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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

photo copyNew Englanders are a reserved bunch.  My sister-in-law down South moved to a new home at the same time I moved to where I live now.  Within a week, she had five pies on her doorstep.  Here, it took me three months to meet my first neighbor.

Which is why spring in New England is so important.  It’s the time of year when we get a little giddy, when we throw caution to the wind, when our faith through the dark winter days is rewarded. This morning I drove past a house I’ve gone by almost every single day since September, a tiny nondescript ranch a long way from better times.  But I’m not sure I’ve ever really seen it before today, when the front yard was a riot of color, brilliant sunshine yellow daffodils against the bright pink of cherry blossoms.

Someone had to plant each one of those bulbs, digging down into the hardening earth, had to imagine how the flowers would look against a tree decked in its finest.  I hope the thought gave them a quiet chuckle, hope it helped them get through what seemed like an endless winter. It’s a gray day here today, but I’m carrying that image with me as a promise that spring is really here, even if there’s not much evidence yet.

Because sometimes all you can do is hope for better, more brilliant times, for something lovely to awaken from the darkness.

What, you don't have a luna moth chrysalis and praying mantis egg sac hanging around your house, waiting to hatch?

What, you don’t have a luna moth chrysalis and praying mantis egg sac hanging around your house, waiting to hatch?

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I was going to link to this poem today — it is one of my favorites and I try to read it every spring. But it is gray and rainy here, so I thought we needed something more upbeat.

In my family, I am notorious for becoming infatuated with a song and playing it obsessively, until EVERYONE including the Slobbering Beast groans when they hear the first few notes.  (My son recently reminded my husband how lucky he was not to carpool with us in the morning because “You don’t have to hear about Jane and that dude wearing a corset all the time. Which is just weird.” Lou Reed, wherever you are, I salute you.)

But sometimes I hit on a winner, like this one. It has become our morning wake-up song, our roll down the windows and sing on the way home from school song, our dance around the kitchen after dinner song. Play it a few hundred times — it grows on you. (And read the ticker tape at the bottom if you need a laugh.)

Enjoy.

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It is spring, and the bloody bluebird, instead of laying eggs, is sitting on my bird feeder, gobbling up the grubs and then flying his fuzzy blue you-know-what off to someone else’s nesting box.  (To be fair, the bluebirds DID begin a nest, but their nest has disappeared and a chickadee is happily building there instead. Digression: Did you know that bluebirds and chickadees use totally different material for their nests?  Bluebirds use primarily pine needles, and chickadees use moss.  These are the things you learn when you have a bluebird competitor who is willing to share information right down the street).  The crows are having a fine time scooping up the leftovers, and it is darn cold out.

BUT — on the bright side, the asparagus is poking green shoots up.  We had some last night for dinner.  The radishes and lettuce seeds are in the ground. It is bound to get warmer soon.  And I’m writing as much as I can, storing up words and chapters for my next novel before school lets out in a few short weeks and these hours are no longer my own.

I hope spring is treating you well, wherever you are.

This is Microsoft's asparagus. Ours is pencil-thin and delicious.

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What happened to spring?

It has been pointed out to me that I’ve been sounding a wee bit melancholy lately.  I suppose I am.  Living in New England is a special gift.  You see, first hand, how fast the time goes with the changing of the seasons, how quickly the buds blossom and disappear.

Heck, sometimes we don’t have to even wait months for a change of seasons — in New England, it can happen in a day.  On Saturday, for example, we were frolicking outside in shorts.  Today, I had to dig out the winter coats and explain why they must be worn to my son, the future lawyer, who argues each decision as if before the Supreme Court. The robin that was having such a good time in my bird bath two days ago is clearly regretting his decision to visit us. “What’s WRONG with this place?” he’s clearly thinking, miserable and hunched up in the rhododendron bush.  “Who turned the heat off?”

An excellent question.  Not one I can stay to answer today, though.  Instead I’m going to direct you to some interesting links that I stole from friends, as well as do some blatant self-promotion.  (WHAT?  A writer’s gotta do what she’s gotta do these days.)

How can something without feet be so smart? The incredible mimicking octopus. (Think it talks back to its mother?)

Can your kids fend for themselves in the kitchen? My friend Jan O’Hara talks about why this skill  is important, and steps you can take to make them more independent.

Amy Sue Nathan is celebrating the one year anniversary of her blog Women’s Fiction Writers with a mega book giveaway.  Head over there for a chance to win some great books!

Finally, since I post to this blog only on Tuesdays, I wanted to let you know that on Friday I’ll be guest blogging for one of my very favorite virtual people, Rosemary DiBattista. (I keep trying to meet her for a drink and make her nonvirtual, but it hasn’t happened yet.)  She’s funny, warm, and kind, and she has her own book series (!!) coming out beginning in 2014.  She’s a doll.  And she’s letting me share one of my best recipes (the one that doesn’t involve ordering pizza and opening wine) so please remember to stop by!

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When we moved to our current house, eight years ago, I bought a bag of 100 daffodil bulbs.  It seemed a ridiculous number, a luxurious indulgence, and as I planted the brown lumps I imagined a riot of yellow color, uncountable riches poking through the ground to announce Spring’s arrival.  It’s my favorite season, and in the time we’ve been here the daffodils have naturalized, spreading throughout the garden.  But it’s not the blanket of uninterrupted color I thought it would be.  The hundred bulbs that seemed to be so plentiful when I was digging them into the ground turned out to be not quite enough.

Last week I took the kids to the doctor’s office for a checkup.  I was leafing through a parenting magazine when this statistic caught my eye: There are approximately 940 Saturdays between when you bring your baby home from the hospital and when she heads off to college.  I’m no mathematician, but that number seems about right.

Almost 1,000 days.  It would have seemed a lifetime to me, all those years ago when I first became a parent. But now I’m over halfway there, and the days are slipping through my fingers.  The harder I try to hold on, to pack each moment with meaning, the faster they go. One thousand Mondays to kiss a sleep-scented, bed loving boy awake.  One thousand Sundays to curl up in the sun with my book-devouring daughter. One thousand weekends, while I blink and each crop of daffodils grows and fades, a reminder of how fleeting is Spring, the giddiest, most promising season of all.

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