Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday and now I'm 66

I was fifty when I wrote my first Ocean post. Oh my gosh! I'm still putting up a daily post at 66?? So young then! Not even close to retirement. Not a senior. Kids at the university, earning grades for work well done. Snowdrop? Primrose? Sparrow? Not even imaginable. Hey, even Ed was an unknown character, freshly moved into his reconstructed sheep shed, but not in any way crossing my path. Then. The farmette was really different back in those days. We found his photos of it recently -- really different!

And today I'm a super senior! Because 66 sure seems to me to be well into those years of discount fares and shoes with special soles and maybe even hearing aids. I mean not just yet, but one of these years! (Hey Ed, can you turn up the TV? Seriously?) Years when you go around saying you no longer care what people think (it's not true, but you say it anyway) and you wear clothes that are comfortable and you cut back on your beloved wine because, well, it wakes you up at night. As does everything else.

So it's my birthday. It is also Sunday, and Easter, and the weekend of Passover. All important, yes, quite so. Happy celebrating, everyone! But you know what truly stands out on this day for all of us in the Upper Midwest? The brilliantness of the weather! My daughter asks -- have you ever had such a gorgeous day on your birthday?? And I have to say -- I've had good ones, but this is beyond the beyond!

Throw open the windows! Listen to the birds! Get up, get up! Do not waste a minute of something so magnificent!

So first of all, what's growing at the farmette right now? Well, of course, the daffodils have erupted!

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I see them here, there, out front...

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... framing the farmhouse from all sides.

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(All this on my morning walk to feed the kitties. Hi Dance, hi Jacket! Isn't spring well worth the wait?)

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Breakfast? Well now, there can be no hesitation: on the porch!

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And then we plunge into work outside. I have my annuals to plant. Ed? He has too many projects to even list here. My birthday begins the busiest month for us -- there is no end to all that we want to do. But I convince him that taking down some branches and indeed, taking down a whole tree are a top priority. It's all going to come crashing toward the flower beds. Better do it now while the buds are small. Most will recover if we trample over them now. But they wont if we wait any longer.

Perhaps the most challenging job is to take down the tree that's by the path to the house. If it crashes onto the glass porch roof (which is where it leans right now) -- well that's a terrible outcome. But, Ed has watched enough youtubes on how to change the direction of a fall that he is semi confident. And indeed, the tree does a perfect tumble, away from the roof, away from the lily bed. Nice work!

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The cheepers come over to check out all the activity.

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It's so warm (high of 78f, or 26c) that they do a quick inspection...

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... then retreat to the barn where they have a grand time rolling around in dust for their holiday baths.

Okay, back to my annuals. Ed had salvaged two hanging baskets I had purchased last year and had discarded once the flowers finished their seasonal run. (Of course he did: he wont throw away reusable items.) He hangs them strategically on trees and I have to admit, I like the way they look there. So I fill them. With pansies...

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... and with a mix of begonias, alyssum and an interesting foliage plant that I'd never heard of.

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Some of my wooden planters are really too old and a bit broken, but so long as I don't move them, they remain serviceable. I planted half today. I'll finish the rest later in the week.

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Butterflies, moths, they're all so happy to see blooming flowers again!

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In between helping Ed with the tree chopping and planting the pots, I come in to stick a cake in the oven and get dinner prepped for tonight. It is, after all, Easter, and Sunday, so even without the thrown in birthday, there should be some yummy dessert. Why not just purchase a cake, you ask? Well, because I like my own! Rather than the standard buttercream, I just use a bit of whipped cream with pureed fresh strawberries in it and then dribbled over the top. All this over a chocolate base. Perfect for a spring cake.

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The young family comes over and of course, it's all very festive! Easter! Birthday! Porch day!

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Ah, porch day... It can't be perfect, can it? Snowdrop, in her excitement, steps outside and tumbles on the steps, banging her head on the hard brick surface. The egg on her forehead is tremendous.

She is a tough little girl. The day is just too happy for her. She bounces back and soon enough, she insists I open my presents.

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You should wear it tonight, Gaga!

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(Sparrow is more interested in playing with the little girl's old train.)

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Extra lap time and a favorite book help the sore head feel better.

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We Facetime with the Chicago young family. It's as if we were all out on the porch...


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He likes it!

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She likes it!

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Afterwards, Snowdrop asks if I would go out with her for a farmette romp. I know what will excite her: the hose is on for the season! Here you go, little one! Spray the world with water!

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It's time for the family to head home...

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Oh, but it was a beautiful day! I hope next year I wont be surprised on April 21st with a snowstorm, just to remind me that exceptional days can go either way. This year, it went in the direction of near perfection.

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Late evening. Dishes done. I join Ed outside for a handful of minutes. This is the contemplative, restful time of the day.

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We see the first bats do their dusk dance overhead. In the distance, there is the unmistakable call of the sandhill crane. Jacket and Dance come out and take in the day's last bit of light with us.

Such a full, glorious Sunday. Glorious weekend, actually. Such a sublime way to begin one's 67th year on this beautiful planet.