Saturday, March 23, 2019

back at the farmette...

There's art in figuring out what should be the right time to leave. Optimize your happy enjoyment, but don't push it to a point where you'll say -- I should have left when the going was good. On the other hand, you don't want to take off and then look back with regrets -- it was so nice! I should have stayed...

I don't think feeling regretful is healthy. Of course, if you hurt someone, do feel sorry! But having deep regrets at every turn seems to me pointless. Learn from mistakes, do better next time and don't think too much about what could have been. And don't ever fret about the turns you took and paths you followed.

For instance, I did not for a moment fret about leaving Paris too early.

I needed time at home. True, I was robbed of some of that extra time yesterday, as I was stuck in Minneapolis for five hours while the airline tried  (unsuccessfully in the end) to fix a mechanical problem on the little plane that was to take us to Madison.

I was tired and I was watching minutes that I hoped to have at home slip right through my fingers, but  there were some stellar moments in that wait: everyone was cooperative and maintained a healthy attitude toward the delay. (Because of great weather, it was the only delay out of hundreds of flights that took off from MSP that day. Rotten luck!) No anger, no manifest frustration, not even resignation. A collective -- "oh well, these things happen."

There was a family of seven -- five very young kids plus parents -- who'd already been traveling for a several hours that day. The kids were restless, so they scurried and tumbled and figured ways to take apart the gates and climb over each other. Not one passenger rolled his or her eyes, grumbled, winced. We were entertained! And the parents rolled with the punches and eventually we all boarded another plane at the other side of the airport and life moved on.

If you're lucky, life always moves on.

One goal I did want to accomplish with the earlier return was finishing my check up -- you know, the one I had undertaken just hours before my flight took off. Travel, marked by these odd bookmarks!  Despite the delays and despite a very busy clinic, I checked it off: done! (I have to say,  for all the complaints that are rightly levied against the health care system, there are aspects of it that are truly extraordinary. I was impressed at how smoothly things functioned given a sudden rush of patients with various needs and medical issues that seemed to pop up at the end of the day. Now if we can only figure out how to give everyone access to these talented, hardworking, compassionate health care professionals, how good would that be!)

I did not get back to the farmhouse until late, very very late but that was just fine. Ed had done his best to maintain the place up to my standards and in fact was eager to show off that he had begun the onerous task of cleaning both the garage and the basement. I was impressed, though terribly sleepy. But this morning, I continued to be impressed!

I never have any problems with jet lag on the return. Typically I just want to get up a little earlier -- well big deal! These early minutes of the day are great for unpacking the suitcase, making grocery shopping lists, catching up with daughters.

Ed sleeps in while I take stock of what has changed in the week that I've been away. Most importantly, most of the snow and ice are gone!

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Indeed, it's a beautiful day! I may have missed a gorgeous sunny day in Paris, but I gained a gorgeous sunny day at the farmette.

As for the animals: there has been a reshuffling. Stop Sign, the mother cat, is mostly on the prowl. She comes over sometime during the day, eats a little, lingers for a short while and then disappears again. Whiskers, the Maine Coon hasn't been coming back, to the best of our knowledge. As for the little guys -- Dance and Jacket -- oh, they are there and waiting for me!

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Still a little shy, but they are now hanging out in two places -- garage, just a little, and then under and around the writer's shed.

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Ed says he spooked them when he was working on cleaning out the garage, but I think they're just happy to go wherever there is lots of sunshine all day long, at the same time that they can beat a hasty retreat (under the shed) if they need to.

The cheepers are under the good care of this guy:

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Unlike during the winter months, when hawks patrolled the farmette constantly, we have had few recent sightings of these predators. And the hens are laying like crazy so we are now flush with eggs.

Okay, Ed! It's late enough! Breakfast!
Yes, gorgeous. Yawn. You have to wonder if he missed this intrusion of this morning meal!

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After grocery shopping, I take care of all that needs my attention. But I'm not so crazy busy that I do not notice the coming of spring here. Maybe we're not flush with blooming flowers, but remember -- a week ago there was a solid layer of ice and snow. Today, I find this:

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The first tulips are always so welcome and they are also quickly devoured by our resident groundhog and bunny rabbit population. Still, seeing those buds, in addition to the scores of daffodil stalks pushing through the ground is truly joyous. Indeed, everything seems pretty joyous right now: recalling the wonderful week away, and loving so much being back.

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I spend a good three afternoon hours clearing the flower fields. At one point, I glance at my watch and notice it's 4 pm. I would just be coming in for a landing now, had I traveled according to my original schedule. And here I am, medical appointments checked off, laundry done, shopping for the week -- accomplished, flower beds raked.

Sweet sweet memories of beautiful encounters in Warsaw. Of strolls along Lake Como. Of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. And such happy, happy thoughts about being back.