Thursday, November 21, 2019


Last night I did something that I rarely do: I reread a whole chapter of my blog, one day after the next. True, it was a short chapter (from October 30 until November 20), but I wanted to see if I could make sense of this period where Ed sailed and I faced farmette life on my own. I learned a lot in these days -- about the benefits and shortcomings of living here, about the story I need to frame about farmette life in order to make it a sustainable, indeed lovable existence. So I wanted to review it.

I was reminded of how, at the beginning of the chapter, I wanted to purge stuff within the farmhouse. That seems like ancient news, no? Clean up, throw out, wash away. It didn't happen.

In truth, the farmhouse stayed very clean inside. (I'm a neat person. So are my daughters. We cant stand messes.) But the outside -- the farmette landscape -- proved to bring the greatest surprises and challenges. I learned that the animals here have trapped me. Chickens, cats, especially in the coldest days, required me to be here, or at least they made me feel that I could not just walk away (should, for example, the farmette management prove to be too much).

The outdoor lands seemed ominous and threatening under extreme weather conditions. Left to manage the tasks of tending to them in the way that I tend to outdoor stuff in late fall, I felt myself to be overwhelmed.

All this reinforced the belief that the reason I had grown to love this place is that it was part of a story in my mind (and certainly in the blog), where Ed and I expressed our affection for each other through work on the farmette. In other words Ed, and my love for him, is a prerequisite to life here.

 *   *   *

The rain at night washed the landscape, cleaning it of the residue of a tough late Fall.

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It's a rushed morning. Schools are closed today (parent teacher conferences) and so the kids are coming here early. I quickly feed the cats, keep the cheepers locked up and hurry to Finca Cafe. This is where I have arranged to pick up Sparrow and Snowdrop.

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Both kids are seasoned eat-outers and yet, due to birth order and seasonal imperatives, it struck me that I have rarely (never?) taken Sparrow to a coffee shop. Snowdrop and I would routinely walk the neighborhood of her school and wind up at the cafe by the lesser lake. Sam and I have not had the same adventuring escapades.

Both kids are delightful of course and a good bit of time passes with us just hanging here.

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At home again, there are the routines: she imagines, he dances....

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And then they both eat lunch...

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And he naps and she has a wonderful hour of magna-tile play.

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*   *   *

Late in the day, I grocery shop. Ed will be returning late tonight and I just don't know how tomorrow morning will work. And so I want to leave it open.

At home,  I cook up chicken soup. Because, if anyone is hungry today, tomorrow, or the next day, there will be home-made chicken soup.

*   *   *

When I am driving from Finca with the kids this morning, Snowdrop pipes up from the back seat.
Gaga, do you have happiness?
I am not surprised. The little girl often probes these topics, especially during our car rides.
Of course, I answer. I'm so happy to be driving home with my wonderful Snowdrop and Sparrow.
She thinks for a while, then continues -- there's lots of happiness in your life, if you find it. Then she repeats it, as if for emphasis.