Posted tagged ‘spring’

“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.

“Spring, when the earth tilts closer to the sun, runs a strict timetable of flowers.”

March 1, 2018

As usual, while my coffee was brewing, I went out to get the papers. The morning is glorious. It is warm, and the air smells fresh and sweet. The birds are singing. I stayed outside a while taking in the beauty and then I saw it. A bright yellow crocus has bloomed in my front garden. Spring has arrived. If I could click my heels in the air, I would.

Tomorrow will be quite different. A nor’easter is on its way. A high wind warning is in effect for the Cape from Friday morning to Saturday morning with winds possibly as high as 65 to 75 MPH. The rain will come down in torrents, and there are flood warnings. The moon will be full and three high tides will occur between Friday and Saturday with the highest tide coming in the middle of the storm. I need to batten down the hatches, but first I’ll enjoy today.

I have no lists so I feel a bit at sea. Peapod is coming so the grocery list is empty. My house is clean, and the laundry can wait a few days. I guess I could tackle chores I’ve been thinking about like organizing the kitchen or sorting my DVD’s with an eye to the summer and movie nights, but I’d feel guilty wasting a day like today. I think I’ll take a ride.

Reading has always been one of my big loves. I keep a book upstairs, a book downstairs and one in my car for those long traffic stops. My mother told me I loved Henny Penny, and she had to read it over and over to me when I was little. Figures, it’s the end of the world sort of, a bit of science fiction, and animals run amok. It sounds like the plots of books I’m still reading. I remember reading Little Woman and loving it. I got it for Christmas when I was in the fifth grade, and that was the year we were bussed to another town for school so I’d read it all the way there and all the way back. Jo was my hero. I find now I read a whole series by the same author. Currently I am reading the Flavia de Luce book series and am on book five, Speaking from Among the Bones. The books were recommended by friends.

I think I’ll stop and have my favorite sandwich today, the one with bacon and cheddar, avocado, tomatoes and horseradish sauce. I’m smacking my lips already.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”… “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

February 17, 2018

This morning I had a home visit from a woman and her boxer.  She was from Boxer Rescue and was checking to make sure both my house and I were perfect for one of their rescue dogs. We are now on the list for a dog. She said puppies were coming from Puerto Rico, and I was going to get one. Her two boxers had also come from Puerto Rico. I had put Maddie in her crate because of the dog but it didn’t lock it so Maddie came sauntering out, looked at the dog and just kept walking. That was perfect. Even Maddie passed the dog test.

Today is a beautiful day with lots of sun. It is a bit chilly but warmer than it has been. I think that winter makes the coming of spring all that more delightful. The first warm days pull us all outside to have a bit of sun on our faces. We exult in the changing of the seasons. About this time of year when I was a kid, I got rid of winter and wore my spring jacket. I never admitted how cold I was.

I finally got to that wash  from a few weeks back. I had moved it to the cellar thinking out of sight out of mind, but I couldn’t take it any longer. I needed some off those clothes. It was three full loads with lots of sweatshirts and flannel pants, my stay at home outfits; however, with my bad arm, I couldn’t move anything upstairs. All that laundry is sitting in the basket in the cellar. I’ll ask Leandro, half of my cleaning couple, to bring it upstairs when he comes on Thursday. Until then, the cellar will be the annex for my closet and bureau, and I’ll got down and pick from the pile.

When I only had a little money, I used to buy comic books at the 5&10 or at the drug store. Each had racks of comics in the fronts of their stores. Classics Illustrated were the best comics of them all. They had these great covers, and inside, I got glimpses of novels I couldn’t wait to read. I knew all about Moby Dick before I even turned the first page. I had seen all the action in the panels of my Classics Illustrated which left out the boring part, the chapters in the middle about the kinds of whales. I read Hamlet and Les Miserables, both in easy to understand English. Kidnapped was another favorite comic of mine, and it led me to read the book. A few years ago, in her stocking, I gave my sister the Classic illustrated Treasure island, one of her favorite books. Of course, I read it first.

I have a few errands today, but I don’t mind. I love riding in the car on a sunny winter’s day. It seems to lift my spirits above the cold and thoughts of snow.

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

February 3, 2018

Today is beautiful with a blue sky and the return of the sun, but it’s cold, an uninviting cold. I have no inclination to go outside. The hot air from the furnace is blowing and keeping the house warm. I won’t even get dressed. I’m nice and cozy in my sweatshirt and my flannel pants. It snowed a bit yesterday, enough to cover the walk and my car windows. I’m hoping the sun will melt the windows clean so I won’t have to brush and scrape.

