What To Do About the S Word

Later today I will scamper out to the grocery store–the nearest one is eight miles away–and load up on the usual provisions. For what feels like the zillioneth time in the past six months, I’ll undertake this exercise because the forecast is calling for half a foot of snow. Again.

daffodilsI’m OK with this, though, because I can see the date, and I can feel the days getting longer, and I can absorb that the sun’s getting stronger, even on the cold days. In other words, spring is coming, whether there’s snow in the forecast or not. In that spirit, here are ten things I love about spring:

1) Crocuses. I’ve seen them as early as January and as late as… this week, and they are always, always a welcome sight. In this same category, lump daffodils, anemones, forsythia… all the true harbingers who often get snowed on.

pepper2) Peepers. These are the tiny tree frogs who make that high-pitched cheeping on early spring evenings. They get snowed on too, but there always seems to be a fresh crop singing to their true loves the next year.

3) Flowering trees. Maryland does flowering trees beautifully, particularly the redbud and dog wood. They make my heart happy. Trees and flowers together–what could be lovelier?

Redbud trees24) Leafing out. It’s late this year–the oak trees aren’t even turning pinkish yet, but I can feel it coming.

5) Songbirds. Love waking up to the singing of the birds.

6) Fresh air. Especially those first few warm days, when you go outside, surprised to feel it’s nearly trenton_450as warm Out There as it is in the bathroom, and you open up the house even if it’s a bit chilly.

7) Flowers at the grocery store. Yes, they’re trying to get you to impulse buy, but where’s the harm in some “just for pretty” as they say around here?

8) Shedding. The horses actually start shedding in January, as the days start getting longer, but at some point, the hair loss becomes torrential, and it’s really, truly spring.

9) Lawnmowers. Some ambitious, yard proud neighbor has to fire up their equipment well before the grass is awake, much less growing, but the first time I hear it, I think, “Spring!”

Spring splendor10) Spring break. Why? I go exactly nowhere, if I even take a break, but many other people hit the beach, and when they go, they take BOOKS, and BOOKS, and BOOKS!

Marvelous! Your turn: What you love, love, love about spring….

To one commenter, I’ll send the Spring Splendor Gift Basket, from baskets.com.

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79 comments on “What To Do About the S Word

  1. 1
    Catherine says:

    Windows open at night, not having to wear socks, walks where I don’t fear falling on the ice, and driving with the sunroof open and the windows down! That’s spring to me. :)

    It’s been a long winter, and I’m excited for a new season.

  2. 2
    PhyllisC says:

    I love the new growth on the trees and plants. A sign of spring not so nice is the pollen everywhere, causing allergies to act up. It’s been a colder, rainier winter than usual here, Looking forward to warmer weather.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. 3
    Amy Conley says:

    Spring means SUMMER is just around the corner. I can’t wait for 80+ degree temps and I thrive in the humidity.
    But, I too look foward to my first spring flowers. I am by no means a garderner, but I love flowers. I have some early type flower, not a crocues or daffadil, something I don’t even no the name of, but it does bloom early, last year my first blooms were Feb 2nd, with snow on top of them. Thursday I finally saw my first bloom, and this is probably the latezt I’ve ever seen them. But it just means spring is about to be sprung and summer not long after.
    The best part of even one or two warm days between the snow is opening my windows! I love fresh air. I love getting the stench of winter out of my house. And having thosr warm days with clear air and sunshine billowing into my house, makes me want to get rid of ALL signs of winter, I actually enjoy spring cleaning, everything! Today is was my 2 cats. They got their first baths of the season and while they weren’t thrilled at the time, they sure did love all the attention they got once the were dried out and brushed.
    The BEST THING about this time of year, March 17th to be exact, is it is the anniversary of my husband and my “first and ONLY date”. This year marks 30 years of good, bad, ugly, beautiful, good times and bad. One basically non-date has brought us to where we are now, still together and not planning on going anywhere without the other, still. I don’t know about hubby, but St Patrick’s day always makes me feel like I am 24 again and our love is just strengthed. Now we also have a grandbaby who shares his birthday with us and it really doez show me at least, what a road we’ve traveled.

    • 3.1

      And is the grandbaby named Patrick? Middle name Patrick? One of the professors in my dad’s department was very much for the wearing of the green, and his office would get pranked by the grad students every Fourth of July. One year, it was a vegetable died green, another year green chickens, I think…

  4. 4
    Tracey S says:

    I look forward to driving without wearing a coat. All that bulk makes me cranky. I love winter. It has it’s own kind of beauty. But I am ready to loose the coat!

