It’s only 12 days until the first day of Spring and we are quite ready for it!
We are sick of bulky winter clothing that smells damp and mouldy. We are sick of clomping along in heavy boots with curled toes to keep our feet from sliding. We’re sick of tripping over snow shovels on the front porch, and tip-toeing across icy patches on the walkways.
But winter struggles to maintain its hold. The sun wrestles with cloud cover, and from time to time, we wake to frosty fence posts or powdered rooftops. Icy winds whip from the north, tossing debris and scattering leaves. March feels like a month of brown and beige, and blah. Gray skies and matted brown earth.
The days of March creeping gustily on like something that man couldn’t hinder and God wouldn’t hurry.Enid Bagnold
Already, I have heard little birds talking about it. I know that soon, soon my friends, little green things will start to peek from the frozen ground.The ice will melt and the wind will lap it up and whisk it away. And we will emerge from our slumber into the warmth of the sun, and let all nature embrace our weary souls.
Well, that may be a little melodramatic, but did you feel hope stirring? Spring is coming… and until it arrives, grab hold of 3 things.
And hope. Never let go of hope!
Hop ise the thing with feathers that perches in the soul –Emily Dickinson
And sings the tune without the words and never stops – at all –
With a layer of white snow still gracing the ground and a bitter wind sweeping through the trees, last week I took a moment to commune with a little lady about the prospect of Spring being nearer than it was the week before. And as I talked, she turned and looked at me, and though she’s very small, I’m certain that she winked…
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn
“Mother Nature” must have a sense of humour. Two weekends ago, the sun was shining, the temperature was in the positive double digits, and we were walking coatless, in sneakers on bare ground. Now a freezing rain warning has been issued, and we’ve been told we could expect snow as well. A green Christmas and a white Easter!
But while we may have a few more weeks of wrapping ourselves in our winter woolies, we know Spring is coming! “Where flowers bloom, there is hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson
“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.”
It’s hard to believe but 6 months ago, we were just coming out of a massive ice storm. I was trying to pack my car without falling on my face so I could head to my parents for Christmas!
Yesterday I had clothes hanging on my clothesline to dry. Six months ago, the lilac tree was hanging on it instead.
My Solomon Seal was entombed in ice…and now its delicate bells serenade the warm temperature.
Even the Tim Horton’s patio was empty that day…
A lot can happen in 6 months! The grass is green and the flowers are blooming. Robins chuckle heartily and everyone is dressed in short sleeves…no winter boots in sight. But Maya Angelou wrote: “Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, “I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway”. If given a choice, I almost think I’d take the snow over the bikini…I’m pretty certain the rest of the world would prefer I make that choice too! 🙂
The snow has finally melted on the back patio (that we never use) and the evidence of my laziness is exposed. Rather than climb the stairs to dump the guinea pigs’ water in the toilet (when it was full of soft, soggy shavings), I developed the unfortunate habit of taking one step out the back door, and chucking it…
Consequently, my back porch and patio looked like a cotton field ready for harvest. In addition, the sun had dried the soaked stuffing to the concrete and it couldn’t just be swept up. I had to scrape my toe across each and every fleck of fluff to loosen it before flipping it into the dustpan…and since I’ve been too lazy busy to go buy a pair of runners, I had to do it in my new sparkly $7 Mary Jane’s. It quickly became a dull dance, so I decided to try and make it more interesting by adding a few jazz steps: Rond de jambe, step, rond de jambre, step, chassé, chassé, chassé, smile…By the end, all I was missing was a spin and some spooky fingers…and something to throw at the robin that was chuckling loudly from the apple tree. Surely he had more important things to do that watch this old bird bust a few moves….
Saturday was even nicer, and just like every year since we moved in, I vowed that this would be the year that I would wage war on the weeds and win! So I slapped on some sunscreen and put my booty in action. I spent hours cutting and laying garden cloth, shovelling cedar wood chips, cutting down small rogue trees, and generally just getting down and getting dirty. It was not as much fun as Mud Hero…I was rewarded with a Baconator Burger for dinner.
By Sunday, my back and my booty were both bargaining for a whole morning in bed, boasting aches and pains. They both lost and I battled my way to church, a little late. They were both rewarded to most of the afternoon on the couch…
There are still days of Spring cleaning to do outside, but it will have to wait until my back and booty bounce back…that, and it’s supposed to snow tomorrow… (I may need more bacon!)