I always think it is the darkness of winter which palls the spirit so I do my best to compensate. I keep white candles lit in the windows, and their light shines across the dark lawn. In the living room, I light lanterns in the corners of the room. Their candles flicker and leave shadows on the walls. On the hearth, twelve tea lights shine in the votives of the long candle holder, and a gourd filled with white lights sits atop firewood in a basket. The room is filled with light and is warm and cozy and welcoming.

I do love New England and am not tempted to leave for sunnier climes. I am tired of winter, but around this time I am always tired of winter. The two years I spent in Ghana gave me an even greater appreciation for the changing seasons I so love. It was always warm there, and I tired of the warmth. I wanted to be cold, to see my breath on a crisp winter’s morning. I missed the beauty of snow and how wonderful it looks as it falls and how breathtaking the world is after a snowstorm. I wanted to welcome spring with all its colors and sights and smells. Where I lived in Ghana had no flowers. It had baobab and pawpaw trees and fields filled with millet and yams. It had grass, tall and green, but it had no flowers. I missed looking for the first spring shoots to appear, for the crocus and the daffodils.

Spring is always a miracle, and I wait for it with great expectations. Every day I check for the tips of shoots in my front garden. When I find one,  I want to dance wearing bright colors and flowers in my hair.

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”

May 7, 2017

This morning’s sky is the deepest of blues, a breathtaking blue. Not a cloud can be seen. I figure it is Mother Nature’s way of apologizing to us for all that rain, two days worth. The air is a bit chilly, only 54˚. It will get a little warmer but won’t break 60˚. It’s is after all spring on Cape Cod.

The trees are flowering on my street, some white, some bright pink. Gardens are filling with blooming flowers. The air smells sweet. Small leaves are growing on the scrub oak trees. I walk Gracie to the backyard several times a day. She always stops on the front lawn and sniffs the air. Any noise grabs her attention. At our 4:30 this morning walk to the backyard, she sniffed a bit then hurried to the gate. She ran into the backyard and squatted right away. We both went back inside and we both fell asleep. I woke up around 7:30. Gracie is back to sleep. It is her morning nap time.

My dance card has been really empty for the last few weeks, and the only dance this week is a library board meeting. The laundry is done, the trash has gone to the dump, and the house is clean. My deck still has its winter look, but that will change in the next week or two.

Gracie and I just came inside. The wind is blowing enough so I can hear all the chimes from my backyard trees. It is a chilly wind.

Spring energizes me. A warm day gets me out of the house so I don’t miss it. It is the same feeling I remember having as a kid. I felt free somehow. Gone was the heavy coat. Gone was walking backward into the wind on freezing cold mornings. Spring always made me want to skip.

“Close your eyes because all the great sounds of existence can best be heard with eyes shut!”

April 10, 2017

The morning has been a bit trying. Nothing I did made Gracie happy. I walked her down the stairs to the yard twice. I gave her treats three times. I patted her until my hand was tired. She wasn’t impressed. She sat beside me and stared. When I ignore her, she gave me the paw on my arm. When I continued to ignore her, she continued to put her paw on my arm. She drove me crazy. Finally, she got on the couch, got comfy, and went to sleep beside me. It is amazing how much my dog rules the roost.

Spring is happening all around me. Colors are coming back into the world. Hyacinths are blooming in my front garden. Purple, pink and red flowers are popping from circles of small fronds. The daffodils in the flower bed closest to the house are sun bright. Every morning when I get the papers, I see something new in the garden.

I have no energy today to do anything. I didn’t make my usual list of chores as I’m generally compelled to finish most of them. My logic insists if there is no list, there are no chores.

I heard the kids playing this morning around 8. There are 6 boys in two houses, and they are loud. They communicate by yelling. They go out to play before the school buses come. Most times they wake me up but not all the way up. I hear them, register the fact in my brain then turn over and go back to sleep. When I was in Ghana, I did the same thing with the call to prayer. A mosque was down on the street below and across from my bedroom during Peace Corps training. The mosque was small and was sandwiched between two houses. Arabic was written at the top of the smallest ever minaret. From that mosque, I could hear the muezzin sing the calls to prayer. The one at 3:30 or so used to wake me up then I got used to it. I listened knowing when it would end so I could go back to sleep. It was the same with the dawn call. Being awakened twice by a muezzin had become commonplace for me. I could never have imagined that.

“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.

“How often have the greatest thoughts and ideas come to light during conversations with the family over the evening dinner?”

April 2, 2017

The sunlight is wonderfully bright. The sky is a dark blue. It is warmer than it has been so it feels warm to me. When I helped Gracie into the yard, I stayed outside for a bit basking in the sun. She ran around the yard the way she used to when she was younger then bounded up the stairs into the house. She deserved her treat!

