1) For 2 days straight we’ve had at least partial sunshine. No rain. No snow. Yesterday, for a brief time, the sky was an amazing blue.
2) I saw a big, wild bunny on my walk this morning. It’s good to see the real deal when I’ve spent the last several months finding only footprints in the snow.
3) The forsythia bushes are blooming! Clouds of yellow along the back path.
4) Migratory birds and locals are coming and going. Someone new at the feeders every day. Grackles, titmouse, juncos, cowbirds, towhees, black-capped chickadees. Robins searching for worms in the back yard wood chips. My family of blue jays come for peanuts when I whistle. I’ve learned to speak blue jay!
5) I think our semi-domesticated squirrel may have a new family in one of the neighbor’s trees.
6) I can sit under the leafless maple on my own back porch and read. I don’t have to travel long distances to sit under a tree with a book, though I do like traveling those long distances and I do like a change of trees every now and then.
7) I can almost smell the first rack of ribs on the grill.
8) Soon…not yet, but soon, I can start planting geraniums and petunias and impatiens.
9) The holly bushes may be dead after this frigid winter. I don’t like holly bushes. You take your life in your own hands when you try to trim them. There are 13! I don’t know the person who planted these 13 holly bushes in the front yard, but I’d just like to know why. So many shrubs are prettier. The cost to replace them with something else, however, is not a “happy” thing.
10) I’ve seen several of my neighbors this week. All winter we caught only glimpses of each other coming and going in the cold. One had lost weight, another had gained, someone had dyed her hair and someone else had lost some. We’ve all traveled, had personal news to share, seen our doctors for one thing or another. So we had plenty to discuss — places, parties, pains.
One not-so-happy thing did happen today. I packed up my laptop, straw hat, notebook, cushions for the chair, and a chocolate bar and headed outside to the porch to read and work in the sun. It was only after I got everything set up that I smelled something in the air that my memory took hold of right away — that undeniable scent of spring in the country, on the farm, the loft above the barn. One of my neighbors was happily spreading cow manure or some mix thereof into every crook and crevice and onto every bare patch of earth in his yard. I lost my appetite for the chocolate bar, which is just as well. But I did stay on the porch, intent on eking out of the day every tiny, happy moment I could. Now and then I was rewarded with a shift in the wind.