Tag Archives: Spring

Not Tiptoeing through the Tulips

Image by Melanie from Pixabay.

Whether wide open, singing to a glorious, sunny sky or pursing lip-petals in a demure pout, tulips are delightful harbingers of spring.

Only in others’ yards.

My tulips, the teenagers of the flower world, refuse to get out of bed. I sacrificed knees and back to lavish exotic foods on them. Yet, they only lift a limp leaf or two.

Image by Dominique from Pixabay.

Bloom? Too much trouble. Besides, why should they be bound by my expectations?

Each spring, I waited again. Again.

“Hey,” I yelled, “you’re supposed to be perennials!”

I stumbled over a “Do Not Disturb” sign erected by the tulip that had drawn the short straw.

One greenhouse declared tulips will faithfully bloom every spring … if I relocate to the Turkish Himalayas foothills. The fussy lovelies crave their native habitat’s hot, dry summers and extreme winters. Dutch growers have devoted 400 years to discovering ways to imitate these conditions. They have learned, as Mary Beth Breckenridge in the Chicago Tribune once suggested, to “think like a bulb.”

Image by Matthias Böckel from Pixabay.

With all due respect to the Netherlands, I’d rather retain IQ points, thank you very much.

Only once have my tulips bloomed more than one season. Even then, contrary red ones, planted to border pink tulips, bloomed two weeks early. They formed a lovely circle … around dirt.

At least, the tardy pink tulips created a clump of color. For two days. Then, strong winds blew them flat.

Image by Carina Hofmeister from Pixabay.

Still, hopelessly in love with gardeners’ photos, I again fertilized and hoed. On my knees, I planted more bulbs.

The next morning, I peered outside at my perfect flower bed … only to meet squirrels’ chittery scorn. My efforts had supplied a Golden Corral buffet for little thieves.

Something inside me snapped. I dashed outside, yelling and swinging a hoe like a Mr. McGregor samurai. “Hi-yah!

The squirrels escaped unhurt, laughing.

Rush hour drivers zooming past also enjoyed the show.

Why did they laugh? Just because I still wore my nightgown …

Once, though, I outwitted the squirrels, planting bulbs in a different bed. The following spring, these bloomed in glorious display.

For two days. Then deer devoured every last one.

Will I ever tiptoe through my own tulips?

Sure.

When I talk Hubby into moving to the Himalayas.

Image by Ralph from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do your tulips bloom every year?

Seized by Spring

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay.

Have spring longings germinated in you?

Delicate green tendrils, they remind us: “You’re still alive and kicking!”

One pops up, then another. Before we know it, we’re caught in their delightful grasp.

Perhaps for you, these comprise seed catalogs. Your spouse may hide them and block websites, but all in vain. You fill your basement/garage/bedroom with seedlings, hovering as if they bear your name. When you install old baby monitors, your spouse finally gives up.

Wayward gravel peppers our flower beds.

Spring has seized you. There is no cure.

Other victims are captured by home improvement. They not only remodel their houses, but also demolish walls in those of strangers.

Hubby’s big spring thing, however, is adding gravel to the driveway. When winds soften and buds swell, his wistful look sprouts. “Let’s call the gravel pit guy.”

“We have gravel,” I say. “Don’t you remember? During the last snowstorm, we shoveled it all into the flower beds.”

Image by Insa Osterhagen from Pixabay.

Others live for their lawns. Years ago, our neighbor, instead of renewing marriage vows, pledged eternal love to his John Deere riding mower.

Similar spring madness victimizes women with a compulsion to wash windows. If denied, they are found in alleys, foraging for empty Windex® bottles to sniff. If you are a lawn lover or Windex® sniffer, please come see us.

When spring debuts, I join Steve for exercise and sightseeing on our tandem bicycle.

Instead, my husband and I can’t wait to ride our bicycle built for two. Baseball gloves’ leathery smell sends fanatics, aged four through 84, to soggy backyards to play. Golf devotees, forbidden to swing clubs inside after window incidents, now drive with abandon matched only by platoons of skateboarding kids. College students dance amid showers of Frisbees while music thunders from open dorm windows.

