Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Day of Unexpected Pleasures

I guess if you see something magical you are bound to have a great day afterwards. Yesterday I was talking on the phone to my brother when I noticed a flurry of activity in the bird bath. I looked to see what kind of bird it was, and it wasn't a bird. It was a heavily pregnant and delightful little field mouse, enjoying the luxury of a bath. She washed her small self diligently, left the water and shook like a dog, combed her whiskers, smoothed the fur on her face and scampered away. It was so unexpected, and she was so dainty. I guess even a lady mouse needs to freshen up occasionally. (Photo is by Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan.)

So today had to be good right? And it was. It was a warm, sunny day. I was up early, feeling very well, got the housework out of the way in short order and headed for town to buy some badly needed groceries.

The Robert's family fruit and bakery stand down the road opened this week, so on my way into town I stopped for produce and (sighs with exasperation) bought two beautiful pink and white flowered geraniums, along with beautiful asparagus, strawberries, apples, new potatoes, tomatoes and cookies. The geraniums I bought at Robert's last year were the prettiest things, and I will find a home to tuck these into. They are raised by a local man whose passion is geraniums, and it shows.

Then it was on to the locally owned small market. I think I always mortified my kids when they were teenagers by talking to other shoppers in the grocery store. I think of a village market and how people stop and chat. That seems so friendly and nice to me and it seems that somehow we enter a cone of silence when we walk into a supermarket. Some people act as if you've hit them with a cattle prod if you smile and say hello, others respond by edging away, but some act like real people and talk back!

I usually try to find an older lady with a pretty hat, top or scarf and tell her how nice she looks, how the colour compliments her eyes or how well-coordinated her outfit is. So often older women are treated as if they are invisible, even though it's clear many take great care to dress and groom themselves beautifully. Last week a 90-year-old told me about her 99-year-old sister with Alzheimer's, and her own struggle with ill health, yet she was dressed so carefully and had on a pretty hat. She was so thrilled that someone noticed that she was still taking care to look nice. She said she lives alone now and it's hard to keep up your spirits when you have outlived friends and family.

Today there was a lady about my age who had on a very smart jacket, and I told her how nice she looked. She responded by telling me she made all her own clothes, including the outfit she was wearing. She told me how she loved sewing and fabrics, and we had a nice conversation about what a pleasure it is just to go in and fondle our fabric stashes. Of course I don't make my own clothes, in fact I just gave my brand-new and never used sewing machine to a young woman with a family who needed one. My back will not allow me to sit over sewing machine any more. But I can still hand sew, and I enjoy quilting, when I'm not out mucking around in the garden.

I had just gotten home with the groceries when our friends Pat and Claude arrived. We were expecting them a bit later in the day but any time they come we are happy to see them. They had their five-year-old grandson with them. He's a very bright little guy who talks a mile a minute and is as restless as a cricket. I fell head over heels in love with him within about three minutes, but they would not give him to me.

And for dessert tonight, rhubarb and strawberries with custard! I cooked the rhubarb/strawberry mix, but knowing that my "custards" usually end up being more like scrambled egg I bought a little four pack of pudding cups.

When I took the wrapper off I discovered that there was a free MP3 download code included. I have never downloaded music before but I knew 'zackly what I wanted, and was hoping they had it. They did!

I downloaded Jonathan Edward's Carolina Caroline, which has long been a favorite, but I hadn't been able to find it. I am one happy camper. What a lovely day! Now only if there was a dish fairy, like Tinkerbell but with a dishmop and scrubbie. Life would be perfect.

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