#AtoZChallenge: New

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By AE Brehm [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, I noticed spring. There was nothing, but now scarlet tulips sit tight and upright on their emerald stems; lacy hyacinths wave in the strong spring wind; daffodils all smile at the same point in the distance. The grass isn’t brown. There aren’t leaves, not yet, but branches are dotted with the promise of leaves.

Spring.

Some of the flowering trees have started, and the air itself has changed. It’s new.

There’s a reason spring cleaning is a thing. Nature seems to do it itself, pushing away the dead and dried to make way for the green. Rain scrubs the skies. It washes away the things left behind.

There is no tribute to new quite like spring. Winter has come and gone, and with it its cold and stillness. It isn’t still now.

It’s spring. And the world is new.

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Hello Spring

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Today there is sunshine. I am going outside, even though it’s still a bit chilly, but it’s spring, and I’m going to take it in.

I love spring. It promises so much, there is so much ahead of spring. We get the first flowers, and they are vibrant, some of them scented so strongly they stay with you long after you’ve caught a hint of them on the breeze.

With spring, we have summer to come, and after that, fall, my other favorite time.

For someone who doesn’t like change, I really enjoy the transitional seasons. Interesting.

I can hear the wind, though, sun or not. There’s still a hint of brutality to spring, but it’s a brutality tempered by hope. By a promise of warmer days to come, of abundance.

It’s so short in Chicago, we go from coats to shorts in no time flat. So I will experience it while it’s here and get some photos for when it’s not.

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Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

The Unexpected Strikes Again

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20150323_120428So last week, I talked about spring. I was sure it was here, that winter had given up and retreated, grumbling off to its ice cave for another year.

Ha!

If you look at the comments on that spring post, you will see that I was warned that I was taunting the season, waving a pastel-colored flag in a mild breeze. Once again, I am paraphrasing.

No, I was confident.

And then this happened. See that picture over there? Right next to the text? That would be a nice representation of the enthusiastic snowfall we got yesterday. The cleared sidewalks were covered again. The roads were slippery and messy. I looked outside and suddenly we’d gone backward in time.

It’s not supposed to stay, we’re supposed to hit the 60s on Wednesday (the temperature, not the era, which I can see could be confusing, given I’d left you at going backward in time). That’s the embodiment of Chicago weather for you, but for now there’s no escaping the several inches everywhere once again.

It hasn’t stopped the work on my building, though, the hammering going as though there’s a contest among the guys attached to the side of the building by rope and a metal platform. Maybe they’re working on a new form of propulsion, who knows. Maybe that’s what keeps them up here, and, if that is the case, hammer away.

Anyway, the thing is that you can never know exactly what it is, in life, you’re going to get. The weather reports promised us a light dusting of snow; we got a respectable snowfall. But just because it snowed yesterday, it doesn’t mean it’s snowing today. Nope, today it’s bright and sunny.

With a probability of hammers.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Could It Possibly, Possibly Be?

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We had one very warm day, and now it’s cooler again, but it seems inescapable: spring is in the air. Except for a few stubborn patches, the snow is gone, a few random piles of black, gritty ice stubbornly holding on, but they know their time is nearly up.

There are blue skies and brown grass, but the grass won’t stay that way for long. I haven’t seen the buds yet in the trees, but they’re coming. You can feel it.

This winter wasn’t as brutal as last winter, as ceaseless, as ready to take your soul and pack it away in the deep freeze. But still it saps you, the continuous cold under bleak clouds.

Spring is about beginnings. It’s about newness, about freshness. Spring is the mud you gather when you get going, the windburned cheeks and numb fingertips you know are a promise of warmth to come. Spring is seeds and tentative flowers and trees alive with crowded beauty.

Spring takes the browns and the beiges and paints the earth alive with color. It lets everything be new. It lets us be new.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Flowery Praise for Flowering Trees

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spring treesWhatever the weather might choose to be doing, the flowering trees are going ahead with spring as planned. Their branches explode with tight clusters of flowers, big magnolias, sprays of cherry blossoms, and everywhere around here, fluffy crabapples.

Crabapple is such an ugly name for such a lovely tree, but that’s the name it’s got, so that’s the name it has.

I was thinking about the beauty of flowering trees. At one time, flowering trees meant fruit; now, of course, we have ornamental varieties. Maybe we always had ornamental varieties, only they weren’t being used for ornament, just going about their business, but I digress.

So I wondered if something like a flowering tree is, inherently, beautiful, or if we come to think of it as beautiful, after eons and eons of refining our humanity, because of what those flowers mean.

Is the concept of natural beauty ingrained within us? Is it something that we learn after grown-up after grown-up points to the flower-laden branches and says, “isn’t it beautiful?”

Who knows. Whatever the reason, their beauty is brief, so we should enjoy it while we can.

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Is Spring a Thing?

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Is it? Could it possibly be? Spring?

Yesterday my phone lied to me, told me it was a heady 79 degrees. I was skeptical, though, and just in case the temperature took a tumble, I grabbed my jacket on the way out of the door. Then my car told me it was 56. Fifty-six degrees.

I was glad I’d grabbed that jacket.

But today, my phone is telling me that it’s 72. Now we all already know that it is prone to slight exaggeration, or, in yesterday’s case, 20 degree exaggeration, but I’ve got to tell you, people out in in the blogosphere, it looks like it’s 72 degrees. The air looks warmer, the joggers aren’t bracing themselves against the wind. I think, for today, my phone might just be telling it like it is.

There’s a certain feeling when the weather changes, a sense of shedding something more than a heavy winter coat. And though the sky can’t seem to make up its mind, the trees look determined to push on with their leafy agenda.

Finally.

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Happy Spring in Theory

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Can someone please tell the weather that today is the first day of spring? My direct line to the elements seems to have been disconnected.

According to my phone, we are supposed to have flurries today. Flurries. Actually, it says it’s snowing right now, but my window and the bright blue sky beg to differ.

There was a thin, taunting layer of snow this morning when I got up, and it seems to have mostly disappeared, with white patches remaining to remind us who is boss.

It’s been a greedy, narcissistic winter, starting early and stepping on fall’s toes, hogging the spotlight and elbowing out spring. Watch out summer, it might be coming for you next.

And in case I think it’s all one elaborate joke, the extended forecast promises snow next week. Actual snow next week, when it’s very nearly April.

It’s enough already, winter. Take your bows and make a graceful exit while you still can. Now it’s just embarrassing.