Age doesn’t matter when spring’s call, potent as a tornado siren, issues from the nearest ice cream place or drive-in. Customers shiver through hot fudge sundaes and root beer floats. Or we fire up grills and torment neighborhoods with cravings for that first juicy burger.

Image by moerschy from Pixabay.

I drive with windows open wide, The Beach Boys harmonizing approval on the radio. Passing college dormitories, students’ Top 40 echo back. Zooming near wetlands, I hear hundreds of spring peepers spout crazy love songs.

Spring seizes us all. And we’re loving it.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What tells you it’s really spring?

Cruising

Image by Peter H from Pixabay.

Even before spring, desperate parents, after excessive winter togetherness, pay their teens to cruise. Their alien music blares through wide-open windows, loud enough for Martian counterparts to keep the beat.

But we did it, too, right? Although when I cruised, gas cost 30.9 cents per gallon.

In my hometown, puberty’s onset compelled us to cruise Jerry’s Drive-In. We parked outside, as only squares ate inside. My girlfriends and I feared if we darkened the restaurant’s door, Percy Faith and his orchestra (Jerry’s Muzak®) would scar us for life.

Image by Michael Kauer from Pixabay.

My cruel parents once dragged me inside and made me sit by the window. I slid down into the booth and covered my head with a menu. Finally, I escaped to the restroom, but Mom followed.

She even talked to me. “Are you sick?”

Didn’t she know a Popular Person might be concealed in a stall, listening?

Afterward, on Saturday nights, I retreated to the second-coolest A&W — which tied with Jerry’s if your steady worked there. Fortunately, I was dating a cook. Sometimes, he came outside in all his A&W glory (apron, little folded hat) to wow me and my friends.

When we split, though, my A&W status plummeted. I returned to Jerry’s.

I’d noticed a tall, shy guy in my biology class, so my friend, Celia, and I officially added his house to weekend cruises. I’d perfected my slink-down technique: I could ride on the car’s floor an entire evening, yet record my targets like a satellite camera. Golf-green grass surrounded my guy’s house. Symmetrical evergreens. It was located near the A&W, so we also could zoom past and spy on my ex.

Once, when I drove past my crush’s house in my parents’ uncool station wagon, Celia hung out the window and screamed, “Steeeeeevie, baby, we looooove you!”

I peeled out, chastising Celia for endangering my fragile status with my new Numero Uno and his parents, who probably had been waxing their driveway.

Image by eslfuntaiwan from Pixabay.

However, no damage was done to my relationship with the sweet guy who made biology lab fruit flies so fascinating. Soon, he and I did a little cruising too.

“Want to go to the A&W?” my future husband asked as we pulled out of his driveway.

“I’d love it.”

And I did.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Where did you cruise as a teen?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer

O Lord, all the trouble on Planet Earth must break Your heart, too. But OMG, a single smile from a four-year-old T-ball player reminds me You are still present in this world! 

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Another Lesson Learned

O Lord, You know camping in 30-degree weather is not my favorite pastime. But OMG, thank You that my lack of anticipation didn’t keep You from sharing Your incredible creation with us!

     

Sorta Spring

Image by Lena Helfinger from Pixabay.

Everyone in Indiana regards the official calendar arrival of spring as great marketing by the Easter Bunny to extend his season and up his Hallmark stock’s value.

Image by arinaja from Pixabay.

Still, a walk, even on a sloppy day, can generate positive thoughts, such as, “Woo-hoo, it’s March, not November!”

See, don’t you feel better already?

Besides, staying inside does not guarantee security. I never feel safe when I share a residence with Moose Tracks ice cream left over from Christmas gatherings.

My mom always said fresh air was good for us. At the first sign of a winter thaw, she sent all five siblings outside. Conversely, she stuck her head out the door 10 minutes later to caution, “This is pneumonia weather! Cover those ears now!”

Apparently, my jingle-bell sock hat stopped pneumonia germs in their tracks.

Image by granderboy from Pixabay.

Although she now resides in Heaven, I still sense Mom-radar as I walk hatless toward the door. Despite my 60-plus years, I pause. Finally, I stuff one into my pocket. Maybe if I walk fast, pneumonia germs won’t catch me.

