The date has been set long before my bags are packed and we leave the driveway of our Southwest Florida place for our return to the north. We have a long drive but with great eagerness we look for signs of spring along the way. Some years the signs of spring are more prevalent. This year was a very late spring and folks at home said it was a hard winter. Snow was evident throughout Virginia. A snow squall in West Virginia caused a twenty-car pileup and delayed us for several hours. Ice was on the cliffs by the sides of the road in the Poconos, and ice was still on the ponds in Connecticut. We made a short visit in New Hampshire to drop off Florida oranges and grapefruit for our granddaughters before our final leg home. As we drove into our driveway at the end of March, we were quite shocked to see several feet of snow covering our lawns and woods. The pond looked like a large lawn covered with snow. People were ice fishing and the ice fishing licenses had been extended another month. The snow was up to the antlers of our ornamental deer and the walkway to reach our wreaths under our bay windows was several feet deep.
Each day I watched for spring to appear. The piles of snow began to disappear a little each day and spots of green lawn appeared. Pussy willows greeted us and buds appeared on the trees. As I walked on my woodland path one day I wondered when the south bounders on the Appalachian Trail would head south from Baxter State Park. The river crossings may be difficult this year. The sun is higher in the sky and the days are longer: this is a welcome sign of spring. With the spring thaw come the potholes in the roads and mud season on the dirt roads, trails, and paths. I am like an excited child when I spot the first robin. I look in the marsh lands for the red-winged blackbird. It is time to put out the hummingbird feeder and hang some halves of oranges for the Baltimore Oriels.
Each day I notice more ice melting along the shoreline and large bergs of ice moving with the current. The ducks and geese have come to nest. I listen for the peepers. At night I leave the bedroom window open just enough to hear the sounds throughout the night. It is wonderful when spring is here. You can smell it, hear it, and see it. With all the hardships of living in a cold climate nothing replaces the joy of the four seasons. There is much to be done. The gardens have been sleeping and now are ready for planting. The yards need sprucing up and repair work on structures begins. This is all part of the spring season. Each season brings distinct change. It makes life interesting with lots of joy and anticipation. The beauty has no boundaries. It is waiting for all to behold.
-May 27, 2014