Posted tagged ‘buds’

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”

April 7, 2017

We’re back from the appointment for Gracie at the vets. The good news is she didn’t have a stroke. The head tilt is probably from a lesion on her brain which may cause problems down the road, but she is fine for now. Her weak back legs are just that, weaker than her front. I should continue what I am doing to help her get around. Gracie was given a refill of her pain meds and got shots which were due anyway.

I had my MRI, but it is too early to hear the results. I figure there won’t be anything there, my lower back, as the earlier MRI’s showed nothing.

The most painful part of the last two days has been the $700 the two appointments cost me. I won’t ever be cured of that.

Yesterday it poured all day, a deluge to use my mother’s description, but today is the loveliest of days. The sky is a deep blue. The sun is bright, an almost need to squint bright. It is warm. When I left the house at nine, it was already 48˚. It is flannel shirt weather, a downgrade (or maybe an upgrade) from sweatshirt weather. I could do my outside work today. I still have that list, but I don’t want to for no reason except maybe relief. I was worried about Gracie. I still am, but it is a general worry about keeping an old dog healthy. The dread is gone. I just want to enjoy the afternoon, maybe sit on the deck with the sun on my face.

Lots of green shoots are appearing in my front garden. I saw the bumpy bud of a hyacinth this morning. Its color is starting to appear, a light purple. Daffodils are blooming. The yellow ones are first. The white ones are budded and waiting their turn. On my trip down Cape last Tuesday, I sat in a line of traffic on 6A. It was a long line so I had time to look around. I saw a tree with tiny, tiny buds. They were red and easy to see. I was thrilled. For me, that is the second sign of spring, after the bulbs flower.

My grass is squishy with mud. The ground wasn’t frozen when the days of rain began last week so the extra water just stayed right there, right on top, making the grass muddy. Footprints stay when you walk across the lawn. I try to avoid that.

I’m getting sucked in. I can feel it. Today makes me want to believe it’s really spring, but this is New England, and there are no guarantees so I’m still a bit skeptical, but the weather report is so amazing I can feel that skepticism draining away. By mid-next week, we may hit 60˚ and 50’s all the way to get there. That’s spring. No doubt about it.

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”

February 23, 2015

Tonight’s projected temperature is -2˚. I have nothing to say. Complaints don’t help and neither do prayers. Loud sighs are just  an audible angst caused by this winter.

If I could be anywhere, I would choose somewhere warm but not too warm, not sweaty warm. A breeze would be pleasant. I don’t need an ocean. I mostly need color. I want beautiful flowers in window boxes and along the sides of walkways. I want to be stopped in my tracks by the luscious gardens. I want people wearing clothes made from bright cloths with colorful designs. I want to eat outside at a table under a tree. I want just picked fresh fruit. Music would be nice. A single guitar player would be enough. I’d sit and linger over my meal. Finally, I’d be ready to move on. I’d applaud and tip the guitar player, pay my bill then take a leisurely walk. I’d smile a lot. That would be a best day.

I don’t want to live in Florida to escape winter. As ugly as this one has been, it is still just winter, worst than most, but it will end and spring will follow. I always greet the first sunrise of spring, my welcome to the hopeful season.

I love spring mornings when the birds sing to embrace the new day and the air has a freshness redolent with the sweet smell of flowers. I check my front garden every morning so I know when a flower has bloomed or a new shoot has appeared. I drink my coffee and read the papers on the back deck. I watch the birds at the feeders. Spring has a newness every year. I marvel at every flower.

I know this the dead of winter. but I also know spring is coming. I just have to be patient.

“How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.

February 21, 2015

Pollyanna and her glad game have no place around here. She’d be struck mute. 28˚ doesn’t merit hats, horns or balloons. I’m still astonished today’s paper called this a warming trend. It also warned the cold would be back next week. Our definition of cold seems to have been forever altered after the last two weeks.

I am not one to run to warm places in the winter. In January one year I went to Morocco. Despite it being their winter, it was comparatively warm to winter here. The Moroccans wore winter coats and wool caps. I wore a sweatshirt.