    • 4.1

      When I bought my last truck, I forked over the boola to have a seat heater installed, and you’re right–the bulky coat means the seat heater isn’t as effective. And yes, on a cool summer morning, I WILL use the seat heater.

  5. 5
    Kathy Nye says:

    Spring is my favorite season! I love flowers, flip-flops and family birthdays. I am smiling just thinking about how close we are to all three.

    • 5.1

      Flip flops, shorts, hair piled on top of my head, cool-ish showers that don’t leave your skin parched, popsicles for dessert, the scent of SPF 50… all good things!

  6. 6
    Brenda Dickson says:

    What a beautiful basket to celebrate spring and all of it’s glory. I am so looking forward to warmer weather and all of the beautiful flowers of spring.

  7. 7
    Joyce Burkhardt says:

    We have heard the birds singing and know spring is on the way. We are still waiting to see the trees beginning to bud where we live though. I can not wait to be able to wear the spring and then summer outfits. There is so much color in these clothes and so much less of them that you feel happy and free of the chains of winter. I want to feel the hot sunshine on my face again.

    • 7.1

      We’ve even had some of those sun-shiney days, when you could feel your innner cat basking, but Mother Nature is snatching the sun screen away again… not for long, I hope.

  8. 8
    Mary T says:

    I live in an area (near St. Louis) where we experience all four seasons. And despite the fact that I can find winters very depressing (I think it has to do with the amount of sunlight) I’m glad of it.

    Spring and Autumn are my two favorites. I love Spring because of the sense of renewal. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. I’m not sure why I love Autumn so much – there is just such a sad beauty about it.

    On a different note, I wanted to let you know I just finished reading DAVID from your Lonely Lords Series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Next to DARIUS it was my favorite. And because I enjoyed DARIUS so much, I’m, really looking forward to TRENTON. Love your stuff.

    • 8.1

      Mary T, I’m a four seasons person too. I like the variety, the sense of rolling forward. Just when I get tired of a season, we get previews of the next one. I like that!

  9. 9
    Bettye McKee says:

    Some of my flowers are already blooming, but they have predicted snow this weekend. I haven’t seen it yet, but we’ve had lots of rain. It lightened my mood considerably to see the beautiful pictures of flowers and trees. I think any of your fans would love to receive that lovely spring basket!

    • 9.1

      Betty, just hunting the pictures up was a mood brightener. I googled “pansies,” and WOW, color everywhere. Google “flowering trees,” same thing. Then hanging “flower baskets.” and then…
      And then it was bed time, but I had nice pictures to dream on.

  10. 10
    Jennifer says:

    SO many things to love about spring!: the smell of the soil warming back up and getting ready for a new garden season, the vibrancy of the color green everywhere, the first sprigs on the ever-growing mint patch, the profusion of apple blossoms and dogwoods around town (and the fragrant “snow” they create), the red-winged blackbirds perched on roadside fences, and that wonderful, wonderful feeling of Lightness inside and out. It’s heaven.

    And yes! the peepers, too. Can’t wait for the first outing to the local ice cream parlor so I can sit and listen to the peepers in the nearby woods.

    • 10.1

      You remind me of another quintessentially spring image–a hawk playing in the thermal created by a freshly turned (and thus dark) patch of earth. Because the ground is dark, it warms up, and the air above it moves upward.

      I only see that sight in early spring, before whatever’s planted has turned the field green.

  11. 11
    eli yanti says:

    Since I will in country with only 2 seasons, I can’t tell you what I miss about spring but I love rain and summer day. I don’t know I can bear being live in winter, I’m not used with that. But I think what people miss about spring is blossom, beautiful flower :)

    • 11.1

      Eli, my brothers lives in San Fransisco, where he says there are two seasons, “Green and Brown.” Another brother lives in Montana, where he says they also have two seasons, “Winter and Relatives.” A friend lives in Arizona, where the two seasons are “Hot and Hotter.”

      Not sure I’d cope so well with those plans!

  12. 12
    Susan Gorman says:

    Daffodils!
    Twenty six years ago, I bought daffodils bulbs and planted them around the oak tree in my front yard.
    I so look forward to seeing them bloom each year!!
    My tulips come up a week or two later.
    Flowers make me happy!

    • 12.1

      I love the bulbs. Love that you plant them when it’s cooling down in the autumn, love that they’re perennial, love how easy they are and how very, exceedingly glad I am to see them bloom in spring.

  13. 13
    Sharon Fournier says:

    I absolutely love the smell of spring…the sweetness of nature just seems to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Shucking the bulky clothes of winter and donning lighter apparel makes me feel like dancing. And, I absolutely love being able to open up my windows and letting all that beautiful fresh, clean air in!