When I went to bed last night, it was close to 2 AM. I was watching television, going through those pesky catalogs and checking out recipes on Pinterest. I woke up this morning at 10:45. My mother would have called that the sleep of the dead.

I never used to need lists. My memory was enough. Now I need list after list. Alexa keeps my grocery list and stickies hold the rest. There is a great deal of satisfaction in crossing off completed tasks despite how mundane some of them are. I have to sweep the kitchen today. That’s an easy one to complete. One down!

Despite the season or maybe because of it, a few movies on the deck films have already arrived. Most are 50’s black and white B movies with aliens or gigantic creatures or both; also, I have ordered a few of my favorites like Gunga Din and Rear Window. Spring needs to step up so summer won’t seem so far away.

If I were to choose a favorite day of the week, I’d choose Sunday. I wasn’t keen on going to mass when I was young so I consider that the only blight on the day. Most Sundays when I was a kid were quiet. I’d read the Sunday funnies. After the Sunday matinee movies started on TV, we’d watch those in the afternoon. I remember watching Lassie, Come Home. We were all at Sunday dinner in those days, jammed into the small kitchen. On the cold days, the windows there got steamy. I remember my mother used Melmac plates and bowls. For some strange reason, I have a visual memory of a bowl heaped with mashed potatoes. Sunday night meant earlier to bed because of school, but I never really complained. I was usually tired.

Even now, Sunday is different than the rest of the week. I have two papers to read, and I like to take my time. Sometimes I make eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast. I usually have dinner though I often buy it rather than make it. More than not I have mashed potatoes.

I figure more than any other day, Sunday holds the most family memories.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

March 20, 2017

Happy Spring!

Good reasons are responsible for the lateness of my musings today. First off is Miss Gracie. I grabbed her as she started to fall going up the stairs. I was filling Maddie’s dish on the stairs so Gracie tried to go by me but lost her footing. We went up the stairs, got to my room, and she was hesitant to jump to the bed. I helped. She tried to settle down but just couldn’t. Finally, I grabbed my pillow and a blanket, took Gracie downstairs, and we both slept on the couch. She snored so I knew she felt better. On the first day of spring every year, my friends and I go the beach to welcome the sun. We sing Here Comes the Sun and Rockin’ Robin. We recite a poem by Frost, Two Tramps in Mudtime.

The sunrise was at 6:28. It was a cold, windy early morning. We sat in the car facing the east and waited. When we realized clouds were hiding the sun, we stayed in the car to sing our welcome. We watched seagull after seagull carrying breakfast then dropping it on the parking lot. We figured they were opening small crabs. We saw geese along the shoreline and ducks in the marshes. It was an amazingly high tide. The water in the marsh was all the way to the edge of the road. We didn’t get the sun, but the clouds were jaw-droppingly colorful. Red and orange spread across the sky in all directions strikingly set against the white of the puffy clouds. My friend Clare braved the wind and cold to get our shells, a first day of spring tradition. We stayed a while then went to breakfast, another tradition.

When I got home, I took Gracie out then settled on the couch and slept over two hours. When I woke up, I put on MSNBC to watch the hearing questioning James Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers. That is still holding my attention., makes me hopeful

Today will have a high of 44˚. I’m thinking that’s hardly spring, but I am hopeful. Spring does that to me. It makes me hopeful.

“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood.”

March 3, 2017

Winter dropped by last night to remind us not to get giddy about spring. It will have to be patient, to wait its turn. I saw daffodil buds yesterday in my garden. They are still all green but soon enough they’ll flower. I figure winter is beginning to feel rushed.

The swamp around now would still have ice as the water wasn’t very deep. The remaining ice was mostly in the back on the shaded channels which ran between trees and what we called islands. We’d go as far back as we could. In some places we’d walk on the ice and stoop under the trees while in other places we’d have to go on all fours. We explored in the summer too but then we risked getting wet as we had to jump from island to island.

When I was a kid, we were explorers. We walked or rode our bikes all over town. We had favorite places like the field where the two horses grazed, the tracks which both ended and kept going, the zoo, and the dairy farm. I never got tired of trying the catch the horses, but I’m glad I didn’t. I watched the cows.

Growing up when I did was a gift beyond measure. It meant summers of riding my bike, walking all over town or sleeping outside. We were never afraid. Our mothers had taught us to refuse anything a stranger offered so they figured we were safe enough. They were right. I don’t even remember any strangers.

The first time I went to the movie theater at night was an event. I was 10. The movie was a fund-raiser for my girl scout troop. I remember walking around wearing my uniform and feeling important. My parents bought tickets as did most of the other parents. I don’t even remember what the movie was. I just remember feeling older as if I’d just passed a milestone.

Today is cold, 34˚. It is a sunny day which belies the cold. Tonight the low will be 17˚.