What are the surest signs that spring has arrived?
On the farm, the land is thawing out. Drainage tile has been laid down to improve at least three fields nearby. Driveways and accesses are being repaired; planting equipment has been pulled out of storage, cleaned, and prepped.
Opportunities are fading fast to finish our personal winter projects.
Quick like a bunny, things must be brought to completion, because 70-degree weather is predicted for later this week.
My husband Dan has been fashioning two new double Adirondack chairs – one for the porch, and one for the cheeseplant. There’s no door to separate the woodshop from the rest of the basement, so the cats are spreading sawdust throughout the house.
He replaced the saggy sad snowplow-damaged mailbox; though that was mostly a clever bit of metalwork.
For my seasonal tasks, it is time to clear the pantry of expired food items and resolve again not to be such a hoarder. I lost the reason why I’ve been holding on to a giant economy-sized can of sliced jalapenos!
I need to cut down the Christmas wreaths and throw out all the work clothes with broken zippers, unraveling snags, and hanging cuffs likely to get caught in machinery.
Also going: stretched-out and floppy-soled shoes that trip me up (I over-wintered them because they’re pretty), anything that’s see-through and not supposed to be, and all of Dan’s t-shirts with stains that look like he returned from a baseball game after dripping chili cheese dog and a Coke down the front. (He goes nowhere, and yet mysterious food stains continue to manifest.)
I wonder if I can commit to caring for another round of hanging flower baskets, and if last year’s packets of sunflower seeds, purchased but not planted, will finally make it into the ground.
I must be getting older because I’m considering purchasing a garden gnome. I’ve never had one, and I think that when the weeds need pulling, it’s a chore more likely to get done if I have some help.
I don’t do much to tidy the lawn. Dan collects the take-away containers, bottles and cans that get caught in the rose patch, and the odd gallon jug or bit of plastic trapped against the south side of the chicken pen.
My job is to trim the watersprouts under the big trees and any dead branches. I’ll get to it soon enough.
Is the final sign of spring’s arrival that my parents are back from Florida?
Or perhaps that Dan has threatened to turn off the outdoor corn-burning furnace and switch back to propane?
No. I think the final sign is that I’ve already given up on half of the spring projects I planned, in favor of having a cup of coffee in my comfy chair and watching the woodpeckers at the suet feeder.
It’s still too cold and wet for me to be mucking about outdoors. I’m content to maintain the vigil for signs of summer.