Sunday, May 20, 2018


In the quiet of the day, we're working again.

We're not compelled to be doing something all the time (especially not Ed). It isn't that. I think it's the weather that pushes us so forcefully to be outside. Having spent many months hiding against the cold weather, it seems somehow wasteful now to not let your senses take in all that nature has to offer.

It was to be a cool and wet day, but the rains subsided in the late morning. And I have to say, not only does the rain help my flower beds develop to their fullest potential, it also creates a certain unique beauty now. For instance, I've always thought the lilac looks most sumptuous when the flower heads lean under the weight of the rain drops. Today, after the rains, you'll see more than one photo of the lilac!

(looking out from the porch)

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Because really, it's absolutely at its most gorgeous moment exactly now.

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Breakfast, however, is indoors. Not long ago, 60F (15C) felt so sweetly warm. Now it feels too chilly for a meal outside. We've become summer spoiled.

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Since the rains have moved on, I go out to see what might require my gardening attention. Weeding. Digging out spreading raspberry canes. That's a never ending light job.

In the meantime, Ed has been studying a plant that Natalie's husband Jaime and I rhapsodized about when we visited their greenhouse. It's alyssum, and the smell of it is intoxicating! Like honey poured over a lilac! Ed suggests we sow it in between the tomato bushes (for weed control and to provide more organic matter in the soil). I'm enthusiastic! And while we're studying our tomatoes, we walk over to the old grape vines that we diligently pruned this year to imitate the pruning job I'd observed in Burgundy. The grapes are doing well!

We weed the bed and Ed sows more buckwheat.

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All of this is guesswork for us of course and it strikes me that there ought to be on Craigslist a service called "rent a farmer," where a like-minded person who actually has experience growing things comes over to your farmette to review your plans and make suggestions. I can hear her or him now: buckwheat next to grapes? what a terrible idea! You'll get nothing but beetles and your buckwheat will cave at the sight of all those thistles!

But, we proceed in blissful ignorance, with knowledge gained only from my vague memories of Polish village life, supplemented by youtube clips, possibly made by people who are as clueless about farming as we are.

In the late afternoon, I throw down the shovel and hurry to fix dinner. The young family is back from their Chicago visit and they're coming for supper!

Snowdrop had her soccer game today (she is sporting her lion t-shirt because this is the name of her team)...

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... and you'd think she'd want to slow down now and rest, but no! She wants to say hi to the cheepers -- an easy task, as the whole bunch of them are hanging out together by the barn.

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(I point out the sweet smell of the lilac... now is the time to learn about the beauty of a spring fragrance!)

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(In the meantime, Snowdrop's mommy is looking/feeling very pregnant!)

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Dinnertime. Inside, unfortunately, but hey! I love my dining table and we spread out oh so comfortably around it, taking in the whiff of lilacs clipped from the bushes outside.

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It's late now. The sun is setting, the young family has long gone home. I tidy a bit, but I'm interrupted in this by Ed, who has been working on some some small planting project outdoors.

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Come outside, gorgeous! It's gorgeous now!

I smile at his choice of words. I put down the sudsy sponge and follow him out. We visit with the chickens, then walk over to the edge of the farmette land to survey the construction site. We can't make heads nor tails of it. Truckloads of clay soil have been removed where the farmers once farmed. The plan says this is to be a green belt, but the definition of it is vague. Right now, if you step to the edge of our land, you'll be looking down into a pit at least ten feet deep right before you. One step and you're in it. That can't be the final plan!

Still, we think of the good possibilities that might follow. Perhaps there'll be a lake or a pond sloping from our land. Perhaps the cranes will come and sing their warbly song, in sync with frogs and to the rhythm of dancing dragonflies. We don't know. But as with everything else these days, we are hugely optimistic. Spring does this to you: it opens your eyes to the beauty of an evening, it has you believe that a big hole in the ground may someday be a beautiful lake.