Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Spring, Damn It

After a long and easy winter, it is spring again in Califon.

Spring is when Kathie stops listing the things that need to be done inside the house, and turns her attention to the things that need to be done outside.

Just like the peeper frogs, this chirping emerges full blown on the first warm day.

Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t nag or pester…..she “mentions.”

Sometimes, she is more subtle than that, she demonstrates. For example, she would like to have a paved path from the back porch to the driveway. The other morning on our way out the back door, I noticed her walking on the dew wet grass like an egret wading in the shallows. I asked if all was well and she responded: “I don’t like to get my shoes wet. Other people have a paved path.”

Eventually, she will get her path. The problem is that this is the time of year when my Winter Ennui is replaced by my Spring Ennui. I would much prefer sitting on the porch puffing a cigar dreaming up a creative solution to our pathlessness, like suggesting water proof shoes.

The other thing about spring is that stuff starts to grow again. Just when I start to hope that maybe my lawn is permanently gone, it is lapping at my ankles. Like the Alien bursting through the astronaut’s stomach, weeds are already pushing their way through the black mulch that took me hours to put down last spring.

And of course, my arch enemy, Hedge the Horrible, is beginning to blink its blood shot eyes and awaken. Just the thought of another season of mounting my ladder and tilting at this ninety foot long dragon with my trusty clippers is enough to send me back into hibernation.

If all of this is not enough, here come the bugs. Ants have returned to the kitchen, like swallows to Capistrano. Bees may be imperiled, but every other form of stinging insect is doing very nicely, thank you. I have already rousted the first yellow jacket colony from under the porch. Kathie has begun to “mention” how much she would like a screened porch.

Of course, I used to go to work every day and was spared the spectacle of watching nature reclaim my property inch by inch like a snake swallowing a frog. Now that I am unemployed/retired I am the first line of defense.

Alas, it is enough to make me long for the good old days of winter sitting by the fire listening to Kathie ask me when I intended to get around to painting the living room.

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