A Taste Or Two Of Spring

You know that little thrill of licking brownie batter off the spatula just after you put the pan in the oven? (Oh, is that just me??) Anyway, we all like to sample a bit of whatever we’re whipping up in the kitchen, don’t we, — especially if we’re cooking when we’re hungry? It’s so hard to wait. And that’s how this past week felt to me with the tease of a couple of warm March days. I could taste spring!

My first taste involved one of my daughters and the mitre saw she inherited from my Dad. (Stay with me here.) We’re going to be building new garden beds for my backyard this spring. Several weeks ago, we took a road trip to the only two Home Depots in the area that carried the cedar two-by-sixes we needed. Long story, short, we spent an hour or so cutting some into four-foot lengths and trimming the rest to eight feet. We’ve got some work ahead of us still, but seeing them all cut excited me. I can’t wait for gardening season!

The second taste involved another of my daughters. She lives almost two hours away and works as a baker. For both of those reasons, we had’t seen her in person for months. I’d been waiting for decent weather on one of her days off, so we could spend some time outdoors together. Last Friday, the promise of temperatures in the high fifties, or even maybe sixty degrees, was just what we needed. And it did indeed turn out to be a beautiful day!

We hiked a trail at a local state reservation. We watched for birds and talked a bit about photography as she tried out the new camera she got for Christmas. It was midday, so bird activity was minimal. After walking for a while, we actually thought we might not see any. But then a few nuthatches and chickadees flew right across in front of us and sat chirping in the trees for several minutes. We walked on and saw a large black-ish bird fly by at a distance. When we got to the spot, we discovered a pileated woodpecker. A second one flew by a few minutes later. Even though they moved too fast and stayed partially out of view, I took one poorly focused picture — enough for proof, if not for hanging on a wall. All in all it was fun and left me pining for more warm spring days.

Off The Hook

I started writing a different blog entry today. I’ve been on a weekly blogging streak since the end of November and felt compelled to get something out today. But the piece I was writing got so bogged down in heavy questions, without a lot of satisfying answers, so I left it for another day.

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t have allowed myself to do that. I’d have forced myself to plod along miserably until I’d made my point and finished my task. But, life is short, time is precious, and I decided it’s ok to let myself off the hook once in a while. It’s one small step in learning to take better care of myself.

What about you? When was the last time you let yourself off the hook for something? With no guilt allowed? Beating yourself up for what you haven’t done is highly overrated, you know. Nobody wins.

So, instead, I’ll say: It’s Sunday afternoon, the last day of February. The snow cover outside is shrinking, and I actually saw green daffodil tips poking out of an exposed patch of garden earlier. Spring is coming. And I’m good with that. 🙂

Gratitude Spiral: Day 135

Today, I’m grateful for all the signs of spring I see on my morning walks.

Early bulbs have sprouted and blossomed; rhododendron and forsythia are blooming; and even the flowering trees are covered in big fat buds. Every morning brings more color. Nothing compares.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 127

Today, I’m grateful for the promise that new buds hold.

These buds on our lilac bush are waiting for just the right combination of sun and rain, time and light, to open. The buds are a promise of the beauty to come if we would just have patience. And I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 125

Today, I’m grateful for rhododendron buds.

It seems too early, but I can already see the purple just waiting to burst through and cover the rhododendron bush with blossoms. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 124

Today, I’m grateful for phlox.

It creeps across the gardens, filling in more and more space, like a slow motion ocean wave that breaks and washes across the flat sand. It’s early in the season, but I discovered a few of its tiny flowers the other day. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 113

Today, I’m grateful for the first blossoms on the forsythia.

It catches me by surprise every year. And with snow in the forecast for today, it promises spring on the other side. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 109

Today, I’m grateful for the return of the red-winged blackbirds. They are a true sign of spring for me.

I wish I had a picture to share with you, but I don’t. You should check out Mike’s & Christy’s blog, nature has no boss.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 94

Today, I’m grateful for hints of spring on Leap Day.

It’s early in New England for overwintering bulbs to be sprouting. But they are. And this early sign of spring might mean that gardening season isn’t far behind. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?