Wednesday, February 28, 2018

to improve

At breakfast this morning Ed tells me that one big roadblock to innovation and change is feeling satisfied with what you already have. Why push for improvement, why make the effort when you're not craving for something better?

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We talk about this in the context of farmette land. In hauling brush and timber to the wood pile, I had paused to catch my breath and I was struck by how beautiful the land looks there, beyond the great willow tree. The strip of land is now covered by a terrible tangle of weeds. But if we mowed it down, we could create a splendid undulating prairie, with perhaps a path and a space for a young child to frolic.

I had tried to mow that area just before my younger girl's farmette wedding some four years ago. But there were boulders and I damaged blades on the tractor mower and in the end I just gave up. Now I'm half thinking that I should give it another go.

Ed loves most of my work on the farmette land. Oh, he gripes when I take a violent slash to raspberry patches or insist that trees need to come down because they block the sun and kill off most anything that needs its fortifying rays, but these are gentle gripes that don't mean much. Still, in recent times, he has been resistant to big scale improvements. I'm happy with what's here -- he'll say again and again.

But today, perhaps sensing my total love for this beautiful patch of land, or maybe feeling us to be getting older -- how many years more can we haul tree stumps and spread wood chips over new flower beds? -- he surprises me by asking -- so, you really want that other huge tree to come down?

He's referring to a box elder that leans from silo to flower bed. I don't think it's likely to come crashing down just yet (though box elders are forever uprooting and toppling), but still, taking it out will create a feeling of openness by the Great Big Flower bed. I've been thinking for a long time that the invasive box elders have been crowding us out of our own little piece of heaven here.

And so this is how we spend a good chunk of the day today: sawing, snipping and hauling.

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I feel that since I wanted this project, I should do the grunt work. And so he saws, I haul. And the cheepers watch from a distance.

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I, of course, love the openness that we have now created. Ed is predictably ambivalent. After all, another tree came down.
We're beginning to look like the suburbs. 

Oh, are we ever far from looking like the suburbs!

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In the afternoon, I pick up Snowdrop.
Is she ever excited!

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Yes, that's right. Dance away, little girl!

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If it's Wednesday, it must be ballet class day!

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As I watch her, I think how tiny she is. And how ernest and happy to be joining in this lovely few minutes of story and dance.

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(Today's story is Goldilocks and the Three Bears, though honestly, last week's costume and dance moves weren't all that different from this week's...)

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I think about this day -- it's been so full, in so many good ways. I should be tired. I've been carrying heavy limbs and heavy little girls. (Snowdrop loves wrapping herself around me in a good old fashioned upright carry. She tells me today -- Grandma, I am the kind of girl who loves to be carried!) But I'm not tired. There is something so energizing in clearing land and hoisting your granddaughter onto your hip.

And of course, in a few weeks, we have spring.

These are indeed the good months.