Monday, October 13, 2008

A Typical Day

Mrs. G of Derfwad Manor has a lovely reader who asked Mrs. G to chronicle a typical day. Perhaps because she is a good share bear and perhaps because she wanted company, the great Mrs. G invited her readers to participate.

Aren't you fascinated by a peek into other peoples' lives? Doesn't it seem like a walk through a pretty neighborhood on a clear night, when all the dining room windows are lit with candles and the families are gathered around cheerful tables?

It's just exactly what blogs are good for: making us feel less alone in our journeys through the neighborhood of life.

So here goes a typical day in my life:

At 6;30 a.m. I wake to the sound of Laura babbling. She's nine months old and often ends up in our bed just after midnight. So this morning, for instance, I woke to her repeatedly asking for "Dada" and crawling on top of my head, pulling my hair as she reached for the ever-fascinating headboard.

We stay in bed until my husband is out of the shower. Then slacking is somehow unspokenly disallowed. I sit up so as to appear that I'm conscious. After 16 years of marriage, the EGE still plays along with this charade.

Before I can actually put feet to the floor, Grace (4) stumbles in, rubbing her eyes. Any noise will wake the child. Madeleine (almost 10) and Sarah (8) will sleep through a thunderstorm or fire trucks' sirens, but Grace is still afraid she might miss something good. I pull on jeans and a t-shirt, tying my Converse for the day.

So Grace and Laura and I make our way downstairs as the EGE is leaving the door at about 7. I walk through our ancient, frigid laundry room (because 120-year-old church buildings are built with my comfort in mind) into the kitchen, lighting the gas range as I pass. I fill the teakettle the night before so it doesn't take much cognitive functioning to start my hot water.

I change a diaper and make breakfast for Grace before the teakettle is steaming. Its scream might or might not wake the big girls. If we still had to rush out the door to school I would call for them, but I let them sleep.

When they do bumble into the kitchen, they are usually already dressed. Without many words Madeleine takes the back door to the tiny horse barn, Sarah to the chicken chalet. They do "chores." Most importantly, they bring the paper back when they come in. I serve them breakfast.

We talk about school. They open their books at the table and start spelling drills. Madeleine cross-references in her dictionary until it's snack time. I love this part of the day. Sarah and Madeleine both take turns on the computer for math. Grace sings her alphabet song until the big girls beg me to send her upstairs out of earshot. The baby crawls around in vain search of stickers or other choking hazards. My head starts to spin. We call it lunchtime.

If we're lucky, it's not Monday, because on Monday, the General Store is closed. Our general store is a deli, and is about a quarter-mile from our house. We like to walk there because the chicken soup is homemade without me making it. Also the "regulars" get a kick out of my gaggle of girls. One delightful elderly neighbor says each and every time we enter, "Why, you children are just too pretty to be boys." It makes him guffah. The girls laugh politely and get the crayons from a shelf by the kitchen.

I read the paper and make lists. Actually, I do this almost all day long. My lists are as ever-present as my half-cups of coffee.

After lunch we power walk up the hill to the big stables. I huff and puff while the girls float on tiny energy jets we can't see.

Back at home I do laundry and dishes until my head spins again. The girls are lost in their books or in their secret fairyland or in the barn while Laura naps. Sometimes I blog, sometimes I work on a letter, sometimes I take phone calls for my real estate brokerage. Not so often on that one anymore.

Quick! Before the baby wakes up! I remember to jump in the shower and wash my hair. Yes, I know it's 3:30 in the afternoon. Without fail a neighbor will stop by when my hair is wet. Can we help watch so-and-so while they get the hay in? Can we watch for their newspaper while they're gone? Do we have any honey? Have we noticed the bee population declining?

Madeleine and Sarah both like to cook. They want to help with dinner. I bargain with them: one can play with Laura and read to Grace while the other stirs the soup. Tomorrow we'll remember to switch duties. They all are distracted by Legos and I finish dinner.

The EGE calls to say whether he's working late. Usually, lately, yes.

We eat soup. We carry laundry upstairs. We find our books and read in bed. We love our life.


Deirdre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deirdre said...


I really enjoyed reading your day in the life. Thanks for sharing! I love how you ended the post especially.

Mrs. G. said...

I can see why you love your life. Thanks for playing along.

Katie said...

Such is the life of the farm girl. You need to put up more pic's tho' rock with that camera of yourn. :)

Alexis - Chickie Momma said...

I love your life now too!
Very nice word pictures, but I'm with KL - more REAL pictures next time! :)

Aly said...

I would love to see more pictures as well because the ones you have posted are stunning. I am jealous and want to move in with you!

HonuGirl said...

Great post Miriam... thanks for sharing from your precious world -- yes, the photos are amazing!!

g said...

Beautiful. What an amazing place to live. How wonderful and fulfilling and satisfying. And gathering warmly together at the day's end.

Farm Chick Paula said...

Hello, Miriam- your life sounds wonderful!!!
And I can relate to getting up in the morning... Hubby knows he better play along with my sitting up to appear conscious... however, the fact that one eye is usually not focusing and pointing in a different direction usually means otherwise.

Oh and by the way... you asked me about 4 years ago about how to tell which hens are laying? If you don't catch them in the act, the only way I've found that works (sometimes) is to see which ones combs are the reddest... something to do with fertility I guess. (Or lots of Cover Girl blush)