It happens every spring, right about this time—first week of April—when winter’s harshness has moved on out, despite a chill in the mornings and evenings. An awakening of sorts kind of sets in, inspiring me to scurry down to the basement and haul up the chairs for the deck. And it isn’t long at all before I’ve settled into one, in the
wonderful sunshine, portable radio tuned to one of the White Sox’ first games of the new season. And for the first time since last fall, I’ve traded long pants for my standard-issue shorts. One look at my suddenly exposed lily white legs, I realize it’s time to start spending time in the sun once again, particularly since we skipped our usual February trip to Florida this year. For the first time, I realize just how “winterized” I’ve become!
During the course of the afternoon, I manage to put away in the garage the extra snow shovel that spends the winter in the corner on the deck. Though convenient for removing the heavy snow that accumulates on the deck—very often this winter—the plastic orange winter tool leans there now, resembling the “Maytag repairman,” alone and friendless in the warmth and brightness of a beautiful spring day.
But I’m hesitant to run the gas out of the snow thrower, a task I complete just prior to hauling the thing down to our son’s storage shed until next November, because as soon as I do, I’m sure one last freak snowstorm is going to nail us when we aren’t looking! (Probably not, but I’ll just wait another day or so just to be sure…)
And speaking of motorized equipment, our old John Deere mower has been in and back to the lawnmower shop for its annual “checkup,” something that has kept the thing working wonderfully for many years. Each spring, I keep my fingers crossed that it will perform as well as it did the previous year. Unless I run over some unseen item or fail to keep it clean after each use, there’s no reason why the thing won’t get me through another mowing season. All the same, I worry about such things.
Now that the switch from winter to spring/summer mode has all but been completed, I relax once more in my chair on the deck and survey the back lot. A weedy row that serves as a border between our yard and the farm field (corn or soybean) is a place where litter and other loose materials get caught and collected there. For the past few years, one of the first things I do is, with garbage bag in hand, pay the area a visit and do some picking up of all of the trash and other flotsam and jetsam that have been deposited there during the long winter
months. Already, the place looks better!
Now I’m ready to make a run to Menard’s to pick up a bag of the crabgrass preventer/fertilizer that I’ll spread sometime next week, since the ground is finally thawing out. Many people ask why I bother to fertilize since it only makes mowing more frequently a necessity, thus more work. And I don’t have a very good answer other than it’s because it happens every spring!
Now, back to that comfy chair on the deck and a tall glass of something cold…CortlandWriter