Wednesday, July 18, 2018

it continues

It's a beautiful summer afternoon. As Snowdrop and I stroll over to the playground, she asks me -- grandma, what did you do this morning?

I don't know what prompted her to ask, or to even wonder. Three year olds typically are busy trying to figure out how to make the pencil work magic on paper, or digging into their lunchbox to see if it contains something yummy. At a rare philosophical moment, they'll maybe want you to explain whatever happened to your own grandma (Snowdrop asked that very question yesterday; when I told her my grandma isn't around any more, the girl pushed me further -- did she move?)

In my recount of the morning, I wanted to sound at once adventurous and responsible. Merely telling her that I spent several hours snipping off faded daylily blooms sounds pretty un-exotic, even had I bragged that I snipped off an astonishing 662 finished blossoms today. Snowdrop is a whiz at arithmetic in the single digits. She would not get that 662 is impressive (and perhaps an old time record for me).

Still, I discuss my garden a lot with the little girl. I mean, she's the only one who will listen! I name flowers, we delight in birds, I report my thrill at seeing monarch butterflies decide that our milkweeds are good enough to call home. So I answer her truthfully -- I worked among flowers.

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(while Ed watered tomatoes...)

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(Our beans are doing so well!)

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Tomato, wanting a treat.

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And then I visit with a smiling Sparrow.

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(Tummy time)

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And of course, now, in the afternoon, Snowdrop and I are walking to the beach park.

It's a beautiful day to be with little Snowdrop. (That's a song. I've been singing it in the course of 3.5 years' worth of walks.)

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Later, toward evening, I quickly make my way to a meeting of like minded people at a Groundswell Conservancy event. There are many reasons why the work of this organization is especially important to us (Ed has been involved with it for quite a long time), but today, even without their umbrella of support, we're likely to have been among the dozen or so people who came to a two hour "meet the farmers" event at the Parisi farm. Both Ed and I like to learn what challenges small family farms are facing here, in south central Wisconsin. Terry Parisi and her family are clever farmers and fantastic story tellers.

We listen to their struggles ("three climate events that sent all us small farmers conferring with each other on the internet: extreme cold in April, extreme rain in May, extreme heat in June. Add to it groundhogs and tomato worms -- phew!") and we smile in admiration. Terry's good natured approach to life's challenges is downright inspiring. And the tomatoes she shares with us are yummy!

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And the goats? Well, the goats are your best friends forever, especially if you feed them clover or are wearing a dress that reminds them of clover.

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We're offered cups of fresh milk from one of the mama goats. Only a few of us are willing drinkers. (I'm one of them.)

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It's late by the time I return to the farmette. Ed is biking, and I myself am wondering where my day went.

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Oh, I know: to gardens and farms, to Sparrow and Snowdrop. And goats. In other words, to the good things in life.