Springs makes me forget winter. I exalt in the green shoots which appear first in my garden. I watch their progress. The buds sheathed in green are next and then color starts to appear through the green. I want to yell and cheer. Finally the first flowers bloom, always the croci (I did have four years of Latin) and the hyacinths. Purple, white and yellow flowers dot the side and front gardens. I always stop and admire the flowers for the colorful miracles they are.

At Christmas I take a ride to see the lights. I hunger for color. I stop for a bit at the brightest houses. I even sit in the car to look at my house strung with both white and colored lights shining through the darkness. Even now I have lights on part of my deck rail and on a couple of bottle trees in the backyard. The prayer flags and the Mexican banners hung between trees in my yard are victims of the wind and snow. I miss them.

I go on flower rides in the early spring. The yards along 6A are filled with croci, hyacinth and tulips. I love the colors, but even more I love that winter has finally been displaced.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

March 26, 2013

The snow never materialized last night but it did sleet then rain for a short while, and the morning still bears the remnants of the storm though storm seems a bit grandiose a description for a bit of rain and sleet. Our familiar gray skies are back, but the sun has been making quick visits then disappearing to wherever it’s been going for what seems like weeks. I watched the bird feeders while my coffee was dripping, and my suet feeder had a huge guest, a flicker. I also noticed the gold finches are getting brighter. The tops of the hyacinths are appearing above their leaves, and there are several daffodil buds. I think we’re in the two steps forward and only one step back part of spring. It makes me hopeful for one really warm day when I can sit on the deck, close my eyes and fall asleep with the sun on my face.

The perfect day when I was about ten was always in the spring. It was warm and sunny but not hot. I’d wear my spring jacket, my favorite of all jackets. It had a front zipper and was pale pink. The first wearing of that jacket was a symbol back then though symbolism was lost on the young me. I just knew I loved my jacket because it was light and pink and had replaced the heavy, dark winter coats and layers we’d worn for months. Wearing it was the acknowledgment the season had finally changed and winter was passed.

On my perfect day, usually a Saturday, I’d go down the cellar and maneuver my bike out the door and up the stairs. That was never easy. The door faced a wall so the angle was all wrong. I had to lift the front wheel in the air to get the back wheel out. Once up the stairs I’d get on my bike, ride across the side lawn and down the grassy hill, a maneuver forbidden by my dad who’d yell later when he saw the tire marks. I’d always get the how many times do I have to tell you lecture, but the little ride was worth it. My dad just didn’t get how neat it was to start my adventure by going down his small hill. From there, I’d sometimes ride down the big hill on which we lived or I’d take the side street and head toward the field with the horses. I remember how bright the sun seemed and how the trees had buds and the grass was finally turning green. I’d see the colors of the spring flowers blooming above the ground. The air smelled fresh and brand new. I always took my time, not wanting to miss a single thing though I’d taken that same route so many times. I remember feeling joyful and as alive as spring as I rode through the small streets.

I have that same feeling every year on the very first warm spring day even without my bike.

“I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”

February 20, 2012

By this time of year people are usually complaining about the cold and the snow and the whereabouts of spring. You meet someone in the supermarket and right away the conversation turns to the weather where you have common grounds about which to chat as you choose your pasta. The word cold is bandied about as people whine and complain and you pick the ziti. This year, though, is entirely different. Cold has a new definition and complaining has taken a different form. Now we complain when the weather is in the 30’s, a temperature which used to be a reprieve from the freezing days of past winters. Today is 35°, and I think it cold. The weatherman predicts the rest of the week will be in the 40’s and Thursday will be close to 50°. That’s winter, at least this year, and I have no complaints.

This morning I noticed all the green shoots in the garden close to the house. I can see three daffodil bulbs, but I forget what flowers the rest of the shoots belong to. Last fall I planted a bundle of different bulbs so I have no idea what’s coming. I figure that’s like getting a gift from spring.

