Spring

It isn’t officially spring until this Saturday (the Vernal Equinox), but I’ve put away my snow pants and my winter coats.  For the most part, I’ve even stopped wearing a jacket.  (Sometimes I’m cold as a result, but jackets are for fall and winter, and by the time spring rolls around, I really want to stop wearing them.)

At my house, spring means mud.  Our dogs have a portion of our back yard all to themselves, and instead of nurturing the plot of earth we gave to them, they ran wildly around until all the grass was worn away.  Each fall, I pile the raked leaves into “the dog yard” as we call it, and the dogs play in the leaves until the leaves are completely mulched and disintegrated.  The dog yard is just plain dirt.  When spring rains come, the dirt turns to mud.  The dogs (oh so generously) bring the mud into the house.  This means that there are perpetually towels just inside the kitchen door (which opens onto the dog yard) with the hope that the muddy feet will be at least slightly cleaned by the towels and there won’t be mud all over the house.  It works a little bit.  Even so, my kitchen floor is dirty, and it seems hardly worth it to give it a scrubbing until the weather dries out.

In my town, spring means water, and lots of it.  The park where I often run is nestled nicely between a creek and a river, and if you go to the far corner of the park you can sit on the banks and watch the two meet up in a delight of swirling eddies.  It’s really pretty.  This also means that the park floods every spring because the river swells and the creek swells, and they try to join up in the middle of the park.  The paved path is often covered over with water.  Unless I want to run in sloshy shoes, I generally avoid running in the park this time of year until the waters recede.

Water also infiltrates my house.  Our basement gets puddles as the snow melts and the rains come.   Sometimes the puddles are small and I can step over them.  Right now, though, after huge amounts of February snow have melted and an inch of rain on Friday saturated the ground completely, I have to wear shoes to do the laundry in the basement.  (I tried slippers, but the water soaked right through and I ended up with wet socks.

I was visiting my friends Chris and Rachael last Saturday for a fabulous brunch (which I especially appreciated because I had just exercised for a rather ridiculous three hours) and Chris, who is from South Africa, said, “What’s that saying?  April showers…”

I said, “April showers bring May flowers.”  And then, I couldn’t help myself.  “You know what May flowers bring?”

“What?” he asked.

Even before it was out of my mouth, I thought he might not get the joke because he didn’t grow up here, but I’d already started it so I had to finish it.  “Pilgrims!”

Chris laughed.  “You took quite a risk telling that joke to a foreigner!”

Yes, but it worked.

That was my lame attempt at a segue from rain to flowers.  Don’t judge me; I’m getting back into the groove of writing, after all, and you can’t expect perfection.

People keep saying that flowers are coming up in their yards, but I’ve looked and I haven’t seen much in mine.  Friend Gina pointed out some tiny green sprouts the other day, and I think those are Stars of Bethlehem coming up.

I used to pull these up each spring because I thought it was just grass or weeds.  Last year, though, I was too busy to pull weeds so I let them grow, and I was happily surprised to see these pretty little flowers.  We always had them in our yard when I was growing up, and I remember picking lots of them to put in a juice glass to give to my mom.  See, there’s justification for not pulling weeds — you might be pulling up pretty flowers unintentionally!

Spring means running outdoors instead of on the treadmill, and I’m excited about that.  It also means that I can start hanging my laundry on the line instead of putting it in the dryer (on days when it isn’t raining, of course.)  Apparently, spring also means a new look for my blog, so I hope you like it.

Oh, and spring means I start thinking of house projects.  Our house needs to be painted like nobody’s business.  Also, we bought a canoe last year (before we started on our path to debt-freedom, but at least we didn’t go into debt for it) and it needs to be sanded and painted as well.  And I wish I could have a garden, but our lot is too shady.  But spring means the Farmers’ Markets will start back up soon.  I’m so excited about that.  Oh, and Chef and I have already started talking about when we might take our first camping trip of the season.

Spring is by far my favorite season, and I’m glad it’s here.

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