Especially as I’m following doctor’s orders. When people my age walk, they can look their physicians in the eye and truthfully state they are doing the cardio thing.

They save their best fibs to cover the Moose Tracks.

Today, my pathway takes me past houses whose yards still sport weary red bows and saggy inflated Santas. My heart warms toward these kindred procrastinators.

Soon, I’ll have to face thoughts of fertilizing and planting, but given March’s fickle weather, I can still file them in distant corners of my mind somewhere near cleaning the garage and attaining a size six.

Nothing colors my soul like daffodils’ green fingers, reaching up to grasp the earthy brown sill, with a few pretty but brainless yellow heads peeking out.

These dumb flowers always show up on deceptive warm days before a spring blizzard.

Image by David Underwood from Pixabay.

Every year, I try to warn them: “What part of ‘frostbite’ don’t you understand?”

Tonight, their yellow fingertips will shiver as a frozen wind arises.

But they never listen.

Thank God.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What does a March walk look like where you live?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: No Holding Back

Jesus, You gave these crazy little crocuses such courage! They refuse to let dead stuff from the past, a risky present, or a sure end smother their daring color. With only Your promise of rebirth, they flaunt joy. OMG, if that’s madness, please make me crazy, too!

A Tempting Spring Walk; or Why Did I Move Near an Ice Cream Mecca?

My husband and I walk after supper for good reasons. First, burgeoning trees and flowers replenish the famine of beauty we suffered during the gloom of early spring. I love the scent of cut grass — if someone else mows.

Second, walks grow relationships, including Hubby’s and mine. Our eyes and fingers are not glued to screens. Instead, we grow attached to us.

Third, we also greet neighbors, people who eat, sleep, work, play and worship within a stone’s throw. Yet, we rarely see them during winter. God created spring to lure us from it’s-all-about-me caves.

If we must mention exercise (sigh), walking qualifies. I’d rather walk than jog, run or sumo wrestle.

We take walks for good reasons, you understand.

Not to buy ice cream.

Temptation lurks in every springlike Eden. In our town, no conniving snake persuades us to stray from the straight and narrow. Instead, a legendary drive-in presents a menu of 100 ice cream sundaes, including my nemesis, the Moose Tracks.

Its name, which evokes somewhat unpleasant images, should ruin appetites.

Not mine.

The sundae’s frozen yogurt initially hooked me. Yogurt is healthy, I rationalized. Surely, it sucks the calories and cholesterol from the accompanying chopped Reese’s Cups, warm spoonfuls of peanut butter and globs of hot fudge.

I have successfully battled such enticements elsewhere.

But this drive-in is located a few blocks from my house.

When Hubby suggests we walk north, not east, I breathe a sigh of relief. We head north to homes and parks graced with newly planted petunias and geraniums. North past the grade school, where homework escapees flip on monkey bars. Past baseball diamonds where miniature players sport mitts bigger than they. North away from the drive-in.

The sunset throws a feast of sherbet colors in the west … did I say “feast”? And “sherbet”?

At town’s edge, Hubby halts. “Where to now?”

He should know better than to ask. Because I always tell the truth. At least, part of it. “Let’s take Main Street. I’ll bet the flowers are gorgeous.”

A few blocks from our home, friendly Garfield and delicious ice cream always greet my grandkids at Ivanhoe’s.

They don’t disappoint. Fragrant honeysuckle intoxicates us. Fluffy peonies beckon, and brilliant blue, purple and yellow pansies pour from flowerpots. Somebody tilled his garden, a field of moist chocolate fudge … did I say “chocolate”? Whipped cream clouds swirl in the golden peanut-butter sky. …

We find ourselves at the drive-in.

Imagine that.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite ice cream treat — er, walk?

OMG, It’s Monday Prayer: Feeding the Deer

O Lord, Thank You for the means to buy, for strength to plant and grow the beautiful shrubs and flowers You designed. But given our aching backs, muscles, and bank balance, sometimes we wonder: Is creating curb appeal for Bambi worth it?