Tuesday, August 07, 2018

busy in a good way

When people ask me if I mind being insanely busy, I always say no, but with a qualification. I like filling my days, at home or when I travel. Since I am retired, most of the things that fill my days are there because I want them to be there. But it is true that when there are exasperating additions -- ones that frustrate or drag me down -- I feel their weight.

But this is rare. Most days are like last week, or Saturday, or Sunday. Or today: surely I'm busy, but in really good ways.

It's cloudy and cool, with a touch of the muggy. The kind of weather where shedding a sweater feels too cool and wearing a light sweater feels too warm. I spend the early morning tending to flowers, tomatoes, animals, and coops. I give the shout "here, cheepers!!!" and six hens come running. I am their farm mama. In my hands rests their grub.

The flowers are still looking good, but each day there are fewer spent lilies to pick. By mid August most of the lilies will be done. Where has this summer gone??

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Well, I know where: keeping busy. Mostly in good ways!

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It's quiet again. The ground is too muddy. We may have more rain. The construction crews stay away. My breakfast is peaceful.

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It is always a treat to have my close friends come back for Madison visits and today I have a luxuriously long and lovely coffee break with my friend who now lives in New Mexico. (I'm sure she is familiar to anyone who has been reading Ocean for any amount of time!)

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This catching up time is real tonic for the soul. It releases the laughter. Because most stories of anyone's life have at least a touch of humor, no?

And immediately after, I visit Sparrow. True, I've seen him a little this past weekend, But I haven't had time to really play with him. It's always somewhat remarkable to see a young babe after even a short absence. They change constantly, whereas we all sort of stay the same. Perhaps we have the capacity to change as well, but we get too darn comfortable in our own sameness.

Sparrow watches my face now, waiting for direction: "what are we doing now, grandma?"

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"A selfie? Oh, ok." (Sparrow, you're supposed to look at the camera!)

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(Here's a way to make a nearly two month old look like he is standing up!)

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("Are you saying I look serious? Not always!")

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And from Sparrow's home, I scoot straight to Snowdrop's school. She is blowing away at a handmade harmonica/kazoo/musical instrument (proffered  labels for two popsicle sticks, with bits of straw, all held together with rubber bands).

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At the farmette, the cheepers hurry to greet us.

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They are happiest when someone is around -- for the free handouts and well, I think they feel we're part of their flock.

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Snowdrop eats a hundred little tomatoes. At least that's what I tell her -- you're just like me! When I was little, I would go to my grandma's garden and eat a hundred tomatoes!
Wisely, she asks -- did you get a tummy ache?
I did!
She smiles and pops another tomato in her mouth. I think she knows that she is far away from that big number.

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Inside, we play store...

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(Her "children" are in on the game of course)

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It's a new favorite: she draws a credit card for me to use and then tells me what I should purchase with it. Favorite items: flip books of her own making. Baby Sparrow's pacifier. Her swim suit. It is a store with a lot of variety.

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When she leaves, I throw another look at the garden. I know I always favor here two flower beds -- the one by the farmhouse porch and the so called Big Bed. There is, of course, a larger landscape out there. Some of it is a tad neglected, where wildflowers from a seed selection compete with wild grasses and probably not a small number of weeds...

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Other parts are awaiting maturity. (The tripod supports clematis plants which had a modest display this year, but will likely grow with greater abundance in the future.)

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(Throughout all beds I planted lilium bulbs. Most have long finished their blooming season. This half hidden one is just beginning.)

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And now it is evening and I have no choice but to make myself eggs for supper. So many chickens, so many eggs!

Oh.... but there is, too, the least favorite part of my day: putting away the cheepers! On the upside, I get an evening view of the gardens.

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Do you see that vibrant lily in the middle of the next photo? It's the last bloom of the year for this particular plant. Every year it is my visual starting point when I look at the Big Bed from this back end. I'll miss it in the remaining weeks of summer.

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That's so much a part of all our lives, right? We miss the stuff we love that is fleeting, that comes and goes. The joy is in the return and yes, this lily will return. Next year.

Only after the last dish is put away do I turn off the little motor that propelled me all day. No great sails across the vast waters, just a little motor that moved me quietly from one set of good tasks to the next.