Almost Spring -- 02/02/01
Spring is almost here. Spring is just around the corner.

I don't care what that groundhog over in Pennsylvania is supposed to have done this morning.

I grew up and lived for most of my life in Upstate New York. When we heard "you're going to have six more weeks of winter" our reaction was always "Oh wow! Only six more weeks of winter!"

Winter is milder and spring comes earlier here along the Rhode Island coast than it did deep in New York State. Oh yeah, sure, we can still get a huge blizzard in February or March... but spring is inexorably on its way. Back in Binghamton, NY I can recall April snowstorms that dumped more than a foot of wet heavy snow... heck, I can remember a snow storm in May (okay, so it was only an inch and it was gone by noon, but nevertheless it was snow in May)...but I know that spring is on its way!

Besides, the seed and plant catalogs started arriving a couple of weeks ago. Three cheers for Piedmont Plants and Miller's Nursery and Burpee Seeds.

Nancy has become the family gardener and landscaper. For years I was the person who mowed and watered and raked the lawn. (Oh, okay, when we lived in Binghamton she would sometimes mow the front lawn -- it was a postage stamp, less than forty feet by twenty feet -- but she used to joke that people would see her doing that and assume that she did it all *grin*)... I trimmed the hedges, I planted and pruned the roses, I planted the bulbs, I planted the annuals, I planted the vegetable garden, I pruned the apple tree, I cared for the hanging baskets of flowers on the front porch... well, you get the idea. I was the gardener.

When we moved to Rhode Island that pattern pretty much continued except she did take an interest in some of the front yard landscaping and planted some geraniums around that big boulder in our front lawn. And then she bailed out of the high tech computer world and became a math teacher.

Suddenly, she had summers.

She got interested in shrubs and flowers and bushes and... now she is the person most likely to mow the lawn... now she plans what flowers to plant where, how to lay out flowerbeds and plantings.... The vegetable garden may still be mine (although she has even been known to do watering and weeding when I am out of town) but the rest of our yard has become her hobby.

Last spring we put in a lot of hours together working on landscaping... and she spent entire days working on landscaping once summer vacation began... putting in plantings around the side of the house, in front of the house, in back of the house, around the edges of the back lawn (there's a small wooded area, perhaps forty feet deep, behind our yard, separating our property from the neighbor behind us and thinner strips of trees along the sides of our yard, tapering off as they near the street). We had a special impetus last year as we wanted things to look nice for Jennifer's high school graduation party.

Now that spring is almost here (*grin*) we have been looking through all of the catalogs that have been arriving in the mail, making plans for the coming growing season. Nancy is dreaming about her bushes and flowers and I'm dreaming about my vegetables.

Happy Spring!

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