05 March 2005

Rock, scissors, pussy willow

I should have learned by now, after over two decades straight spent in Utah, that the first week of March is not the time to pack away pullovers and Sorels. There's another freeze coming, at least one, no doubt about it. But how can I persuade myself that this lovely warmth is no more than a teasing preview, when my brain is so ready for spring cleaning and my heart is popping out all over with tiny buds of eager greenness. I can't stand it any longer; winter simply must be over for the year, and that's final! Are you listening to me, weather? I want a new season! Coop me up further and I'll bust down the walls, I will!

First thing this morning I spent some quality time with the rest of my lavender plants, and now they are all feeling well-disciplined after their yearly haircuts. The air was a fresh, healthy kind of chilly and the sun was comforting on my back as I worked. I took a good turn working outside again today; what timely therapy for my mental claustrophobia.

I resurrrected an old metal box--about 5 cubic feet of metal box--that my sister-in-law left behind when she got married and moved out of our house. Rob and I rode our bikes down to Home Base and Burleyed back about 80 pounds of nice new garden soil for that box. As soon as I get drainage holes drilled, I will fill that baby with all kinds of nasturtium seeds, and then won't our salads have a pretty kick this year!

I finally had an inspiration for the awful narrow strip of muscari-infested earth next to our driveway: a rock garden! The plan, which didn't reach completion today but is already well-underway, is to dig up as much of the muscari and friends as possible, then choke out the rest with a weed cloth which will be covered by big rocks from our back yard and side yard, the rocks the former owners of this house left behind, the rocks we have never figured out what to do with until now. Yipee! We're solving multiple problems at once! So far it looks great.

Just one more spout about plants and then I'm going to bed. Rob and I stole away for a while this evening, at twilight, and went to our secret spot where we harvest pussy willows each year, and . . . well, we harvested. We were afraid that our willows would be too tall this year for us to reach the softly fuzzed branches, but with one of us gently holding down limbs and the other clipping, we were able to collect enough for a few small bunches. We only managed to cut a handful of long, elegant stems, but they're all so wonderful, even the tinies. It's a dear treat each year, and there's such a small window of opportunity for catching them before they turn yellow with pollen that it always seems a small miracle when we don't arrive too late. It was a sweet thing to do together tonight. This is one of our family traditions. It ushers in spring.

Again, we hauled our treasures home in the Burley. I say our new bike trailer was an absolutely justifiable, worthy investment. I really enjoy using my bike (and my feet) to get me where I need to go. With the Burley , shopping and picnicking and running away and collecting pussy willows have become doable again. Honestly, I don't miss the old Trooper much. I don't even mind riding the bus when my destination is out of reasonable range (i.e., when I have a appointment with my dermatologist three cities away). It's satisfying to be burning calories rather than gasoline. It's sometimes a slower way to do things, but I don't personally feel that is a bad thing.

1 comment:

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