Posted tagged ‘day lilies’

“One of the most important days of my life, was when I learned to ride a bicycle.”

March 19, 2018

Winter has no idea it’s time to go. The days are cold and the nights even colder. The sun has a sharpness but no warmth. The breeze is slight but chilly. We are expecting snow Wednesday. The amount is still in question. Poor spring has no idea its arrival and welcome tomorrow will be so frosty. I suppose there is some comfort in saying it’s spring as we bundle up tomorrow.

This morning I noticed a purple crocus has joined the yellows. I also saw more green tops have broken through the soil. I think they might be irises. The day lilies have started poking their heads out of the ground. The garden is astir.

When I was a kid, I had spring jackets. They were unlined and zippered. Their colors were bright and welcoming to the eyes after winter coats. I was always in a hurry to start wearing one and used the calendar as my starting place, not the weather. My mother disagreed, and she always won. I was stuck wearing that heavy winter coat until my mother deemed the weather warm enough for a change in wardrobe.

Riding bikes on a spring day was as much a part of the changing season as the arrival of the crocus. I’d haul my bike out of the cellar, up the stairs, hop on, ride down the grassy hill and take off, no specific destination in mind. It was all about the ride. The sides of the streets were filled with sand, left over from the winter and snowy roads, so I’d bike on the sidewalk. On one street, the sidewalk always had frost heaves. It was the best ride, all bumpy and fun. We’d go to the school yard and skid on purpose in the sand. The bike tires would leave looping trails behind us. The swooshing sound from braking in the sand was the best part. We’d try and outdo each other with the longest skid.

The ride home was easy until my street. It was a huge hill, and that early in the spring I couldn’t pedal up the whole way being out of practice. I’d have to wheel my bike from about the halfway point. By the end of spring, though, I could pedal all the way up the hill, but I always got tired at that halfway point. I’d have to stand to use all my strength to pedal. I always expected an ovation of some sort when I made it all the way up the hill on my bike.

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”

June 29, 2014

The day is breathtakingly beautiful. My day lilies in the front garden have started to bloom with orange flowers tilted to the sun. The deck pots are awash with flowers, and the vegetables seem to double in height each day. Birds are plentiful at the sunflower feeders, and the grape jelly needs to be refilled. It seems the orioles have found their feeders. On the deck this morning were two grey spawns, two huge grey spawns, chasing one another. I watched them jump from chair to chair then jump off the deck to scurry up trees one after the other. I think love is in the air.

My neighbors at the other end of the street had company last night. Their voices carried through the chilly night air. I felt like an eavesdropper so I shut my windows, but those voices brought back a flood of memories of summer nights when I was a kid. All the neighborhood back doors faced each other from houses at the top and bottom of a tall grassy hill. I’d lie in bed on a summer night trying to fall asleep in the heat, and I could hear the neighbors. The closest neighbors had distinct voices, whole conversations, while those from up the hill seemed more like whispers. I’d hear the clink of dishes and silverware being washed. The houses were duplexes, and their floor plans were all the same. The sinks had windows above them and they all faced the hill. Soon enough, though, as the night got older, the sounds from the kitchens faded.

One of my bedroom windows faced the living room of the duplex beside ours where my Aunt Ruby, Uncle Billy and Cousin Susan lived for a while. I used to listen to their TV. Most nights it was the last sound I’d hear before I fell asleep.

My street is busy this week. The house beside me, the rental, has people. The other usually empty houses, all second homes, have owners down for the weekend or even the week with July 4th coming Friday. Mornings and evenings are noisier than I am used to, but I’ll adjust. Besides, I’ll be making my own noises soon enough when Saturday night movies on the deck begin. I can hardly wait for the premier.

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”

March 29, 2013

The day is lovely, sunny and fairly warm. I stood outside a long while this morning checking out the lower forty: okay, a bit of an exaggeration there. It was the side yard where the day lilies grow. I noticed their shoots are all above the ground. In the front garden the most beautiful cluster of yellow flowers is blooming. It deserves a picture so I’ll go back out later. All of the crocus are up: purple, yellow, white and a few variegated. I’m thinking they are the best harbingers of spring.

My feeders are empty again, good thing I bought more seed yesterday when I did my errands. Gracie and I did four of them including the dump and Agway, her two favorite spots. I also stopped at Hot Diggity Dog and bought Gracie some pastries for Easter then went next store to Buckies Biscotti and treated myself to lunch and a cupcake. It was altogether a most satisfying day.

We always had Good Friday off from school though the nuns expected us, the older kids, to pick an hour to do vigil between noon and three. The vigil was in the downstairs church, never in the big church upstairs. I remember how dark and quiet the church was. All the statues were covered in purple cloth. The only sounds were the creaking of the pews as people came and went or just tried to make themselves more comfortable on the wooden pews. I remember wearing play clothes to do vigil, even pants. It wasn’t like a Sunday when you had to wear a dress. There was always a nun sitting in the back checking us in and out. We only had to stay an hour, but it seemed far longer just sitting there quietly and supposedly praying. I sneaked in a book a couple of times and got caught once. The nun just held out her hand, and I gave it to her. I must have look too suspiciously pious with my head bent in constant prayer. She gave me back the book when I left.

Some years, when I was teaching, Good Friday was just before April vacation week so I got to leave early, on Thursday night, for Europe. I usually went every April. One year my sister and I went to London. She had never been there, and I had been there several times so I let her pick what she wanted to do, and we did everything on her list and more. I remember waking up on Easter morning and finding the Easter Bunny had left fudge eggs and cards, both compliments of our parents who had sneaked them to each of us to give to the other. That Easter Sunday we went to Windsor Castle, and there were huge crowds wandering around and a band was playing. I remember it was really windy and cold. That’s my strongest memory of that Easter Sunday.