Thursday, March 21, 2013

The World Seems Brighter

Typical March day, this.

When I got up this morning, it looked and felt like mid-January. Snow was coming down in huge, lacy flakes and the ground and rooftops were white. I loved it! But no longer than five minutes later, I did a double-take when I looked out and saw bright sunshine already melting the snow.

March is known to be the most unpredictable of all the months of the year.

Many changes take place in March. Animals end their hibernation and many plants come to life. The sap flows in the trees again, buds begin to show up, and soon, the first robin will herald the beginning of spring.

Suddenly, the world seems brighter.

Winter officially ends with March. Spring in the northern half of the world begins with the vernal equinox, which occurs on March 20 or 21 depending on the year. The equinox occurs twice a year when the sun is directly above the equator. At this point, the hours of darkness and daylight are equal in length.

By the first of April, we’ll probably see a wealth of yellow dandelions, purple violets and redbud trees. A little later, there will be bright yellow blooms on the forsythia bushes and trees will start to flower; then will come dogwood, cherry blossoms and lilacs. Ah, lilacs – my very favorite! I can think of no sweeter fragrance in springtime!

I suppose all seasons, like all people, have some good in them. If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know that I truly love fall and winter, but when spring arrives with its sunny days and budding flowers and trees, it’s difficult not to love it, too. The seasons sometimes remind me of my children; I love each of them differently—for their various qualities.

Welcome Sweet Springtime!


Is It Spring Yet?

Typical March day, this.
When I got up this morning, it looked and felt like mid-January. Snow was coming down in huge, lacy flakes and the ground and rooftops were white. I loved it! But no longer than five minutes later, I did a double-take when I looked out and saw bright sunshine already melting the snow.

Everyone I know is rooting for winter’s end and spring’s beginning, while I’m hoping – just as intensely – for a little more winter weather.

I know I’m “different.”
I don’t understand it myself. I was born in April, a beautiful spring month. There's nothing quite like soft April showers and that wonderful scent they emit. And I adore the flowers that blossom in my birth month, especially lilacs. I can smell them in my memory long before they appear. Lilacs and I go way back!
When I was a child, we had a huge lilac bush in our yard. My mother always cut the delicate flowers as soon as they bloomed, put them into pretty vases filled with water and placed them in every room of the house. Our home was soon filled with a lovely aroma that lasted for weeks.
But even with great memories like that one – and many more – I continue to prefer fall and winter over spring and summer. Who knows why? It would take a psychiatrist to figure it out.
I could move to Siberia. Or Alaska. But I'd surely get bored if every day were the same. Guess I'll just stick around and see what else March has in store for us.

Besides, as fast as time passes, it’ll be October again before we know it!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Do You Believe All That Stuff?

After missing church for several weeks, it was great to attend today and see all the familiar, smiling faces again and to be welcomed by the warmth and friendliness of these lovely people. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed them.
Regretfully, the more Sundays I miss, the easier it becomes to keep missing. Normally, if I miss one Sunday, I feel guilty, two – and I feel twice as guilty and after missing three, I’m totally beating myself up; but after that, almost without realizing it, I find it suddenly becomes easier to find excuses not to go. I suppose that’s when Satan is pounding himself on the chest – cheering in triumph – because he’s won me and Mr. H. away from Sunday morning worship service.
Be that as it may, he doesn’t get to enjoy it very long. When one is brought up in the church, as I was, any victory Satan might manage to achieve in my life will be short-lived!
My parents took me to church as soon as I was born. My mother was a Sunday School teacher and my father was a deacon. When we visited my grandparents in another town, we went to church there, too. My grandfather was a deacon in his church and my aunt played the piano. No doubt about it! We were a church-going family. I must have been at least ten years old before I realized all families didn't go to church. Still, I was certain everyone believed in God.
But after I was grown, a friend once stunned me by asking, “Do you believe in God and Heaven and all that stuff?”
I said, “Yes I do. Don’t you?”
“I’m not sure,” she answered. “It seems so far-fetched.”
I hardly knew what to say, but finally managed to utter, “If I didn’t believe in God, I wouldn’t even bother getting up in the morning! There wouldn’t be anything to look forward to, would there?”
She shrugged and our conversation was interrupted by another friend. We never had a chance to finish it because, not long after that, she got a divorce and moved to another state and I lost track of her. But I've always wondered if she ever came to believe in “God and Heaven and all that stuff.”
My best instinct tells me she did.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Has Sprung!