    • 13.1

      FRESH AIR… How do people manage in places where opening up the windows lets in something else? I’m in the country, I can smell when somebody up the valley cleans out the loafing shed or the turkey barn, and I like that.

      I can smell when the hay crop comes off, when the corn is turned under, when the silage is fed and they are all good smells to me.

      • 13.1.1
        Christina G. says:

        They are good, clean smells. Earthy and natural. Like a horse barn and saddle leather. Mmm… reminds me of autumn.

  14. 14
    Mickey says:

    This has been quite a winter. Not as much snow as in some years but COLD here in upstate NY. Spring is coming though….the snow will melt this week enough so that the snow drops and crocus will blossom. The days are getting longer and the urge to sit in the sun after work with a glass of wine and a book is nearly painful. I love the promise of beginnings in spring.

  15. 15
    Sarah R. says:

    Spring in other parts of the country sounds lovely, here not so much. Spring here means 100+ degree weather is coming very, very soon, sometimes as early as the end of March! Spring also means allergies, allergies and more allergies,of course a lot of it depends on the amount of rain we got during the “winter”. Although, for someone like me who is allergic to most everything inside and outside it doesn’t make much difference except the headaches are worse. Around here we also get the orange blossoms and some people love it and others, like me, get a headache just thinking about the smell. There are some areas not far from here where I literally have to hold my breath while driving through.
    Okay, enough complaining, here are some good things about spring. It’s the beginning of the baseball season and one of my favorite things is to go out to a ballgame and cheer on our team. The boys don’t complain that it’s too dark to wake up and they are getting excited that it’s almost time for school to be out. A lot of the fruit starts tasting better and gets cheaper at the stores,we have one tree out front that will have all it’s leaves back at the end of March and this year it means family vacation is coming. That’s about all I have for good things about spring.

    • 15.1
      Amy Hageman says:

      Due to my allergies, I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with spring. I love the longer days and the sunshine. I love to watch the flowers peep out of my mom’s flower beds. I’m in awe that she continues with her gardening, since she’s the one I inherited the allergies from. I love the thought of putting in a vegetable garden. And I especially love the breaks – I am enjoying spring break right now, and I know Easter break is not far off. And then, the end of school!

    • 15.2

      Somebody told that Phoenix was the allergy-free capital of the country until word got out, and people arrived, and they started… landscaping.

      HUH! You want get away from pollen so you plant stuff all around your house?

      At least the vacay is coming up!

  16. 16
    LSUReader says:

    Some things I love about spring:
    Gardening
    Flowers
    Playing outside with the grandkids
    Easter
    Driving with the moonroof open
    Fresh berries, and
    the Kentucky Derby.

    • 16.1

      LSU, I was with you until the Derby. It’s beautiful, it’s exciting, the horses are marvelous, the tradition is wonderful… but when an animal is bred for 300 years to produce one trait (speed–regardless of soundness, temperament, disease resistance or conformation), then started way too young and pushed too hard, that animal is destined 80 percent of the time for an awful end.

      I could rant and rant. Sorry.

  17. 17
    may says:

    I love the flowers especially. Always make me happy!

  18. 18
    Sabrina says:

    Sandals. I push the wearing of sandals as early and as late as I can. I only wear shoes when it’s absolutely, positively necessary.

    I also love throwing open all the windows. I’ve gotten to spend a few Saturdays with them open already this year. Last week we got to push open the garage doors at the gym one day and the next we had freezing rain. This is the winter that refusing to let go.

  19. 19
    Moriah says:

    I love tulips blooming and the sight of the first robins.

  20. 20
    Cindy Perra says:

    Oooh! This basket has my name all over it. I don’t drink coffee, I drink tea and collect teapots. I love cookies and lilac and green.
    What I love about Spring is the sun, flowers blooming, getting rid of heavy coats and clothes, and feeling euphoric.

  21. 21

    I love spring because it’s not too cold but it’s not real warm as goldielocks would say it’s just right!!

  22. 22
    Janiec says:

    One of the best things I love is that now that we’ve sprung forward it’s not dark at 4pm. The extra light does wonders for my mood and I also love not having to wear the bulky sweaters and puffy coats. Spring is also when the big blockbusters start rolling out a couple of months before summer. Really looking forward to Captain America: The Winter Soldier which is coming out in April.

    • 22.1

      While I’m STILL up until 2 am, and dragging out of bed at 8 am on a good day. I sleep near an open window, so that old sun is barreling into my bedroom, trying to wake me up, but no dice. Before the time change, I was wonderfully in sync–for a change.

