Top Ten Things that I Love about Spring!

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1.The first day that I can smell that sweet, clean smell of earth mixed with rain or the scent from freshly washed laundry flapping hopefully away on the line.

2. Slim, cigar shaped goldfish moving extra slowly in my backyard pond, casually negotiating the remaining slivers of ice like skilled sub-mariners. (WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME: “They survived!!!”)

3. The appearance of hot-cross buns on the shelves in the bakery and grocery store – serve them up toasted tea-cake style or as the Dutch do with a toothsome slice of Gouda. YUM!

4. The irrational belief that there is SO much time before true summer begins that this year, yes this time, I really will reclaim my tricep muscles …

5. Having gone all winter with dingy, ghostly feet I will now purchase and crack open a new bottle of cheerful, toe-polish preferably scarlet or fuschia. (I thought yellow might be especially jolly till a friend observed that it looked like my toes had a smoking problem …)

6. At the first possible opportunity – even when the sun’s rays are still feeble and weak – I shall scamper outside with a glass of Pinot Grigio, a ripe pear and a large wedge of Blue Castello cheese. I may then return inside to lug out Pablo Neruda’s “The Complete Odes” which I recently bought myself as a treat. This, to me, is heaven.

7. The powdery smell of clover and the gentle hum of bees dropping in and out of the creamy flowers reminds me of my younger self who devoted many happy lunch hours to kissing boys in the long grasses of a park near school.

8. The sudden awareness of babies – they seem to be everywhere – since they and their parents have been inside for entire blocks of winter at a time. Everyone smiles, glows and greets one another in the street in a self-congratulatory way as if some universal trial has been overcome.

9. Entire closets in my house have now been emptied, re-organized and dealt with. Like the magazines suggest, I have rubber totes and attractive boxes that only house one item. I do not expect this to last but I keep opening the closet doors from time to time in order to admire my work.

10. Scooters that once belonged to my sons are still leaning against the wall in my garage, looking at me in a come hither way as I pass them. I have furtively gone up and down the driveway a few times but still don’t feel badass enough to scooter into town or work. Maybe an adult scooter is the answer but I am neither hipster or bored New Yorker enough to stare down (possibly laughing) onlookers.

             Yet.

Sometimes I Want the Cream

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I’ve been paying more attention lately to my female co-workers, friends and families and the way they talk and deal with the men in their lives and it is completely fascinating to me how men are still being revered and pacified (I use this word intentionally) so automatically and unconsciously. It’s been absorbed into our psyche and our culture to keep them on the content side of things.

(Or maybe it’s just anything for a quiet life since so many men are renowned for their tiny sense of tolerance and their quickness to unnecessary anger.)
Which has obviously worked for them during their tiny childhoods. Continue reading

Sentimental Fool

 

 

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I’m a very sentimental person.

All manner of things both happy and profoundly sad can reduce me to tears at a moment’s notice from a song (“Over the Rainbow” should come with a warning, there I said it) to the open, earnest expression on a dog’s woolly face as he waits outside a café for his master. I can only do news in titrated doses because how else can we tolerate another day trying to make sense of anything unless we are once again seduced by denial? (Thank you Ernest Becker). Sometimes life feels so overwhelming I feel the weight crushing my heart down as though someone has their boot upon it.

And I absolutely don’t consider this a need for help or a neurosis – it’s natural to feel this way when one really, truly sees the big picture and acknowledges the absolute anguish that is all around us.

When ‘Frasier’ was very young, we would often take long walks – specifically designed to tire him out if he only knew – and on one such occasion I happened to stoop and admire the pink granite in someone’s driveway, showing him how the veins of grey and silver sparkled as I turned the stone back and forth in my fingers. From that moment on, each and every time we went walking, Frasier made it his duty to seek out a nugget of pale, pink granite, charging back to present it to me with proud, excited eyes. (Which explains why, twenty four years later I still have a spaghetti jar filled to the top with thumb nail sized nuggets of pink granite.) Continue reading