It seems that spring has finally sprung in our area and everyone I meet is happy about it. I spotted little velvety purple flowers in my flower bed this morning. I think they’re “early irises.” Not sure. But they’re pretty. Welcome, too, after seeing nothing but snow on that spot of ground for weeks.
I love the beauty of flowers although I don’t exactly have a green thumb. In fact, whatever I plant usually dies, or at least stays very puny throughout the growing season, despite my plying them with fertilizers and water.
I blame it on the fact that I have lots of trees - too much shade - but, if you know anything about flowers, you know there are a whole host of them that thrive in shade! I’ve tried them all. Ferns, my favorite, live wherever I plant them, but never grow a new frond or get any bigger. And they seem to look even worse when I fuss over them too much or complain about their poor performance. I’m pretty sure they can hear me and refuse to grow just to punish me.
My son, who loves gardening, has the most beautiful yard from early spring until frost. But then, every moment he isn’t at his job or asleep, he’s in his yard – watering, trimming, fertilizing and fawning over his lovely flowers. Just the opposite from me, everything he touches doubles in size very quickly. If I have a plant I’m particularly fond of and it starts looking peaked, I take it to him. You might say I put it in the “hospital." When he tells me it’s ready to be released from the hospital, I generally can’t bear to take it home and watch it decline again so I let him keep it.
He’s inherited a lot of plants that way.
Perhaps this is the underlying reason I like fall and winter better than spring and summer. In early fall, I can purchase a few pots of mums to brighten things up throughout October and November, but it’s normal for them to die when it gets too cold. So, I don’t have to feel inadequate because I can’t grow flowers during these two seasons.
 My Aunt Betty, who lives in Cincinnati, is like Lee. Her yard is a flower lover's delight! Whatever she plants, thrives. She and Lee love to converse about their lovely gardens, leaving me out of the conversation. Yawn! 
Winter doesn’t stop them either. They both enjoy indoor African Violet gardens, and often send each other pictures to compare progress.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Where God Is....


He was just a little boy, on a week's first day.
He was wandering home from Sunday School,
and dawdling along the way.

He scuffed his shoes into the grass; he found a caterpillar.
He found a fluffy milkweed pod, and blew out all the "filler."

A bird's nest in a tree over head, so wisely placed on high
Was just another wonder that caught his eager eye.

A neighbor watched his zig zag course, and hailed him from the lawn;
Asked him where he'd been that day, and what was going on.

"I've been to Bible School," he said and turned a piece of sod.
He picked up a wiggly worm, replying, "I've learned a lot of God."

"M'm very fine way," the neighbor said, "for a boy to spend his time."
"If you'll tell me where God is, I'll give you a brand new dime."

Quick as a flash the answer came! Nor were his accents faint,
"I'll give you a dollar Mister, if you can tell me where God ain't!"

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wishing My Life Away

Well, here we are on the third day of the third month of the year! How’d we get here so fast? Seems like only yesterday we were taking down the Christmas decorations.
I talk a lot about how fast time passes, but I never get used to it. I suppose, somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m thinking it’s gonna slow down one of these days.
But it isn’t.
You know why? Because the older we get, the faster it goes. It’s true. Ask anyone past fifty and he’ll tell you that time goes so much faster now than it did when he was thirty.
Somehow I just knew the year 2013 wasn’t going to be good for me. And I was right! Nothing good has happened yet. I totally lost January and February. Don’t know where they went, but they’re gone and I can never get them back.
I was hit with a double-whammy one Monday morning in mid-January. Not only did my doctor’s office phone to tell me the doctor wanted to see me right away about a CT scan I’d had done on Friday, but when I turned on my computer to check my mail before going, nothing happened! Absolutely nothing. It was dead. Totally. As in doornail.
Didn’t matter. I had to put that aside and go to the doctor’s office. I was more than a little nervous since the girl who called said “no appointment necessary; just come on in.” I imagined all sorts of things – none of them good.
Everything happened so fast! After a very short conversation with the doctor about my CT scan, he sent me to consult with a surgeon who sent me directly to a hospital where I was immediately prepared for surgery to remove my appendix. Great!
Many people have this operation and go home the same day but not me! Complications kept me in the hospital for three days and lying around for another week after I came home. However the six week recovery period evaporated and here I am into March already – wondering how I got here so fast.
The only bright spot was that shortly after I got home, I found that Mr. H. had ordered a new laptop for me, so I was without one for only a week. Having it and being able to spend time getting it all set up aided my recovery, too, as it kept my mind on something besides the way I felt.
I’m usually not superstitious, but after the way this year started off, it’s hard not to wonder what might happen in the next ten months. I know I shouldn't wish my life away but I hope they go as fast as the first two have...
'Cause I’ll feel much better when 2013 is behind me.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Whatever You Say

“I wonder how Margaret's doing since Charlie died,” said Mr. H. at dinner this evening.
“I’m sure she’s lonely,” I said, “but, on the other hand, she might be enjoying her new-found freedom. Could be she likes making her own decisions for a change.”
“That’s not very nice,” he scolded me.
“The truth’s the truth!" I said. "Think about it. He ruled the roost. They ate when he said, slept when he said, came and went whenever and wherever he said, watched what he wanted to watch on TV. Poor Margaret just went along with him on anything. To be honest, I felt a little sorry for her.”
“Well, I guess she cared a lot about him,” he said.
“I’m sure she did,” I agreed, “but I’m not convinced you have to give up being yourself just because you care about someone. Besides, how do you respect someone who lets you have your way all the time?”
“I guess you’d know the answer to that question.”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked.
“Think about it,” he answered, “how do you respect someone who lets you have your way all the time?”
“You’re not suggesting I get my way all the time, are you?" I said, indignantly.
“Of course not!" he said, the corners of his mouth turning up.
“Let’s talk about something else.”
And with a hint of triumph in his voice and laughter in his eyes, Mr. H. said,
“Whatever you say, dear.”