Here come all the flowers!

I don’t know about your 2017, but mine was a slog. The water was high in just about every direction at some point during the year–family, lawyering, authoring, health–though not everything came all together, thank heavens, and nothing rose past the level of a simple challenge.

This week, I’ve had an inkling that life is moving on. Spring is arriving, and that, more than a date on the calendar, reassures me that 2017 isn’t going to hang around forever in spirit. I’ve noticed Stuff, like how quiet the house is when the forced-hot-air heaters aren’t roaring. The first of the yard flowers–crocuses and daffodils–are starting to bloom. The light hits from a different angle during my writing hours. One fine day recently, I could open the house up, and hear the wind in the pines and the morning bird symphony as I tackled my pages for the day.

This is one of my favorite times of year, when it’s milder weather, but the bugs aren’t out yet, and the trees have no leaves so the sunshine can reach everywhere. It’s the vernal version of Indian summer from an anticipatory perspective. I’ve gone to bed with a headache a few nights lately, which I’m guessing has something to do with a stand of pernicious Bradford pears somewhere upwind. Even this makes me happy,  because it means winter is easing its hold.

Putting in my first four flats of pansies makes me happy, and the impatiens aren’t far behind. Having to change the kitty litter less often (because kittehs play outside) makes me happy. Having the sun up as I awaken makes me happy. The titles that in my head have been “Spring 2018” for most of the past year are finally barreling toward publication, and that makes me really happy. (That’s a working cover for My Own True Duchess.)

I see not one but two winter storms in the forecast. We got a foot of snow last week, the biggest dump of the year for my neck of the woods. The hard part isn’t over, but the waters of cold, darkness, and fatigue are receding. Yes, I know I’ll be bellyaching about the bugs, the heat, the snakes, the humidity, the jungle that is my yard, but for now I look forward to the warmth and light, just as I looked forward to the coziness, peace, and snowfalls of winter.

What lifts your spirits this time of year? Or do you mourn to see winter passing and dread the hotter months? To one commenter, I’ll send a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

32 comments on “Here come all the flowers!

  1. 1
    Susan Gorman says:

    I love being able to walk the dogs in the morning in the daylight! And on the return trip home from work…its light out, too. That makes a huge difference to me!!

    The daylilies are starting to poke through the ground and the tulips are about to bloom…even though we are getting snow tommorrow.

    Have found a few Spring tops and sweaters and my favorite scarves are waiting to be worn..need it to be a tad warmer. Am dying to ditch my LL Bean boots for loafers.

    Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons….mild weather appeals to me. I am looking forward to having a cup of coffee with Molly on the back deck. She will snooze…dreaming of chasing squirrels….and I will enjoy the sounds of Spring.

    • 1.1

      I’m watching the flowers push against the weather too, Sue. We keep getting what my mom called, “onion snows,” but the daffodils, pansies, tulips, and hyacinth forge ahead anyway. The days get longer anyway. The nice days are truly nice anyway.
      But then there’s that snow in the forecast… for now.

  2. 2
    Beth says:

    Canada geese honking bouts as they pair off in the lake behind. One pair selected my yard for part of their daily rounds and the male is doing a perscopic investigation of my bedroom on the mornings I’ve been able to open the windows. Comical outrage on his face when I honk back. I’ll share, buddy, but this bit is MY nest!

    • 2.1

      Do not mess with geese. They are formidable when cranky, which is to say, all the time. I’m always glad for a late spring, because it means no snakes for a few extra weeks. I could not live where you do. The snakes we have up here are nothing compared to the specimens lurking in your weeds.

      And yeah… the sound of the geese honking along up on the skyways… I love that.

  3. 3
    Teenie Marie says:

    I love the anticipation of this time of year. The promise of consistently nicer weather (here in Chicago, it is often hot, cold, rainy/snowy and, of course, windy, all in the space of a week during March/early April) when we are able to COUNT on it being OK for a few days.

    It is no where near time to put in my pansies and I’ve learned from past experiences not to jump the gun but it’s close to being time!

    I love the angle of the sunshine and I love seeing all the bulbs I’ve planted through the years peek up. Now it is time to get the rake out, at least, and rake up the mucky stuff so my daffs and tulips can get a full viewing. But not going to do it today, on Easter, it’s time for Peeps and chocolate and family. Hope your holiday is happy, Grace! 🙂

    • 3.1

      In Maryland, pansies will winter over most years. We can plant them in the fall, and they will flower until hard frost, then they’ll start up again in the spring. They are usually cooked into oblivion by mid-June, which I hate to see, but this is why God made impatiens.

      I like the anticipation too, like the sense that winter IS on the run. And I love that the bugs aren’t out yet.

  4. 4
    Diane Sallans says:

    I look for the crocus to pop up & the forsythia to burst out.

    Unfortunately, spring seems very delayed this year – predictions are for 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow -which thankfully isn’t a lot, but the temps are predicted to be quite low for another 2 weeks (sigh). I want to be able to put my winter coasts & sweaters away!

