Friday, January 26, 2018


Well, we stumbled along in our own loopy way toward Friday. I'll say this -- thank goodness it is the end of January. The sun now sets at 5:02 p.m., the air has that whiff of pre-spring, and we can look forward to our goofy speculations about the groundhog's spring prophecies and flip through flower and seed catalogues for the spring that is just around the corner!

(The cheepers think spring is here today. Give them 40F (5C) in the morning and they come trotting to the farmhouse door -- something they never do in the dead of winter.)

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Breakfast -- back in the front room, table badly in need of fresh blooms. The pot with the colorful ranunculus is from Giverny. They're fake.

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Appointments this morning last longer than I had anticipated. Finally done! But wait, it's nearly one? How am I to grocery shop for the week and pick up Snowdrop in the next hour? (The time I spend in the grocery store each week is, on the average, 75 minutes. I mean, I examine each piece of fruit very carefully! Today, however, I zip through the place in one third the time and without a ready grocery list. It will be an interesting week of eating.)

I am on time to pick up Snowdrop. Phew! Such a relief.

Today isn't a spectacular weather day. Earlier, it rained, quite unexpectedly. It's not cold, but it's not pleasant. There's a bite to the air. Still, it is above freezing and it is January and one must seize these times to take in the greater world, because when the temps dip again (and they surely will), you'll run from car to house as if chased by a herd of angry hyenas.

But that girl! All those days when it was so cold, she begged for time outside. Now, when the temps are hovering just above freezing, she's indifferent to it. Rain and puddles covering icy surfaces? Bleh! It's as if she is telling me -- give me spring, nothing less will do.

So at pick up time, I resort to tempting her with little goodies: Snowdrop, if you put on your jacket and shoes, we can maybe go to the playground.... I bet the swings will be empty now... Mmmm! Back and forth, back and forth!

The dawdling child is in her jacket and shoes in a flash.

Back and forth, back and forth, for a goodly half hour!

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We look out at the lesser lake: so interesting now! It looks like it's melting. Fools' dreams! You're actually seeing rain puddles on top of the frozen lake. It will remain frozen until the middle of March, or even into early April.

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Snowdrop comes alive now that she is given plenty of time to spin her stories in this beloved little park. Yes, she should be wearing gloves and a hat. Go ahead, tell her that.

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Snowdrop, you haven't munched on your croissant yet. Want it?

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After an hour, I start to think of creative ways to get her back to the car. Well, maybe not so creative. Snowdrop, you want to check out the coffee shop? Maybe they'll have a cherry scone...

Ah, it's like old times...

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As we wait for a rest room to become available, she finds a chair that she "just loves!"

Here comes another story...

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I laugh in appreciation. She laughs in return.

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Out we go for our walk back to her school and my car...

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But if I thought I was going to have an easy time of buckling her in and heading out -- not so! She is full of memories of how it once was, before the cold crept up on us (and it did so early and fiercely this winter). She used to play in the car before our drive home, creating a mini universe of school and home for her tales of woe and redemption. She so wants to do this again today. I let her.
Just for one more minutes, Snowdrop! 
No, five! (I doubt she has a grasp of how long minutes are, but five is greater than one!)

Alright, five.

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Later, much later, she asks Ed to go out to the barn with her to lock up the cheepers. He'd done that already, but it hardly matters. They head out to "inspect" the girls. They'll open the coop door and "make sure" that everyone is there.

After, he takes her to the picnic table (she was riding on his shoulders and so she is without shoes). They stay there for quite a long while. I watch from the kitchen. She works his flashlight. On, off. On off.

I ask him later -- what did you talk about?
Oh, she wanted to know about the deer antler that's on the table. I told her that once a year, a deer will shed his antlers. Every now and then, we find them in the yard.

(Ed, Snowdrop, flashlight, antler.)

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Such a day! Full of stories with superb endings. Full of love for what has been and hope for what's ahead.