Tag Archives: laughter

The Scarf Comes Off


jonqils bigOur local newspaper has been asking readers to share their harbingers of spring.  For most folks around here, seeing the daffodils blooming is the first real sign of spring.  Although this winter, we’ve had a warm day or two tossed into the mix every couple of weeks so that the daffodil greens have been up for awhile.  Daffodils and jonquils are cheery flowers and they manage to keep their heads up even if we have a late frost.

Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons, but Spring has the edge.  Since I don’t care for cold weather, I look towards March on the calendar all winter long.  I study my garden area from the kitchen window, planning how I can do a better job than I did last season, working out a new plan to protect my tomatoes from the squirrels this year.  I stand on the porch next to the pansies, standing in the little bit of sunny warmth that has kept them going all winter.

Spring is the season of promise.  The promise of more sun and fewer clouds.  Warmer temperatures.  New green on old brown.

Yesterday, I spent the morning unloading bags of compost and manure from the back of my car and hauling them down to the garden.  After pouring it all out and raking it over the bed, I got out the trusty old mattock and turned over a narrow section close to the edge.  I have been itching to get something in the ground and at this time of year, lettuce is the way to go.  In a week or so, I should see the sprouts cresting.  I have a new mattock, but I use the old one because it belonged to my maternal grandmother.  She was so talented with her hands.  She grew beautiful roses, had gardens, cooked great food, created beautiful needlepoint works of art and the list goes on.  Surely if I use her mattock my garden will be more successful.

As I was digging in the dirt, I listened to the staccato tapping of a woodpecker.  We back up to a lake so it was no surprise to see 2 mallards waddling through the yard, hoping for a cache of grass seed.  Why didn’t I have my camera with me?  We stopped and looked at each other for a few minutes, then went back to what we were doing.  And yes, I admit, I did talk to them.  No, they did not answer me.  When a large group of ducks are playing or whatever else it is ducks do in the water, their quacking sounds like laughter.  The sounds of Spring.

However, in the midst of soaking up every possible sign of the season, I am reminded of how this can be a sad time of year.  I have two friends who have a parent battling cancer.  One is in the early part of this journey – and the hope for healing and recovery is strong, like flowers pushing their way through the dirt towards the sun.  But the other is close to the end.  And as much as you want their struggle and suffering to go away, you also want the clock to stop.  You want more time and the signs of spring are a painful reminder that life goes on.

One of our nieces popped in for a quick weekend visit last weekend.  She brought us a bouquet of beautiful yellow tulips and that was my reminder to do one thing that really lets me know it’s springtime.  Take the scarf off the Count.Count VZ

This bust is of Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, a very distant relative.  He watches over us from the shelf in the living room all year.  He’s old and I know he gets cold in the winter, so a couple of years ago I knit a scarf for him.  I really did it to see how long it took my family to notice.  Now I put it on him every winter and then, come spring, I take it off.

What is your favorite sign of spring?

Funny How a Melody Sounds Like a Memory


On Tuesday this week, the Daily Prompt came out:  Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.

This was a perfect prompt for me, but I have not been able to set finger to keyboard all week.  I have been suffering from my own stupidity.  Last Saturday I worked in the yard most of the day.  The weather was fabulous – no humidity, sunny, about 60.  I cut down grasses and weeds and packed it all into leaf bags.  I was so excited about the beautiful weather that I was in a short sleeved t-shirt.  And what was I bundling without thinking?  The now leafless poison ivy.

poison ivy

Evil Weed!

I have been terribly allergic to this stuff since I was born.  I cannot believe I did this to myself.  I have spent the entire week trying not to scratch myself into oblivion.  All I want to do is take my arms off and hang them up somewhere until it goes away.  Today is the first day I’ve been able to think of anything other than how much I itch.

So I’m late…way late…but I’m writing it anyway.  I love music*.  I believe there is a song lyric for most every event in life and I have been known to break in to song at both appropriate and inappropriate times.  When I re-read the prompt , my mind began dancing with all the possibilities.

I had to start with the obvious, given my situation:  “Poison Ivy, poison ivy…” by the Coasters.  Then I remembered our Thanksgiving 2004 trip to Hawaii.  My husband and I were taking a Thanksgiving evening dinner cruise with friends.  We were all on the top level of the boat, enjoying drinks before the meal.  A local musician was on the lower level, playing and singing.  My husband and one of our friends left the table and disappeared down the steps.  Suddenly I heard the musician say, “Happy Thanksgiving, Connie.  Here’s a little something just for you.”  And he began to play and sing one of my husband’s favorite songs:  “I’ve got sunshine, on a cloudy day.  When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.  I guess you say, what can make me feel this way?  My girl.”

Wandering around the song lyrics in my head, I realized once again how many tunes and lyrics are attached to the events in our lives.  Most of us can remember every word of our favorite songs from high school and college days.  We remember the songs that romanced our lovers and calmed our babies.  We laugh and we cry.  It’s “Funny how a melody sounds like a memory.” **

* check out the O’Jays if you don’t know this song

** Springsteen, Eric Church