    • 4.1

      I’m reminded of what my sister-in-law in Montana told me: They NEVER put the winter clothes away. Do that, and you’re SURE to wake up to six inches of the white stuff. Snows there in June, snows in September, and sleet and hail in August and July are always a possibility.

      Maybe Maryland isn’t so bad…

  5. 5
    Mary T says:

    What lifts my spirits this time of year? This earth seeming to come to life. The lush green of the grass. The colors of the flowers and flowering trees. And the sunshine – even though this Spring we’ve had more more rainy and cloudy days than sunshiny ones.

    • 5.1

      I asked a veterinarian what mistake he sees horse owners making most often, and his response: Underestimating the nutrient value of spring grass. That stuff is PACKED with goodies, to such an extent that “grass colic” is a thing.
      I love to see the winter wheat, which is deep green even before the grass is. It’s just so… reassuring? There’s a growing season on the way. Thank heavens for that.

  6. 6

    At last everything seems to be waking up and it seems to me that the expectation of spring is near.I hope so despite the forecast of heavy rain and winds.It’s been a long bitter winter that’s left most people down in their boots.We need a bit of sunshine without the cold wind whipping through us.I need to witness nature pushing through and letting us know they may be a little late this year but they intend to put on a good display for us.Happy days are here again for me I just love being outside in the fresh air and I can cope with the bugs and creepy crawlers.Snakes I’m not so sure about! So bring it on I’m ready.

    • 6.1

      There’s just something about fresh air, isn’t there? These are the days when for a few hours in the afternoon, I can sometimes open the house up and let the merry breezes blow through. The house feels happier, I’m happier, the distinction between “inside,” and “outside,” is more porous, and I like that.
      I was raised without air conditioning, which meant for much of the warmer months, only the screen doors or window screens were closed, and air was always moving through the house. I was a remarkably healthy kid, too.

  7. 7
    Bonny says:

    I look forward to spring but have the heat of summer… It means back to mini MS flares like I would have in the coldest days of winter! So spring and call are better as long as I can not have allergies that cause asthma and colds… I just need a bubble! Does anyone have a commit control order free bubble that friends and loved ones could visit me at? Oh and my hypoallergenic dogs could reside in as well? That would work great! Because shoots in the spine are just no fun at all!

    • 7.1

      You said it–if there’s a downside to spring, it’s the allergies. There were some years when I’d get in the car and drive around with the AC on, because that was the only way to get relief from all the pollen. Step out of the car though, and BAM.

      I hope we get a mild summer to go with our late spring. That would be wonderful, because you aren’t the only one who can’t stand the heat. I hate it–hate the humidity, the bugs, the need to run AC even if it’s just at night. That thing is noisy.

      I like having to wear fewer clothes, but I do not like that heat at all.

  8. 8
    Linda L. says:

    While I enjoy the coziness winter brings, being cold outside and toasty warm inside, I look forward to spring. The lush green grass, daffodils blooming, winter coats in the closet and the hint of summer to come. The absolute best thing about spring, summer (when its not blistering hot) and fall is my screened in porch. It’s my outdoors sanctuary. I love a cloudless day with temps in the low 70s. I take a cup of tea and a good book out on the porch spending the afternoon reading and occasionally napping. Life is good!

    • 8.1

      I’ve thought about adding a screened porch to my house. Could put a kiva out there, run some electricity, a skylight… I do so much writing at the kitchen table, and sitting one place is very, very bad for me. But then, I could spend the money on a trip to Scotland… Hmmm.

  9. 9
    Emily K says:

    What lifts my spirits are the tulips coming up in my front raised bed. It’s in full sun and bulbs are shallow ( thanks to one of my boys who uses that bed in the off season as a construction zone for his earth movers!) so they start pushing up early. I feel like spring is coming when I see their little leaves. And even if they sometimes get covered in snow they still survive and keep growing. Such resilient flowers

  10. 10
    Karen H near Tampa says:

    I am a bit like a lizard and cannot stand cold weather and just seeing the date on the calendar lifts my spirits. We had a lovely February here (highs above average every day and even about 10 days worth of records broken) but then March got so cold, I was miserable. Then it would warm up and just when I felt comfortable, it got cold again. But April means even if there’s a cold front, it’ll probably just be a degree or two colder and I feel happy. Plus all the flowers blooming is a beautiful sight (though I miss daffodils down here). While it does get hot in the summer, I’ll take that any day over the cold and dark of winter.

    • 10.1

      There are many days when it’s hotter in Maryland than it is for my ridin’ buddies in Orlando. That just seems to unfair. We get the mizzable heat and humidity, also the bitter cold. But then… we have friends on Florida.

      My parents lived in San Diego. If they heard from long lost friends from back East, invariably those people were looking to couch surf in January and February.

  11. 11
    Marianne says:

    The longer days lift my spirits. Then there are the sprouts in my 2 small flats of petunias and some growth on the begonias even if they will remain indoors under the lights for another 6 weeks or so.

