Posted tagged ‘mud’

“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.

“May you live every day of your life.”

January 13, 2017

Today is the last of the warmth. Cold is coming tonight when it will be down to the 20’s. Luckily, though, the snow is gone, and the ground is far drier than it had been. The mud is back to dirt. It is time to wash the kitchen floor. It is filled with paw prints. I can’t remember when it was ever this dirty.

Gracie and I will be out and about today. I have a couple of stops to make. She would be disappointed if I didn’t take her.

My days lack structure. I read the papers and drink coffee in the morning, and that’s my only routine. Sometimes I make my bed but mostly I don’t. I eat when I’m hungry. Cereal and eggs are often lunch and even dinner, seldom breakfast. My fridge is filled with food easy to eat just as it is like tabouli, yesterday’s lunch. If I’m in the mood, I cook dinner. Chicken is a favorite. Mashed potatoes already cooked are generally my side of choice. I eat a vegetable if I have one. I buy salad in the bag and add things like dried cranberries. My bread is naan or pita bread for the hummus and tabouli. Around the middle of the month when my larder starts to get empty, I treat myself to take-out. My favorite place is Spinners where I can get Mexican, soup or pizza. I’m also a fan of Chinese food.

My bedtime is whenever I’m tired. It is usually after midnight, sometimes as late as two or three. I wake up whenever. This morning a phone call woke me at nine. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t. The phone call was a robocall. I made coffee.

I pretty much wear the same type clothes every day: pants, a shirt and, in winter, a sweatshirt. Seldom do I go anywhere which demands dressy clothes. That’s just fine with me. If I go out to eat, I skip the sweatshirt.

My life is uncomplicated. I really enjoy it that way.



“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”

April 10, 2012

The day is spring lovely. The air is warm and still and the sky cloudless. This morning I bought some pansies for the basket on the front steps. They are hardy enough flowers for these cold nights when the temperature still dips to the high 30’s. We have had a fire warning in effect for the last few days. As it hasn’t rained, there have been several brush fires, and the fear is there may be more.

When I was a kid, I always loved the coming of the warm weather when I could get rid of the pounds of winter clothing I’d endured for months. Away went the scarf and the mittens and the layers under my winter coat. Sometimes my snow boots became mud boots when the spring rains arrived and the softened ground turned to mud. On the way home from school, we walked across the field below our street, and it oozed with mud and water. We loved it; my mother hated it. Sometimes a boot got stuck, and while trying to pull it out, the other one would get stuck. That’s how my socks got dirty and muddy.

My bike tires left grooved ruts when I’d ride through the muddy grass, and the bottoms of my pant legs were flecked with blotches of mud spots like brown poker dots. The ruts were tell-tale signs to my father that we had used his grassy hill even though we had been told over and over not to use the hill but to walk down the steps with our bikes. That was the silliest request we’d ever heard. What self-respecting kid on a bike would ever bypass a hill for steps? We never did.

“The Earth Laughs in Flowers.”

March 19, 2012

It is just after 11, and the temperature is already 64°. Gracie is in the yard, and I’ve been outside standing on the deck taking in the morning and watching her enjoy the sun. She has a grassy spot where she lies asleep on her side spread out to the warmth. Fern is lying in the sun from the front door. I can almost hear Curly singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning.

My yard is filled with flowers from the bulbs I planted last fall. Usually the spawns of Satan dig them up but not last year. Every morning I can’t help but stand a while just to look at them. I long for color after the bareness of winter so the bright yellows and deep purples draw me to the garden. Even the white crocus are filled with a richness of color. Some flowers have yet to bloom, and I wait patiently wondering what other surprises the garden will give.

When I was a little kid, spring meant putting away the heavy coat, the mittens, the hat and the boots. I don’t think I ever noticed flowers growing. I noticed the mud and I heard the birds every morning on my way to school. Spring also meant taking my bike out of the cellar and finally getting to ride it again. Spring meant staying outside longer on a school day afternoon. The streetlights came on later and later.