Summer clothes are always the brightest. Winter clothes seem drab by comparison, and I think that the whole color thing ought to be reversed. In winter we should be dressed as brightly as we can be in orange and yellow and pinks and violets and all their combinations. Usually it is Easter which brings back the color in clothes, and that’s not when we need it. By Easter the world has already begun to color itself in bright blossoms and flowers and berries. The gardens are alive and the tree leaves are fresh and bright. It is in winter when we should be at our most brilliant.

Today I will wear the brightest color I can find, maybe even a Hawaiian shirt. I know I’ll have to wear a long sleeve something underneath to keep me warm, but that’s okay. It’s the color you can see that’s important.

In case you’re wondering, I’m that bedazzling shopper in the pasta aisle.

“Dusting is a good example of the futility of trying to put things right. As soon as you dust, the fact of your next dusting has already been established.”

February 9, 2012

On the ground this morning was a dusting of snow. I even hesitate to use dusting to describe that snow, but I don’t know a smaller word for the amount on the ground. When I went to get the papers, the air reminded me of early spring when the mornings are chilly but hint of a warmer day. It is only 39° now but it is supposed to be in the mid-40’s later. I know this is only February, and I know spring is a long way off, but I can’t help but think of spring on a day like today.

More and more shoots are above the ground in my front garden. A seed catalogue comes every day, and I look through it trying to decide what flowers to add to my garden this year. I have a side garden now which runs along the driveway and needs filling. I have a feeling the garden store staff will applaud every time they see me coming. There might even be balloons!

Today is in-house chore day with washing to do, plants to water, my bed to change and a few places which need polishing. The book-case is so disgusting I could write a novel in all the dust. I’d need a clever title or I could just steal Butler’s title The Way of All Flesh.

Somehow or other all of my doctor’s appointments seem to come in the spring. I figure there is some weird connection between them and the rebirth of the Earth.

For years, I made special dinners and invited friends. I usually made something I hadn’t ever made before because I enjoyed hunting through cookbooks, imagining how the foods would fit together and then preparing the dishes. Lately I’ve been saving recipes and thinking about cooking again. I also just bought a new cupcake pan and want to give it a try. I’ve always been a cake person, but I’m willing to branch out to make a few of cake’s smaller relatives.

Well, the dust is calling me and I need to get the wash going. Today is just going to be one of those days. I’ll hate it, but at the end, even all that cleaning will give me a sense of accomplishment.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.”

February 6, 2012

Okay, I am now looking forward to spring training. On February 19th, pitchers and catchers report, and opening day isn’t all that far away. Last year my Red Sox shot themselves in the feet; I have higher hopes for this year. Someone has to win something.

I have news. My trip to Ghana last year strengthened my love for that country. When I was leaving, I was upset that I had been there for only two weeks, and I swore I’d go back at least one more time. That one more time is in August. I am booked to leave August 24th arriving in Ghana on August 25th and then leaving September 17th and arriving home on the 18th. I found a ticket only $100.00 more than last year, and it includes the roundtrip flights between Boston and Washington and the flights to and from Accra, first class both ways. I get my sleeping pod.

Francisca, my student who is in Ohio and came to visit me here, will be back in Ghana by then and will pick me up at the airport and drive me to Bolga after we visit a few tourist spots. The list includes  Cape Coast, the canopy walk and Elmina. We’ll then backtrack to the Volta Region for the ride north. That is the only region I haven’t seen. I’ll stay with Francisca in her village. It will be rooster alarm clock and bucket bath time again. After my last trip. I’m back to being a bucket bath expert. I hope to bring school supplies with me for the village school. Francisca will make a list of needs, and I’ll try my best to fill them.

Today is a beautiful day, sunny and warm. It is 42° and feels a little like an early spring day when it’s still cold but the air has a hint of what’s to come. I know this is only early February and snow is still a possibility, but I’m thinking spring. My daffodil bud is even more pronounced than it was a few days ago, and there are shoots all over the front garden. I know it’s winter but my hearts sings of spring.