Thursday, February 07, 2019

does anyone like this?

I think there would be a consensus on this: today is the yukkiest day of the entire season. Honestly, it could not be worse outside: there is patchy snow -- looking not unlike the hide of a Holstein cow. Since we went through a thaw a few days back, followed by a freeze, the snow is not gentle or pretty: it's frozen icy patchy snow. The pathways/sidewalks/roads/driveways that were meticulously plowed, were subjected to a night of pounding ice and sleet. Since we are below freezing, everything is slick. And since the temperatures are only falling (a one day super deep freeze is coming tomorrow), there is no melting of that ice in sight. Oh, the roads and highways will be salted to the max (it's sooooo slick right now!) and so travel will eventually return to a winter normal, but Ed and I will not use salt on the farmette lands. And so, in moving from cars to farmhouse, from sheep shed to garage, we must navigate one stubborn layer of frozen ice, topped with more sleet and ice, because all day long we are under an ice/sleet,winter mix storm warning.

Have I made my case? It's mean weather!

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(Some would argue that there is a prettiness to it all: ice and sleet and wintry stuffs on bare branches are not unattractive. But cast your eyes on the ground and take a few steps forward and you'll not say another kind word about this type of weather.)

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Cats are hungry. Stop Sign digs in first. Jacket is getting more bold. Camera? Nina? Who cares. Move over, mom!

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Our own breakfast is late.  We'd spent not a small amount of time trying to clear the cars and the walkway to the farmhouse. I would pound on the quickly forming ice, Ed would shovel it away. And then a new layer would form and we'd do it all over again.

Finally, a late morning pause...

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I suppose it could have been worse. I was concerned about heading out for Snowdrop and even more concerned about taking her back here, beyond the well salted roads of Madison. But, the temperatures hovered just below freezing and so the salted roads were slushy and drivable.

Still, I must have told the little one a million times: walk slowly and carefully! You are navigating ice!

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(I'd like to think she is impressed by how well we had chipped away at the ice leading up to the farmhouse!)

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Once inside, we slide comfortably into our routine. First comes the snack and the introduction of any new books, or the rereading of favorites. Today I have a new one, but from a familiar series. The book has some tricky twists to it. To Snowdrop, it's too scary. She tells me to stop right there in the middle. I don't want to let her off the hook. It's not that scary! I continue. She runs away to hide in the sun room, closing the door for emphasis. I continue. My voice picks up a celebratory tone which carries beyond the closed door. She is curious and comes back for the final chapters. I'd say this is not an unusual way for us to get through a slightly scary text.

Satisfied and satiated, she is ready for play!

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And we continue thus until evening draws near. We have a slightly different game plan for tonight: Snowdrop and I head out to pick up mom at work and then we make our way to the gym. The little girl has been taking gymnastics classes for several weeks now and today I have a chance to observe her at it. I am so impressed! Here, she can fly free and test her own reserves of strength and flexibility. She is a cautious girl by nature, but at the gym, she is unafraid.

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There will always be kids who are bolder, pushier than she is...

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But I think by now, she understands that success is relative: your finest moments come when you challenge yourself and emerge victorious. Somersaults? Other kids have been doing them at her age, I'm sure. But it took a gym class to have her try one. That she can do it now is its own sweet reward.

(A trampoline, on the other hand, has been a favorite since... dare I say it... since she tried one at the Tuileries Gardens a couple of years back.)

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I drive home smiling. Horrible weather. Still, lots of reasons to smile.