Sprung

Spring is here this week, no matter what the calendar says. Tommy insists with all his might that March 22 is THE DAY THE SNOW GOES AWAY and that is that! He doesn’t seem to have noticed that the snow is already gone.

The wheel turns and the leaves emerge, the birds make nests, the ground greens up again, and the crocuses poke through and stretch up. All the aspects of spring come around again as they did last year. And the wind is blowing so strongly I am just waiting for branches to come sailing off the trees. Being surrounded as we are by middle-aged maple trees, this is a nerve-wracking prospect.

We have birds about. The usual sparrows are nesting in the garage-gutters right above the car, and the usual starlings are nesting in the broken-down brick chimney, which means the hatchlings are, or can be, inside the house at some point. They also nest inside the little roof over the unused front porch, through a break in the wainscoting. They are annoying beyond belief. I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about them, so I’ll move along now. We also have robins, chickadees, nuthatches, flickers, red-winged blackbirds, American Goldfinches, and Downy Woodpeckers. And “our” Sandhill Cranes are back in the neighborhood, looking for a place to nest. Last summer I had reason to believe that the female of our nesting pair was taken by a coyote. I don’t know if that means that Dad and Junior are back to help him look for a new sweetheart to lure back to his old nest, if the two of them are just going to hang out as bachelors, or how any of that works.

So it’s looking better and better outside — more sunshine and color — but the environment itself is still inhospitable and possibly fatal, especially if you lose your mittens. (Which I just found this morning, incidentally, after nearly getting frostbite yesterday morning delivering urgent Campus Mail with bare hands.) You certainly would be wise to wait a bit before doing anything as brave as cycling or running or even walking Out There.

I’m still viewing it askance after this mild winter. Everyone in Wisconsin my age and up shares that same spooked look that says, “We’re going to PAY for that mildness, somehow.” If we had a May blizzard we might perceive the scales to be in balance again. It’s not that we want it, it’s what we feel we have coming to us.

Spring break is coming, but it comes unequally to all. My own spring break is the last week of March, and my kids’ break is some time in April. Of course they couldn’t possibly happen at the same time. My spring break plans include revamping my work space so that I can file and track the technical manuscripts I’m going to start copy editing. I will take some Before and After pictures of my setup, just to document that I did something. I already have one manuscript I need to edit this weekend, and it’s taking everything I have to keep from putting 150 percent of my mental resources on the Office Makeover Project. Having a bunch of homework for each class of mine due on Monday is also helping.

I suppose it’s time to update my progress on my resolutions. Well, my grades are still up, I’m not exercising in any meaningful way, I’m working on my second Jayne Hat (for which I got new yellow and dusty-pink yarn yesterday), and here is a blog post.

Oh yeah — this coming Tuesday I will have a Teenaged Son. All I can say is Wow. His feet are as big as my feet, his hands are almost as big as my hands. His names are his grandfathers’ and his face is his father’s. He is half Star Wars and half Star Trek. My JC is gawky and geeky and opinionated and emotional and cool. I wouldn’t trade him for any other card in the deck.

He’s bigger than this now…. he’s come a long way since 2007. Love you, buddy.

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