I always felt a sense of freedom in the spring. Gone was the bulkiness of winter. The radiators stopped their hissing. The windows were free of frost and were opened for the first time in months. The house was filled with the sweet smell of the spring air. We went back to roaming on a Saturday.

Back then I loved summer, but I think spring was my favorite season. I know for certain it is now. Officially, spring is two days away, but today is a spring day.

“A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.”

March 8, 2012

The wind is so strong Gracie and I heard a crash and rushed to find the source. My umbrella had been blown down, and it banged as it hit the deck rail. Come to find out there is a wind advisory, and the winds could be as strong as 55 MPH. I decided my umbrella is probably safest where it is.

Already it is 56° which is almost tropical for this time of year. The sun is bright and the sky perfectly blue. If there were no wind, it would be a lovely deck day, but the wind is so strong the tops of the pine trees are swaying left and right. The bird feeders are swaying like carnival rides, but the birds act as if nothing is happening. The gold finches are back, and the males’ chests are brighter. Yesterday I had a house finch and today a flicker. 

I keep stopping to look out the window when I hear the wind. The wild, swooshing sound makes me feel a bit like Dorothy arriving at the house just before the tornado hit. I won’t be surprised to find my yard littered with pine branches. The pine are delicate trees.

I remember walking to or from school when it was windy. We’d face the wind, raise our arms to our sides and let the wind take us. It would go up our sleeves and make our jackets billow. I always felt as if I were flying. We’d laugh the whole time.

When I was young, the weather was rarely a topic of conversation. Snow was all we cared about as it carried the prospect of a snow day. Rain was disappointing as we couldn’t go out and play unless it was a light summer rain. After the rain, though, was always the most fun. Puddles meant slamming your foot in the water and splashing yourself and anyone near you. The wetter we got, the more fun we had. Our feet would slosh in our sneakers and bubbles would come up by our toes. We never cared. Sneakers always dried.

Adulthood has its privileges but much is lost. Puddles are to be avoided. Wet shoes and mud oozing between your toes stop being fun. I never walk bare-footed any more. Sandals are about as close as I get. I’m thinking it’s time again to feel the softness of the grass and the warmth of a puddle left by the summer rain.

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”

May 10, 2010

What’s with the cold morning? My house was only 62° when I disentangled myself from the dog and the cat huddled beside me. It’s sunny, but the sun is a ruse. The wind, from the north, is a chilly wind, and it blows the leaves to show their backsides. Tonight will be blanket weather, in the mid-30’s.

When I was a little kid, I don’t remember feeling hot or cold or caring one way or the other. In the winter, in the snow, we’d stay outside until our lips were blue. No self-respecting kid ever wasted snow. If my mother hadn’t forced me, I’d never have worn a hat or mittens or even buttoned my jacket. My protests that it wasn’t even cold fell on my mother’s conveniently deaf ears. We were forced to wear layers better fit for winter on a Siberian steppe.

In the summer, we’d get sweaty and filthy, but they were badges of honor, proof we had made the most of our days. I remember the joy of walking in mud and the sucking sound my sneakers made when I lifted them out of the ooze. Sometimes a sneaker got stuck in the mud, and I’d hop on one foot, reach down and pull it out of the muck. It was great fun. To my mother, though, mud was offensive. We weren’t allowed in the house proper and were banished straight to the cellar from outside. My mother met us, stripped us of the offending sneakers and garments, threw them right into the washing machine and muttered to herself the whole time about forever washing clothes and filthy kids. A bath inevitable followed.

I forget how old I was when mud stopped being fun and a stain on a blouse meant it was no longer wearable. It was around the same time that cute matching knitted scarves, gloves and hats became voluntary winter wear. It was the end of my childhood.

Mud: Guy Clark

April 24, 2010

From Americana Master Series: Best of The Sugar Hill Years