  23. 23
    Sharlene Martin Moore says:

    In Memphis, we have hundreds possibly even thousands of dogwoods, cherry trees and azaleas. Spring is gorgeous here, I am just so ready for it to come on.

    And sandals.

    • 23.1

      I’ve seen Memphis in spring–puts Washington DC with its measly little tidal basin to shame. But then, there’s summer in Memphis, and more summer, and more summer…

  24. 24
    catslady says:

    Spring is my favorite time of year. I planned both my children’s births for Spring (and it worked lol). My oldest, April, is born May 3 and my youngest, Alysa, April 20. And had I known I would have had a girl in April I probably would have saved the name lol. Green – I love all the green and, of course, the flowers. I do not care for the sound of lawn mowers and weed wackers (I have extreme neighbors who are retired and spend the entire day outside and start as early as 7 AM (I’m a night owl). But they do have lovely lawns lol.

    • 24.1

      My objective with the yard is to stop it from, as they say around here, “going back to the mountain.” That would take about a season, before saplings sprouted up, and weeds were shoulder height. I love that. I love that I’m sitting on a biological volcano of growth imperative. I don’t like putting the yard guy’s kids through college so much…

  25. 25
    bn100 says:

    like the flowers

  26. 26
    Diane Sallans says:

    - when the snowdrops & the crocus come up
    - when we can leave the windows open to air out the house
    - when the rhododendrons bloom
    - when the leave come back to the trees
    - when it stays light later at night

    this has been the longest winter I can remember – snow is predicted at least thru late March!

    • 26.1

      Diane, I wasn’t going to mention that part about the you-know-what, but there it is, in next week’s forecast, and not just a dusting.

      Easter bunny better be wearing snow shoes.

  27. 27
    trudy says:

    I’m very partial to redbuds myself. I never saw them until we took the children to the beach for spring break. We drove through the back roads south to avoid the traffic on 95, and woven through the woods were these flowering branches of purple.

    • 27.1

      I don’t recall them from growing up in PA, either Trudy, but they’re surely happy here in Maryland. PA had terrific dogwoods, rhodies and mountain laurel though.

  28. 28
    Glenda says:

    I love the Texas Wildflowers. I first drove into Texas when the wildflowers were in full bloom. I think I fell a little bit in love with the state then. (I know I fell in love with my husband not long after.) I love the moderate Spring temperatures and that everything is green a beautiful before the heat of summer. :-)

    • 28.1

      The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, it was in a snow storm in April, then we drove down through the Kaibab Plateau in the middle of a hundred year bloom. Wonderfulness on top of magnificence, but then you hit southern Arizona, and oops, not my cup of sand.

  29. 29
    Jessica Bush says:

    Clean live in geneva ohio. So salt mud dust everywhere. Just got the cleaning supplys at lows yesterday!

    • 29.1

      You put me in mind of that first mild weekend, when all the guys are the car wash, lined up around the block to get that salt off the cars.

      Or to get out of the house!

  30. 30
    Joleen says:

    I love the smell of the spring air in rural Kansas. The smell is heavenly. After living in Los Angeles and San Diego for years (and having bad asthma) you really appreciate the beauty of fresh clean fragrant air.
    But my favorite thing about Spring is peonies. Every May I drive around whatever city I’m in at the time looking for bushes of white, pink and hot pink. When I find some good ones, if they’re in someone’s yard, I knock on the door and ask if I can have some blossoms. And I take as many home as I can and put them in a big lavender vase and my whole house smells like peonies for a week. It’s my favorite week of the ENTIRE year. I am The Peony Girl aka Garden Thief. Every perfume I own has peony in it. There is no scent more heavenly on earth than that smell. And you can only have it for 1 week a year. It’s pure bliss. My dad taught me about peonies when we had some in North Dakota. He taught me about the ants and how they eat the wax so the blossoms can bloom. I’ve loved peonies ever since.

    • 30.1

      It is an intoxicating scent, and I bring the flowers into the house too. I’m waiting right now to plant two more Sarah Bernhardts, until after the You Know What.

  31. 31
    Georgie says:

    lilly’s of the valley, tulip trees, flowering plum trees and forsythia and sweet shrub.. Where I grew up in NJ, the Lilly of the valley almost always came up in the snow! What I don’t love… POLLEN in North Georgia is a KILLER>… We have already had HIGH Pollen count and it’s no yet April… Red eyes and running noses for a couple of months, but the sun is warm and the glow of spring is happening…

    • 31.1

      That just doesn’t seem fair. You got a hard dose of winter and now spring isn’t behaving either. My sister lives in Athens, and it’s no better there. Beautiful, beautiful, but shut that window!

