Spring Temptations

Spring is being generous with our town this year. She showed up soft and slow, giving the city some time to sort out the sewer drains before hitting double digits this week.

I went for a walk along one of our many paved trails. The snow had melted into a small river running alongside the walkway, the sun shone warm and the pavement beneath my feet was bare and dry for the first time in months. I turned my face up to the sun, closed my eyes for a second and was suddenly struck with an overwhelming urge to lay down on the warm pathway and soak up the heat like a cat.

Only two things stopped me.

One, the pathway is frequented by dogs who make generous daily deposits. While there was no actual evidence of this in the stretch of pathway in front of me, I knew the residue was there.

Two, at my age, laying down on a public walkway would end in chaos and ambulances. Well, I suppose at any age it would cause a bit of eyebrow raising, but with me the assumption would be stroke or heart attack related for sure. How to explain I was just experiencing a bout of spring madness?

And so I carried on walking, keeping my reckless ideas safely in my head and up off the pavement for the sake of all things sanity and sanitary. But oh how warm that pavement looked after weeks of crazy cold.

People have already started shovelling the snow off their lawns and into the streets. Last year, our first spring in a house in town, I was bemused by the practice. I figured it was just a case of some home owners being anxious for spring and desperate to start mowing their lawns.

Why bother I thought to myself. Another couple weeks and everyone would have a bare lawn one way or the other. Plus all that snow could have been soaking in and watering their front yard instead of the street. It seemed a terrible waste of both time and moisture.

This year I know better.

It’s the gravel on top of the snow, tossed there during the necessity of winter maintenance, that makes returning the snow to the street such a savvy move. It is much easier to shovel snow, gravel and all, back to the street for the sweeper to reclaim than it is to rake it out of your lawn when the snow is gone.

Right now the big bank of snow along our curb is still a few feet tall, but lowering fast. I am eyeing the shrinkage and waiting for the opportune moment to start shovelling.

Things are moving faster closer to the house. Look at this!

I call it the great receding snow line. There is no sweeter sight than a flower bed emerging from the snow. This is my first spring in five years that I can step into a garden and see what has returned from all the mad planting I did the year before.

Am I excited? You bet. I could just roll around on the ground kind of excited. But I won’t. At least I am pretty sure I won’t.

Art Compensation

I do a variety of art projects for no better reason than when I dabble with paint or mosaics or mixed media the world slips away and for a few blissful moments it feels like I am in conversation with The Universe.

Once the conversation ends I am left with a piece of what could loosely be called art that sometimes makes its way onto a wall or a shelf in our home. More often than not, the piece ends up being recycled for a second go around in another “conversation” to come.

Sometimes I like the pieces well enough, but too many accumulate and I end up donating a few to a thrift store. I confess that on a few occasions I have returned later to see what they have priced my work at and if it sells. I don’t know if that is weird, pathetic, completely narcissistic or all three. Don’t judge me.

A couple weeks ago I was in one of our local thrift stores when I spotted a mosaic piece I had made well over a decade ago. For years it had hung by the wood stove in our kitchen on the farm. When we moved into town, almost five years ago, I had donated it, not to see if it would sell, but simply because I was purging for the move.

I frequent this thrift store often and hadn’t seen the mosaic hanging there before, so I knew it hadn’t been there the whole time.

Plus the frame had been scuffed and damaged since I donated it. I figured someone bought it, hadn’t loved it much and then donated it again, or maybe it had just been kicking around the back storage room all these years and had suffered damage that way.

The only thing I knew for sure was the sticker read $3.99 and I felt sorry for it. I grabbed it off the wall like I was rescuing a puppy from a dumpster and carried it over to the till.

The ego part of me was hoping the salesperson would say something complimentary about the mosaic or perhaps marvel at the surprisingly cheap price tag attached.

“What? 3.99? There must be some kind of mistake. It should be at least 39.99!” but all she said was, “That will be 2.79 please.”

I handed her the two toonies I had ready and she quickly deposited a loony and a couple dimes back into my hand.

“Actually that’s not right,” I told her, trying to return the change. “It’s 3.99.”

She stared at me for a long moment, looking a bit like a deer in the headlights, before cautiously saying, “Um, it’s Senior Tuesday so I gave you your 30 percent discount.”


Bad enough my art was abused, rejected twice and mockingly priced, but now here I was finding out I look a full ten years older than I actually am.

But then I thought, hey, that’s what happens when you enjoy a lifetime of summers gardening in the sun. I can almost buy a pack of garden seeds with that buck seventy-nine savings. AND I get a mosaic piece I know for a fact cost at least twenty dollars in ingredients to make, all for a mere two dollars and seventy-nine cents.


It’s everything.

Spring Arrives Tomorrow at 1:00

Spring arrives tomorrow at 1 pm. How is that for precise? That is when temperatures are supposed to creep up to the plus side of zero and-according to the forecast-stay there for the daytime for the next 14 days.

With daylight savings kicking in tomorrow for much of the country, that’s 1 pm Pacific not Mountain. For us it is simply Peace Country time, which is the same time all year long. While everyone around us switches back and forth, we just keep our clocks unchanged, only it’s not the same time because half the time we’re the same as the rest of BC and the other half we’re the same as Alberta so we’re always having to adjust for that. Confused yet? Me too.

Animals in the Peace have no such problems. Dinner time never changes. If dinner is 5 pm it is 5 pm 24/7/365.

What is about to change is this…

So. Much. Snow. I took this picture this morning. Beneath that heap of snow on our front lawn is my newest garden bed which I loaded up with bulbs last fall. I am giddy with anticipation. On the far right corner buried beneath soil, mulch and six feet of snow is a giant allium bulb that is meant for Zone 5. Living in our land of Zone 2b or not 2b, splurging on this bulb was a bit of a reckless gamble, but look at that snow cover!

Thanks to the city and their snow truck spewing ways, the amount of insulation on the allium makes the four inch layer of mulch I carefully piled on top of the precious bulb laughable. I have high hopes for the bulb’s survival.

I guess we will find out soon enough. Time to put on the gum boots, stand back and let ‘er melt. Hello spring!