Past Deadline: Has Spring Finally Sprung?

Posted: July 30, 2014 in Past Deadline, Stephanie Gray, Stephanie Gray Communications

Okay…so…it’s major catch-up time! We’re dipping back into May, here, but I’ll be posting all the columns that have been patiently waiting to grace this humble blog. Here goes one published in The Perth Courier on May 15, 2014.

 Has spring finally sprung?

I, like many, did my fair share of crabbing about the long, cold winter. And “crabbing” and “long, cold” are the mild, “family newspaper” words for how I would describe the season that may have finally left us.

I’ve got to say, though, there are a few positive things that came out of the experience of Winter 2013/14.

The most obvious thing is that if you happen to like long, cold winters, then you totally hit the jackpot this year. Cosying up by a fire with a good book, wearing flannel everything pretty much all the time, breaking out myriad hot chocolate recipes, skiing, snowshoeing, skating, enjoying winter sports of all kinds – this was, without a doubt, the year for it.

Similarly, if you reap joy from the exercise gained (or money earned) from shovelling or plowing snow, scraping ice off of any and all things (particularly cars), standing upright on snowy and icy surfaces or building mountains of snow or snow forts, then this year was memorable. Possibly epic.

While I can glean a certain amount of happiness from these things, I tend to prefer my winter bliss in smaller doses…say…from December to February instead of November to mid-April.

The purpose of this long preamble is to point out that this past weekend (note: remember we’re talking about May, here), with its warm, sunny, dry weather, felt like an immense relief to souls tortured by that long, cold winter. I was never in my life so happy to do yard work – despite its accompanying sore shoulders, blisters and scratches. What a weekend to spend outside! It was positively therapeutic.

On Saturday we washed windows and replaced screens, and then got great amusement from watching our new cat Ramsey after we opened the windows wide and let the warm, fresh air burst in.

By the end of the day he was exhausted after rushing from window to window to watch squirrels and birds and whatever else happened to move. It was a whole new world – with sound, too! Of course now he has a keener interest in escaping to the outdoors and we have to be more vigilant, but we’ve been down that road before.

There’s something about a day of fresh air that makes you sleep better, too, and both the cat and I slept soundly after all the excitement.

Ramsey wasn’t the only one thrilled by the birds, either. As I hung loads of laundry on the line (finally!) and admired the lilac buds opening (finally!) and raked and cleaned screens and tidied the yard, I saw and heard cardinals, white-crowned sparrows, robins, chickadees, purple finches and American goldfinches. And then, as I was just about to head out in the car on an errand, a slender brown and white bird landed in a tree, commenced to sing opera for two or three minutes, and then flew off.

The song was so pretty that I pulled out my phone and recorded it so that (of course), I could send it to my naturalist friends (get ye some!) for identification. It turned out to be a brown thrasher – quite a melodious treat for those of us in town.

Fewer chores were completed on Mothers’ Day, but just as much time was spent outside. I was treated to lunch at a sugar bush, and while some short people I know frolicked in the playground with Dad (okay, Dad merely supervised the frolicking), I went for a walk in the woods and took pictures of wildflowers and snakes and listened to frogs and birds and felt generally thankful for motherhood, quiet time and – at last – spring.

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