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It's a time to take in the farmette, on its own terms.

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I have to smile today -- it feels almost balmy when I compare it to the past few days. We're just above 0F! (-18C).  Oh, how you appreciate the gift of just a few extra degrees! (Tomorrow, we're plummeting again.)

Breakfast. By our reliable orchid plants (to the far left) that bloom like crazy every winter.

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In the afternoon, on my way to pick up Snowdrop at school, I pass the lesser lake. It's a popular spot for ice fishing and you'll find the huts up even on the coldest days. I've heard that these guys (almost always men) look forward to their winter vigil out on the lake. Do they feel the cold?

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Snowdrop: happy to be in school, happy to be picked up as usual, happy to be going to the farmhouse where I promise her at least a handful of minutes on the new Big Girl sled. (The school smartly keeps the kids indoors on these cold days and Snowdrop is just bursting to wear her pink snow pants.)

The sled is big enough for the little one and her baby (and then some)...

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But Snowdrop doesn't want to just ride a queenly ride. She wants to do stuff! Conquer the mountain!

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Make snow angels! Build snowmen! (Can't be done...) Pull her babe in the Big Girl sled!

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But not for long. We both know that this is not the weather for a long outdoor play time.

Inside again, she turns to the delicious prospect of throwing her Playmobil characters into a (tiny) pool. And she asks -- grandma, can we take out the blue pool? She means the wading pool and of course, I tell her it's too cold. But we can put it on the porch... No, too cold there as well.

She returns to her play, where a girl with her name is climbing into the small tub of a pool outside underneath a stately palm.

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(Her speciality: making up stories about children and families...)

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There is, of course, so much more to the evening after Snowdrop leaves, but I can hardly remember where the hours went. Kids keep you on schedule. When they're gone, schedules fizzle... We eat, write, read. And I think about how great it is that the cold spell will move on and, if we're lucky, a good snow cover will blanket the farmette.

One can hope.