Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Every few weeks, well, maybe months, you're entitled to give yourself a thoughtful day. It should be a day where you can finish the sentences running through your head, where you challenge yourself to think deeper and read the commentary and consider the alternatives.

As we wake up, Ed asks -- want to go to Ireland for two three months? Then maybe New Zealand? And Costa Rica? Experience life elsewhere for a bit?
Who would take care of the cats? -- I ask, as if this were the most important consideration.
We'd get someone to live here, of course.
What if we didn't like the place we land in?
That's the beauty of being on the move: you can always get up and try something else. For a while.

I give what is the obvious answer, so obvious that my saying it is unnecessary, but I say it anyway, because this is our dialogue in recent weeks:
I will never leave my children and grandchildren for that long. Would you leave me if I stayed?
Of course not, gorgeous. But, want to see the world, experience different cultures anyway?

It's a cool day. Gray, a little drizzly here and there. The cats greet me now en masse and both Dance and Dark Pink ask to be petted as the others watch, fascinated that this humanoid is accepted by two of their lot.

I give them some food (they're all eating again!) and a lot of sweet words and then I tend to the flower fields. Not with real care. Just the usual snipping, this time with clippers, because stems left empty of flowers aren't that attractive.

(morning views)

farmette life-3.jpg

farmette life-9.jpg

farmette life-18.jpg

farmette life-21.jpg

I'd been up really late and so I had intended to go back to sleep after these morning rituals, but Ed is awake and chatty and so we stay in bed and talk our silly Ireland, or sometimes Iceland, or occasionally New Zealand talk instead.

Breakfast, on the porch.

farmette life-27.jpg

I made a list of things that I need to accomplish in the next three or four days, but it doesn't include things like "think deeply" or "work patiently and creatively." It does include things like "imagine my days of travel," because I have a trip before me (next week!) and I want to imagine it first so that I can slide into a role that is deliberate rather than merely reactive. When I'm on the road on my own, I can let the river run its own course. I don't think much about what I might be doing on a given day. But when I travel with the young family (as I will be doing once more), I don't want to let go of opportunities.

*   *   *

I got an email with info about a new cafe that opened nearby.
It's the closest one to us! -- I tell Ed, with not a small amount of glee.
Oasis (aka Paul's cafe) is closer...
Nope! This one is only 2.5 miles. Oasis (where we used to hang out day after day after day in years past) is 3.1!  I can only win arguments with Ed with my fingers clicking away at google.

The new place is called Finca (farm in Spanish) and it's owned and run by a woman, Marleni Valle, who hails from El Salvador, and whose husband landed an opportunity in town and so here they came. The place is her passion. The coffee is fantastic! No surprise -- she has teamed with the 4 Monkeys Coffee Roasters in El Salvador -- world barista champs and renowned roasters -- and every cup is heavenly. In addition, they serve some food, including the El Salvadoran dish "pupusa" (a grilled, stuffed tortilla).

Can you put aside Costa Rica for now, and settle for an El Salvadoran adventure, and hang out at Finca?

We bike over, the longer way, via the bike path (15-20 mins each way).

I very much like the place. The vibe is very cool (that's as important in a cafe as the coffee and food) and the papusas -- a yummy comfort food (ours are stuffed with beans and cheese, but you can add pork to it as well).

farmette life-37.jpg

It threatens to really rain on our ride back. See those skies?

farmette life-42.jpg

We make it back without getting soaked. Amazing.

*    *    *

Toward evening, we attend an event run by an organization we support -- Groundswell Conservancy. The gathering is at Oak Grove Farm: they're showing off their beautiful prairie. I can't say that the weather is spectacular for it: cool, with the threat of rain. Nonetheless, the farm is less than two miles up the road from us. A hilly road.

We'll take our bikes -- this from Ed. You do not argue with a guy who wants to push exercise on you for all the right reasons.

(Rusty steel buffalo, in the farmer's prairie...)

farmette life-61.jpg

(prairie trail...)

farmette life-79.jpg

(prairie selfie...)

farmette life-97.jpg

(the necessities: oaks and milkweed...)

farmette life-106.jpg

Back at the farmette, the kittens are hungry! Patience -- I tell them. We must wait until the cheepers retire for the night.

In the meantime, one last view of the garden for us all. Before the last blooms wilt and the trees turn pale gold.

farmette life-43.jpg