Thursday, April 05, 2018


We're still waiting for the thrill of those warm days that come with spring. You know what I mean -- when you walk outside with short sleeves for the first time, when you linger longer than you should because the sun on your face feels so good, when you roll up your pants and start thinking of shorts -- that kind of a day.

In the meantime, we make do.

Spotted sunshine. Enough to make for a warm breakfast in the sun room.

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It's still cold -- just a few degrees above freezing -- but we think it's warm enough to go out for a solid walk. We head for Madison's Arboretum. The city usually shows signs of spring a few days ahead of us out there in the hinterlands. Will we find something to satiate our thirst for this elusive season?

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I can't say that we do. Traces of snow remain here, as they do at the farmette.

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Still, it's a lovely walk. The soil is wet, muddy, spring like! And there are the birds -- as anxious as we are to move on to warmer days.

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In the afternoon, I am with Snowdrop. I typically pick her up in the cloakroom, but today I look for her in her class. She's churning through puzzles, one after the next. Nothing hard, but she loves the routines -- of picking something, of putting it away, of tucking her chair in. She knows I'm watching. She has that pride of classroom that kids so often have when their adult person pops in to visit.

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Outside, as almost always, she scoffs at the idea of a jacket.  Well, it's a short jaunt to the car. Just long enough to find one blooming bulb flower.

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At the farmhouse, she wants so very much to go back to a game we've played for what seems like years now. (It involves tea.)

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I find this to be sweetly touching. It's as if she knows she's growing out of many past games and yet she wants to hold on to her favorites, in much the same way that I held on to childhood books long after I was reading more serious stuff.

Ed comes in from a tedious set of phone calls at the sheep shed. (Don't get me going on the impact of threatened tariffs on people who try to grow a small machining business in America these days.) Snowdrop cajoles him into our play.

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And he cajoles her into a visit with the cheepers. The little girl loves them -- at a distance. Their sudden movements (see below) make her back away. Understandable. Yet each day she greets them, talks to them and every now and then, her gentle finger will caress their light feathers. Until they flap their wings, trying to maintain their balance.

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Evening. It's quiet in the farmhouse. Ed works through some technology sticking points that stand in the way of a more perfect integration of new ways of communicating and innovating within the company that has commanded so much of his time these past few years. For me, an evening is far less ambitious. A post must go up. A snack must be eaten. A rough sketch of the next day must be in place.

I retreat, leaving him to his work, knowing it will be many many hours before he calls it quits and comes up to rest.