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.