  32. 32
    Hope Stern says:

    What I love about spring is the literal rebirth of so much that surrounds me. This year that includes , well, me! It’s that time of my life that I am in the midst of a rebirth and the winter of someone I hold dear’s life….it’s a bizarre set of events finding my days to come, looking for things I had neglected in the past, looking to live, to observing, participating and getting the most from my time. Then there is my Dad with dementia sinking into his darkness. He is almost gone now….and I chat with him about memories, he shakes his head or he nods but he really doesn’t remember.
    This spring, watching my college aged children trying to find a future…my husband and I desperately trying to enjoy the present more and my Dad lost in the past.

    On a reading note, may I recommend a great book that helps you to feel the season so much, The Wedding Bees. It’s an awesome homage to love, bees and spring/summer!

    • 32.1

      And those bees could use some homage, particularly now.

      My dad’s fading too, and in that miserable stage where he knows he’s fading and just wants to get it the heck over with. Puts me in mind of adolescence, when we’re so ready to be all grown up, but it’s not time quite yet.

      And then Mom will take a turn in the same barrel, no doubt, and then I will, too.

      But not just yet!

  33. 33
    Mercy C says:

    Rain is one of the things I love on springtime.
    The sound of it pelting the roof and the windows, the smell of grass after a downpour, the life it brings in its aftermath.

    Planting is another.
    I love going to nurseries and picking the annuals and perennials to plant this year, the feel of dirt on my hands as I bury them in the ground, the anticipation of their growth and the satisfaction to see them blossom in my eyes.

    Birds aflutter
    There is nothing quite like the sound of birds sweetly singing as I wake up in the morning. A joyful way to open my eyes to a brand new day.

    • 33.1

      Mercy, there’s a stream running down through the middle of my property, and you remind me that after a good spring rain, if it’s a mild day and I have the door open, I can hear the stream cresting. A good, good sound.

  34. 34
    Christina G. says:

    We’re lucky here in Southern California, we really don’t get a winter. However the early part of the year tends to be a bit wetter than the rest. And by wetter I mean it may rain, but it’s usually just heavy fog.

    On the rare occasion that water does fall from the sky, the most miraculous thing happens. Almost overnight spring arrives and the dull brown scrub brush comes ALIVE. The hillsides turn this wonderful shade of green that only appears after a rain and are dotted with golden poppies (the California state flower, you know), purple and white lupine and other assorted wildflowers. The grass grows tall (sometimes in upwards of four feet) and is capped with bright yellow flowers – black mustard (and there’s a story behind that, too!). The smog clears away and the sky and ocean are such a bright, vibrant shades of blue that they are almost blinding. The weather is warm and dry, yet not sweltering like the summer months, and the winds are nothing but a gentle breeze.

    Spring doesn’t last long here in the coastal scrub, at the most a week or two. But when it shows up it does so with such flourish of color that it is truly one of the prettiest sights around. It just begs to have it’s picture taken.

    • 34.1

      My folks live in San Diego, and I’ve flown in after one of those downpours. It goes from dessert to horticultural paradise nearly overnight. NoCal does the same thing, from brown to green, but flowers in the San Diego area are spectacular.

  35. 35
    Pam Oldham says:

    I love reclining out on the deck, soacking up the warmth while I read all my favorite books. Then at night, on the deck again, sitting around the fire pit, under a cozy blanket, looking at the beautiful stars in the clear Spring sky. The expectancy of the new, of rebirth, is felt in the air and gives Spring a joy unique to its season.

  36. 36
    Anne Egger says:

    I live in Charlotte, NC. Today is a beautiful day. It is about 70 degrees. It is sunny and clear. The daffodils are in bloom. We also have cherry and pear trees blooming. Later on this month we’ll have red bud and yellow and red tulips.

  37. 37
    Sheryl N says:

    The thing I love about Spring is the milder temperatures. Here in South Mississippi we have such high humidity and hot summers. I love the flowers blooming even though it kills my sinuses.

    • 37.1

      When I was younger, I fought against summer, hating the heat and the bugs and the humidity. Now… as long as I can cool my bedroom down at night, I’m OK. Get up early, don’t wear too many clothes, move around when it’s cooler, drink lotsa fluids, and write books.

      Works for me!

  38. 38
    Kathleen Collins says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed! Truly, you’ve captured the essence of spring. Thanks! Kathleen

  39. 39
    Jeanine Knight says:

    I love your commentary about spring… I enjoy all the things you mentioned. With the exceptions that it’s the cats that are shedding.. ;) I know it’s truly spring when herbs start greening up and the chives push up from the old ground.
    The basket looks beautiful it would be wonderful win! Thank you for the opportunity! :)

  40. 40
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