    The winter tires are allowed off as of today, too. This year they’ll stay on a bit longer, but they can come off!

    • 11.1

      If there is one job I never want to have, it’s chain monkey. I see the signs in Colorado, requiring that all vehicles traveling certain roads have chains available nine months of the years, and I’m… nope.

      Year round tires for me.

  12. 12
    Anne Egger says:

    I enjoy warmer weather. spring has come to my neck of the woods. I have a big paper due on April 9th, so I’ll be glad when that is out of the way. I also have a doctor’s appointment this month, nutrition continues to be a challenge for me. Sigh. April is challenging, but May will be a nice month.

    • 12.1

      I’m hanging on until June, when both the writing and the law office should really calm down. I feel like a kid waiting for the longest school year ever to end, and the snow days just keep piling up.

      But we’ll get there.

  13. 13
    Lynn Bruce says:

    Hi Grace
    This spring is a negative reminder that we are a year behind schedule in downsizing from this large house and moving out west.2017 was not a good year-we lost two family members and some large skeletons fell out of the family closet with no older members still around to explain things.I am hoping we will accomplish our goals in 2018.We have downsized our business and are only working part time.The rest of the time we spend going through almost 35 years worth of stuff.I have read several books to help me in my downsizing effort.I still have the Georgette Heyer books which I bought in college during the 70’s and all the Johanna Lynsay and Jude Devereaux books as well as historical romance novels from all the decades that followed.Then there are the oak antiques that my husband and I collected as a young married couple and the remains of our interests and hobbies over the years.I think it will take us 6 months to clear everything out and then in the fall we need to prepare the house for selling. I hope I am not going to comment to you next spring that I am still behind schedule. I love all the beautiful spring flowers that are blooming but everything has a layer of yellow pine pollen on it. Even without allergies having this much particulate matter in the air is annoying.Unfortunately all the greenery and flowers bursting out all over are a reminder that the four months of hot, humid weather is coming soon and a reminder of why we are contemplating a move to the Pacific Northwest.Who knows? Maybe I will run into your daughter in Oregon.That is my favorite state.

    • 13.1

      As I’m watching the weather forecast here in Maryland, and seeing snow flakes where they ought not to be…. maybe you will run into ME in Oregon. I’ve been in the same house for nearly thirty years now. To say I’m a year behind in the death-cleaning is putting it mildly.

  14. 14
    Chris L. says:

    Oh, how I ADORE the working cover for TG#5! (And just pre-ordered, thank you very much!) That little touch of lace at Mister’s (my lord’s?) cuffs immediately reminds me of the likes of Lord Valentine and the Duke of Haverford. And my lady’s dress is stunning!

    I, too, am looking forward to the next season. For about a week or two every spring my lilac bushes assail my senses with their transitory splendor, and it’s just the thing I need to shake my winter doldrums for good.

    Here in Southwestern Illinois, we got some sleet and snow yesterday, too. Hope your pansies make it!

    • 14.1

      Thank you for those kind comments regarding the True Duchess cover. The image is done by Lee Avison, the guy who did the image for True Lady. I really like that look–it’s romantic, historical, sweet… Her dress is honestly more Victorian than Regency,but what the heck. It’s historical. Glad you like it.
      My lilac bushes are just barely, barely in bud. Fingers crossed they won’t get knocked back by some disobliging cold front. Again.

  15. 15
    Glenda says:

    I love the wildflowers and that everything else is turning green (ok, the live oaks are brown and yellow with pollen and turning everything non living yellow but they’ll be green soon). Baby critters are showing up. The does are getting ready to drop their babies. And best of all, we have more sunlight to enjoy the rebirth of nature.

  16. 16
    Carol Luciano says:

    I can’t wait to day “Goodbye Winter”.When I wake to bird song and the sunshine I know Spring is definitely arriving.

  17. 17
    Tracy Hicks says:

    After this winter, I’m MORE than ready for spring. But I want REAL spring. Not this freezing rain that’s coming down, making my chickens hide in their coops instead of coming out to dig through the receding snow for treasured bits of green. I want to start clearing the roses of their fall covers and find green buds on my lilacs. I want to look up one morning and see that faint reddish-green haze covering the trees. I won’t even complain about the pine pollen everywhere. (much) I want to, no I need to get my hands into the earth to plant my thyme and rosemary. I want flats of pansies & celosia to put in around my front porch steps. I am impatient for the warm sun on me as I enjoy my coffee sitting with my chickens around me, begging for bits of muffin or toast. And I envy you Maryland’s milder climate; but yet wouldn’t trade my home in New Hampshire for warmer climates. As much trouble & cold the winter brings, I look forward to the few months of quiet and seclusion to regroup and spend quality time with my own self.

  18. 18
    Adrienne says:

    I loved the beauty of the last quick snow we had here at the beginning of the week. Everything was still, beautiful and quiet outside. I took a few moments to enjoy it with a cup of coffee that morning. It was gone by afternoon.