Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Bud's for you

Can you feel it? Yes all that green is not just Walgreen’s leftovers from St. Patrick’s day, but the Spring buds on trees are beginning to appear. For several regions of the country, there has still been some unusually late cold air and even a snowflake or two. But overall, for most of us, you can tell the season has changed and you and the Robins don’t need to check the calendar to confirm your suspicions.

Kind of like a lot of the “good” celebrations of the year, ours is a bit tempered with taking care of the government before we can relax and enjoy the appropriate season. With taxes looming on April 15th, this is not exactly my favorite time of year. But the warming air and lingering sunshine since daylight savings time, certainly gives us just the boost we need to make it to the ‘other side’ of the hill.

Lacrosse season and other Spring sports are in high gear by now. As much as I won’t miss the dwindling days of frigid air, the increasing temperatures actually make it a bit harder on the athletes to stay hydrated and in top form. I watch the kids a bit more carefully in training now, to make sure the normal complaints of being over-worked and overheated are nothing more than their self-doubt rather than their actual health.

My lawn irritatingly maintains its brown undertones, but shoots of green rye and fast growing grasses start to sprout in random patches. This gives the lawn the distinct character of a mangy disheveled cat pelt. I will receive several door solicitations a season from firms telling me about grubs, fertilizers, acidity, aeration, and the good old Midwest standby – MULCH. In California we don’t need mulch because we cover everything in ice plant if it cannot sustain grass, flowers, or concrete.

Happily my gas bill magically starts to decrease so I start thinking about complaining less. But as the heat begins to win the war over the cold, the electric bill takes over and my complaints return to their normal level. Overall though I feel happy and I think my neighbors and friends feel good as well. It is yet one more reason why global warming is not my greatest concern – people seem happier when they are warm. It’s those sub-zero winters, where everyone is wrapped up like flannel burritos, that makes people crazy. I don’t need to remind you that only insane scientists or polar bears live at the North pole, and even nuttier scientists and penguins in the South.

So I think it is safe to say Spring is really here. I’ll know for sure when the winds begin to whip into a frenzy and the weekly clap of thunder and lightning arrive. If that won’t get the point across, the straw colored grass will turn dark green and my neighbors will disappear behind a screen of leafy branches.

As summer approaches, the glasses of lemonade and the fishing poles will begin to sprout like the flower bed perennials. And oh yeah, that Robin will still be there too, and he’ll break often from his worm-pulling duties to wipe his brow and complain. What did you think, fishing worms grow on trees? I know - I know, I’m a tough coach; but trust me he’ll be fine – Really!

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