I am SO ready to come out of hibernation. I’m ready to go for long walks in the morning and listen to the birds. I am ready to peel a couple of sweaters off, even if it means (gasp) showing off my chubby elbows; I’ve even painted my toenails! I’m ready to trade my snow shovel for a garden shovel and attempt to wage war on the weeds that are already growing there. I’m ready for Spring.
I may be tempted to do this every time I look out the window…
But I am not ready to become one of those people who complain about the weather…even though I am getting dangerously close to it! I try not to get worked up over the things that I can’t control, like the fact that I’m only 5′ 1½” and will start shrinking any day. Instead, I have footstools on every floor of my house, and I buy fabulous high heels! I can’t change the weather. I can’t change the fact that even though I was comfortable in a Spring jacket Wednesday morning, by afternoon, through the torrential downpour, I could see my breath. I can’t change the fact that I toured my muddy backyard Thursday morning, but by noon it had snowed enough to cover all the grass, and I had to shovel slop off the walkway. And I can’t change the fact that the predicted temperature for Monday will be in the plus double digits, but we’ll have snow again by next weekend. We’ve also had 2 thunderstorms, which is unusual so early in the year. At least I’m not stuck in the same day…but if it keeps on, I may have to do more than whinge and complain. I may be forced to do something drastic…
Eat gluten-filled toast in the bathtub! I’m not suicidal…just grumpy!
Spring is suddenly upon us! Cars are driving down the road with windows open and radios blasting, kids are out on bikes and skateboards, birds are singing, and green things are sprouting in the garden (mostly weeds). This week we’re certainly trading winter wear for flip-flops and shorts.
With our sudden Spring weather, it’s time to get serious about maintenance (and I’m not talking about the yard)! Before we can “patio”:
(1) Get serious about getting in shape before shorts, mini skirts, tees, tanks and (gulp) bathing suits can make an appearance.
(2) Shorten the shaving schedule (seriously). No more skipping those legs because (a) they’re “not that bad”, (b) you’re “too tired”, or (c) “no one will see them” under jeans or flannel anyway. It’s also time to moisturize!!
(3) Don’t forget your tender tootsies! Time for toe trimming and nail repair, maybe even a dash of colour. Last year, I bought bright yellow nail polish – my toe nails looked like they had fungus. The hot trend for nails in 2012 is nude nails (i.e., pretty, wearable shades of cream and beige). That’s not to say there aren’t bold patterns and bright moments but it’s back to classic reds, chic corals, soft pastels, and mellow yellows mixed in with cool ombre and metallic designs.
(4) Get busy like the bees and start to sort out your wardrobe. Now is a good time to review your winter wardrobe – anything that sat all season without coming out even once, ought to go straight to a new home! Then pull out the next season’s wardrobe to see what’s too tight (or loose), what has stains…and weed out those “what was I thinking” items…to go straight to a new home! Consider what key pieces you could replace or build on. I can’t afford a new wardrobe every season, but a couple of new pieces (even if just plain tees) can refresh and update a tired wardrobe.
(5) Review footwear as well…both what you have been wearing and what you will be wearing. Those favourite pair of boots may be peeling at the seams, or the sandals you wore every day last year may be just plain worn out!
(6) Check the expiry date on your sunscreen. Many moisturizers, foundations, lip glosses, etc. contain a low amount of sun protection.
(7) Stock up on seasonal allergy medications (if needed) – our trees are budding out back, and I’m feeling the effects!
(8) Hydrate. We all know that we should be drinking more water – it aids skin and muscles, promotes healthy circulation and organ system functioning. It can also significantly reduce your chances of developing some types of cancer. In my case, I have avoided drinking a lot of water because “what goes in…must come out” at the most inconvenient time possible. But when I was in Weight Watchers several years ago, I found that I could slowly increase the amount I was drinking without significantly increasing my “voiding” needs. My body needed time to adjust to the change.
I’m not naïve enough to think that winter is over. There’s always the possibility of ice, snow and frost! But a head start on Spring maintenance (with Summer following too closely behind), can’t be that bad, can it?