I am positively loving this Spring. I’m not sure why this one in particular, but I honestly never have seen this little corner of the world ever look so beautiful. Goes to show that there is beauty everywhere, if I only have eyes to see it. When we moved here, it was dry and brown. Last spring we were in a drought, so it was dry and brown and crunchy. The grass was crunchy, that is. Throughout last summer it rained a bit but was so hot it was still dry and brown. Then, of course, it was winter and you all know that stuff is dry and brown then as well. All that to say – this is the first time I have ever seen this area green and alive!! I just love it! I also feel like spring, with its aliveness and vitality, is in my heart as well. I am truly enjoying life these days…
Probably the only negative thing about spring is that the snakes are enjoying sunning themselves too. Ben and I were walking across the yard today when he suddenly yelled, “It’s a snake!” I’m sure I leapt about 2 feet in the air and landed 2 feet backwards; I have this distinct aversion to snakes. But it’s good I did leap backwards because my next step forward would have landed on the tail of a 3-foot King snake. At first Ben wondered if he should kill the snake. I gave him an icy look. Of course we kill the snake – whether or not he eats bugs, mice, and armadillos. When there is one serpent there is bound to be a family of serpentines. And I wasn’t particularly fond of the idea of a family of serpents in my yard.
So Ben – hero that he is – ran to the garage and grabbed a hoe while I guarded and glared at the snake, to make sure he wasn’t going anywhere. I didn’t have a game plan in case he did move, but I guarded. Well, Ben’s first valiant swing with the hoe broke the hoe in half, and completely missed the snake. Amazing, the snake just stayed there, unmoving. My husband’s next move was to go get his shotgun and blow the snake to smithereens. But the baby had just been put to bed and we decided we didn’t want to wake her up over a snake being shot. So, option #3 was a shovel, and that finished off the deadly serpent. shiver I hate snakes. Then Atlas took me over to a fire ant hill, where he dropped the dead snake into the pile. Said he did that when they were kids, and loved to watch the snake writhe. I must admit I felt a little sorry for the snake at that point. I mean, it doesn’t feel good to have one ant bite, much less have the whole army of them chewing on your back. But the serpent was dead, and that was what mattered.
So, on to other things… We have begun The Garden. Actually, we’ve begun it almost 2 months ago already, but now the plants in The Garden have begun as well. It’s Ben’s baby, really. I’ve always enjoyed gardening, but starting from nothing with sandy soil and needing to haul in lime, manure, fertilizer, among other things, looked too overwhelming for my lonesome. So I was very happy when he was inspired by the Genesis mandate to “cultivate the earth.”
We have an evening ritual. Every night when Ben gets home from work we go out and look at The Garden. He exclaims over every little plant and notes its progress from the day before (very excitedly “Oh LOOK!” The lettuce grew 6 inches!!” annoyed “That rabbit must be eating my eggplant. How DARE he!”) At first it was just Ben that went out and looked. And at first I’ll admit I was a little irritated that The Garden was the first thing he wanted to see after he got home (“Want to see my lovely clean house, Babe??”). But then I decided to join him instead, and he says that means a lot to him. So we continue the bonding evening ritual.
[I think this is the first time ever I'm using that awful default green border color. So it DOES have a purpose!]
The onions sprouting nicely, with the weedy potatoes in the background. It really is hard to keep grass out of a first-year garden.
We also have 23 tomato plants, so if you all want tomatoes for your canning [salsa, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, tomato juice, chunk tomatoes, diced tomatoes, etc.] we will have all you want. My husband did the purchasing, and I don’t think he realized just how many tomatoes will come from 23 tomato plants!
We have bamboo that is threatening to overtake our backyard. We didn’t plant it, but it’s sprouting up everywhere. And let me tell you, this stuff can spring up and grow 6 feet in one week. It’s unbelievable. I’m not really excited about that idea, but the vibrant new green is just gorgeous…
Zoe’ was out with us too. And was quite disturbed that we didn’t just let her play in the dirt the whole time. We’ve discovered it’s dangerous to let her play in the dirt. She goes for the leaves and twigs and we’ve had some near-CPR episodes where she chokes so badly she can’t breathe. So, in the stroller she stays.
Little Blue-eyed Girl. It’s been so fun to experience Spring with her. Showing her Tails [see below]; the nest of new little birds that just hatched in the shrub outside our garage; the butterflies that come fluttering by (ha! pun intended); the pretty flowers; taking her out during a rainstorm and feeling the raindrops… All this reminds me of so many little songs my mom used to sing to me. “Rain, rain, go away…” “Who Made the Pretty Lilies?” “The birds upon the treetops sings their songs…” And she just loves when I sing. She’ll start dancing in her seat, trying to move to the rhythmn.
I’ve befriended a green anole, whom I affectionately call ‘Tales.’ He. got his name in hopes that his missing tail will grow back quickly. I wasn’t there when he was in the unfortunate circumstance of losing his tail, but it must have been tragic indeed for only a poor black stump remains. But I meet Tails almost daily on the back porch, and we’ve grown rather attached. He’s a shy little fellow, doesn’t want to be held or any such thing, but he allowed me to come within 6 inches of him while he posed for this picture. Today he was sunning himself on the umbrella pole. He really isn’t that cute close-up, but I remind Zoe’ that beauty is more that appearances.
These coke bottles have a story. They come from an older gentleman down the road, whom my friends and I meet almost every time we take our tri-weekly walks. He’s sitting outside in his golf cart, getting a little fresh air while he reads his paper. Sweetest old man, always smiling. I told Ben about him, so one evening we walked down to his house with a loaf of fresh bread so Ben could meet him. We found out that he’s a World War II veteran, who even has the flag that was flown at Pearl Harbor. Apparently he lives on stories of WWII and Coca-Cola, so I don’t know how much a loaf of whole wheat bread meant to him. But he was delighted with the company and was handing us mints within moments of us walking in the door, telling us stories of his time in the Navy. I don’t think he has one single tooth in his mouth, so that along with a strong southern accent made him just slightly difficult to understand. But we had a lovely time chatting, and before we left he told us to take a 6-pack of Coke along home. I chose one pack from the stash that covered his dining room table, and now Ben and I are enjoyed our Coke from Mister Jack. Cool old-looking bottles. I think Coke always tastes better in glass bottles.
Also, because this is such a newsy post for all you dear family and friends, and because you always save the best for last —- this week it was 4 years since Ben and I started dating! Time is going by far too quickly!
Happy Weekend to everyone! I sure am excited about mine!
“The Earth laughs in flowers.” – Emerson