Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Heart Leaps Up When Spring is in the Air

This weekend, my older son and his wife assembled the really pretty wood picnic table they gave me for Christmas, and I planned to celebrate it with an al fresco lunch Monday. A front came in, however, and I know 58 degrees isn't that cold, but there was a stiff north wind. I decided to wimp out for later in the week.

I've always loved picnics. I've always loved eating out of doors. One of the things I loved about visiting in Oregon a couple years ago is the amount of outside eating (minus the fire ants, chiggers and ticks, as well). In New Mexico, (also minus the fire ants, chiggers and ticks) in the heat of the summer, we were 29 minutes from picnics at 5,200 ft.- plus, with trees, cool breezes, meadows and wildflowers. Or we could wait till evening, go to the White Sands, roll down the gypsum hills that look like sand but don't retain the heat, and either barbecue or knosh on fried chicken, potato salad, sliced garden tomatoes, somebody's pie and somebody else's cake or cookies. And cold watermelon. Just spit the seeds in the sand. MMM.

In summers, at the White Sands Monument, fantastic scientists come out mid-week to give free lectures on subjects you have not thought of, grasshopper. And the universe, in your imagination, expands a bit.

Texas in these parts has changeable, unpredictable year-to-year weather October through June. July, August and mostly September are scripted: hot.

Except for breakfast, I won't use my picnic table much this summer. But I can now, and in the fall, and even in contrary days in winter. And I hope using it can be a we as much as possible.

The extreme cold for 3-4 weeks has been followed by an extreme warmup. Just two weeks ago the temperature was in single digits. There was ice. There was snow. With fragile knees, I didn't go next door to my son's family for 10 days. Ice. Long gone.

After 10 days in the 70s, I notice the grass is greening. Oh, dear, the Barrett pear (non-bearing, but so pretty) is budding. Daffodils are budding and blooming. Native Texans muse, "Can the next snowfall be far behind?"

We will get more cold weather, just not in the single digits or teens, if usual. Dogs and cats are shedding. This early warmth must have the peach farmers terrified. One or two more big freezes are almost obligatory. Sigh. I do love me some fresh, local peaches.

Weather patterns are changing all over, some subtly, some overt. The world keeps changing, and we humans continue to be astonished at that. It's funny to me at my age, and thirty years from now, if I am around, it will be even funnier. I hope.

Meanwhile, I have my deck, my picnic table, I am chopping out the unwanted iris and planning to fill the empty space with herbs. Maybe some coreopsis, salvia, marigolds here and there.
Some deck pots to fill for bright and pretty.

We'll see how the farmer's market runs this summer. I like local. I like eating stuff locally in their time so I don't get tired of it and eat the same stuff-inferior-from thousands of miles away.

Like the fruits and vegetables, I want to savor each thing in its time.

Even life is juicier that way.

1 comment:

clairz said...

Charlotte, I'm not sure where you are exactly, but saw that the West Texas wildfires have been through San Angelo. Is everything ok where you are?