Wednesday, January 17, 2018

who would have thought...

technology and sunshine

As of today, Ed has a smart phone. One that he purchased for $20 (so a refurbished Android) and without cell service, but still -- he is now exploring all that he can do with it. (Me, I've had a smart phone for a long time and still know only half its capabilities, as evidenced by the fact that I rarely use it for much beyond texts, calls, directions, emails and check deposits.)

The downside of this for me? The proliferation of ringtones (because there is also my phone which at least plays Vivaldi, plus the landline, and his computer zoom ringtones) and the proliferation of cords, right by our lovely new-ish couch.

Over breakfast...

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... we talk about changing technologies. The company he has been overseeing all these years is undergoing significant and progressive, I think, changes going forward. We speculate about disruptions: the benefits that follow, the adjustments that need to be made. It's a fast moving landscape. If you're one who is rooted in the present or worse, advocates a return to what one was -- you're eventually going to stumble.

It's a cold day once more. But again, there will be sunshine! I can tell!

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(The farmhouse, with the first wisps of blue sky.)

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Speaking of moving landscapes, we are in transition here, at the farmette. We have a neighbor to the west, but otherwise, we are surrounded by fields: some farmed by truck farmers, others dedicated now to a development that will completely reshape our views to the north and east. But the development has stalled and so we are at an impasse. Weeds have taken hold everywhere around us. Someday there will be streets and if I'm lucky, prairie parks and maybe even a playground. For now, there are thick clumps of thistle and who knows what else.

But to my surprise, across the road (so to the southwest), the landowner has sold his fields to another developer who, in exchange for supporting development elsewhere, as a consolation prize, has promised to use this large parcel for a conservation park -- preserving the wetlands and, additionally, creating spaces for educational outreach and urban farming.

Honestly, from my point of view (and I am one who vocally and consistently opposed development here, since it surely will disrupt any number of wetland habitats), we have the prospect of being surrounded by restored prairies and conservation parks. It is a great consolation prize -- I could not be happier!


Snowdrop continues to profess her deep adoration for the color pink. I just looooove it! She'll tell us again and again.

I was shopping online for a farmhouse scarf replacement. I lost her favorite -- "my beautiful scarf!" -- and so of course, I'm looking now for a pink one. And so long as I'm on this lovely website, I browse through their sale items and come across pink socks. What are grandmas for if not to pick up extra pink socks for a granddaughter?!

The two items arrived today. The surprise is in the socks:

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Made in Poland! Who would have thought...

not sick

I pick up Snowdrop at the usual time. I look around the class - still severely depleted: only four were present today. I ask if Snowdrop is the only one who hasn't succumbed to the ravaging virus.
Yes, her teacher tells me. We're all going to start eating veggie sticks now! (This is Snowdrop's favorite lunch item these days.)

It's sunny and the temperature isn't too awful: 25F (-4C). But the wind is biting. Still, Ed and I think a few good sled runs on a real hill would be lovely. We pick up him and the two sleds and head for the disc golf course: the hills there should be perfect for Snowdrop.

But on our way, the phone rings. Ed has a sudden dental appointment. (What we thought was a cold turns out to be a dental problem.)

Back we go to the farm, Ed leaves us, Snowdrop and I return to the hills.


We no longer need two sleds for just Snowdrop and me, but I take out both anyway, because the girl likes the little one for rides, but she'll need the big one with me in it for the run down the hill.

It is a brutal tug to the hills. Ed, where are you??

I nearly give up, but I'm not sure if the snow will last: tomorrow promises the start of a warmup. We want to (I want to!) have one good, fast-ish run!

I admire Snowdrop. She has been shuttled from one place to the next then back again. And now it is cold. It is windy. But she doesn't complain about any of it. As I huff and puff and pull her along, she hums songs to herself, turning her face away from the biting wind.

At the bottom of the hill, I should ask her to make the climb on her own, but I don't have the heart. I puff my way up, two sleds in tow, one with my three year old granddaughter.

And now we are at the top. Selfie!

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She loves it! It's not a super steep incline and so our speed is moderate, but I have to say, it is well worth the effort to get to it!

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Before we head back to the car, Snowdrop wants to take a little walk -- just to the bench and back. This is when you can see the beautiful effect of the wind on the snow!

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Her pinkness is reflected in the snow...

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So much beauty in one brief trip to the hills...


These days, Snowdrop spends a good bit of time in her world of characters and stories. Still, there are some games and plays that she will do only if I take part. Dressing magnetic dolls (a modern version of paper dolls) is one of them.

You might think there is no value in having a toddler dress these cardboard kids. But Snowdrop loves this activity and I blame the public library for introducing her to it (they have a set of similar magnet dolls in the play area). For her, it's an opportunity for more storytelling and for exercising control over a daily routine: getting dressed.

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I have no doubt that it's time happily spent.

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We do puzzles together as well. Some are grand introductions to reading and today, she turns totally silly with them. No grandma, it's not a fox, it's a telephone!

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Ed is playing volley ball tonight. I think about the day, I think about the coming spring, summer, fall. There is so much to think about! To anticipate!

But really, this day is fine in its own right, despite the fact that we are in the thick of winter. Earlier, as Snowdrop and I snuggled on the couch with a short stack of books and a bowl of fruit after our romp with the sleds, she said -- I loooove warm!

It's warm here, at the farmhouse. Lovely warm. In all ways.