Sunday, August 05, 2018

a new kind of Sunday

I Oh, Ed!

If you read yesterday's post, then you'll know that in the middle of the night, Ed wis to catch a bus that would take him to a destination where he will meet up with his sailing pals and proceed with them to the town and pier where a boat awaits them. Since coordinating the meet up of all involved is complicated, it's vitally important for him to not miss this bus. We both set our alarms for 2:25 a.m.

Are you sure that's enough time? You have to shower and we need to be out of here and driving by 2:50. I am the designated chauffeur.
Plenty of time.

And it is enough time. By 2:40, he is pushing in last minute stuff into his backpack. But then he asks -- do you suppose you could give me a hair cut?

Oh, Ed!

I had, in fact, asked him if he needed one a few days back, but he didn't leap at the offer and I didn't push it. I thought that perhaps, upon his return, I would see a weathered face of a sailor, with (and this would be exciting!) his long curly hair pulled back in a pony tail perhaps.

And now, here we are, seven minutes before the planned departure, with me plunging into both a hair and beard trim.

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I have no idea how it all will look once his hair dries. It will be the quickest cut and shave anyone will have given him ever.

A selfie moment for the both of us.

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And then I drive, though not too fast because you have to be on alert for deer here at night  We get to the bus stop two whole minutes before the bus shows up.

Off he goes. See you tomorrow! Or next week! Or in three weeks! Or three months! Love you, bye!

Later, back at the farmhouse, I try to resume an interrupted sleep -- a tough challenge as we have the world's worst mattress (on my to do list for when Ed's away: buy a new mattress!) and there is no comfortable spot anywhere on it, even when he is gone and I have the whole Queen sized thing to myself.

As I toss, I think about how to make this month a good one. I am so used to Ed being at home (he never travels and rarely goes out anywhere at all) that it is an adjustment to be in the farmhouse without him sitting right there on his favorite spot on the couch. In fact, it's downright eerie. So I try to come up with ideas on what to do to make this adventure, his adventure, an okay one for me. I don't want to just count the days until his return.

What can I do now that I couldn't possibly do with Ed at home?

This is a tough one: we don't believe in imposing restrictions on each other. We are together, but we do stuff we would want to do even if we were not together.

And then it strikes me: I can live, for however long he is away, in an immaculate house!

It's not that Ed is very messy. He's just not very neat. I had the idea last winter that I would nudge him to align himself closer to where I am in terms of tidiness. It was a horrible set of days. Not used to getting prompts (nags?) from anyone (and to be fair, he never prompts or nags me to do anything), he grew sullen and retreated to his sheep shed. I retracted, preferring his presence and a few odd pieces of ancient mail, chords for his engineering projects, and the occasional wood chip tracked in from outside, than having him go back to working in the shed.

But this month, all will be pristine!

I start start the morning with garden work of course, but there isn't a lot of it. I'd trimmed things yesterday and now, within 45 minutes, I'm done clipping and snipping.

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It is finally time for breakfast. Alone, but on the porch and with the company of flamingo and a magazine, the moment of sadness gets pushed back for another time.

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Inside again, I begin the cleaning marathon by doing  copious amounts of laundry: off comes the blanket that covers the couch, the duvet, sheets, bathroom rugs, everything will faintly smell of lavender (my current favorite laundry detergent, derived from some plant based stuff, has a hint of that lovely purple flower). As I carry my loads down to the basement, I notice that the downstairs space feels emptier. I know why: Ed has finally thrown out many boxes of sailing charts. Navigational maps can now be loaded on a little Android.

He must have been in a hurry, because I see that the shelf by the washing machine has some leftovers from one of the boxes. And what's this? Nesting stuff and the stiff remains of a dead mouse.

Oh, Ed!

II Sunday Dinner

In the afternoon, all cleaning efforts must stop as I switch to cooking dinner for the young family. Here they come! I must hurry and finish it up!

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But in fact I don't finish it quickly because I'm distracted and it's my own fault. When Snowdrop comes in I tell her -- I have something for you...


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It happens that I found in Chicago a little dance tutu (that girls actually wear as an everyday style, with a sweatshirt or jeans jacket) that I was sure she would love.

And she does love it. And insists on putting it on at this very second. And then she looks around.

Where is ahah?
I had mentioned some time ago that he was going off to sail a boat, but I guess it was a vague statement -- the kind you make a dozen times each day, not really paying attention to your own words. She had clearly forgotten. And now her mouth drops and she holds back tears. She picks up a picture of him that I keep in a line of family photos and says -- I'll just have to look at his photo and then I think I wont be sad.

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In her case, it does work. Within minutes, she is listening to Swan Lake on her mom's iPhone and she begins to dance. When Snowdrop dances, the smile is never far away.

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She loves partners in dance. I often play "the man," but tonight, she has someone who doesn't have to pretend to play the guy role.

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An appreciative audience looks on.

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Dinner is finally ready. It has all my daughter's favorites, as we're celebrating (belatedly) her birthday tonight.

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There is a cake, of course. My daughter may indeed like it, but it is her own daughter that is hugely excited by it: the cake comes with macarons.

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Snowdrop will pass on the cake, if she can only have the macarons.

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(Sparrow does not yet appreciate the finer virtues of a macaron. Soon, little guy. Soon.)

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A little music, a lingering moment...

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And now the young family returns to their home while I attack the most difficult for me task -- putting away the cheepers for the night.

III Good night

The hens are variously distributed along the wall of the old barn. I climb the tires and try to find support in the hay bales...

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Peach is nearly impossible for me to reach, but somehow I do get her down. And the others too, their flapping wings notwithstanding.

Will I have to do it again tomorrow? Darn chickens. This sailing trip had better be the ride of your life, Ed!

He's sleeping on the water tonight. Goodnight, goodnight. To my family south of me, to the one right here in town, and to Ed, rocking gently as the moon makes its own nightly voyage across the heavens..