Spring ahead to get aheadBy TIM BEELAND,
The frogs are croaking in the woods, the crickets and other critters are singing in unison, and the fire ant mounds are growing taller by the minute, spring must be near. Actually, Spring Break is here right now for the kiddos, but I’ve long since outgrown that!
I did spring our clocks ahead Saturday morning so as not to have to worry about doing so on Saturday night and lose an hour of sleep. I figured it better to gain an hour of daylight a day early and hit the yard running rather than wait around for some more rain. My plan worked and before noon the yard was mowed and the field out front was knocked down as well. What’s that saying about when a plan comes together? Gotta love it!
Before all that was taken care of I had my morning coffee in Herbie’s Hideaway - The Back Porch Bistro at Delialand, which is really just our back porch, named for my late grandfather Herbie Hudson. I was joined there by four cats and a crazy, hard-headed, raccoon that is determined to live with us. I think if I left the screen door open he would do just that.
It has become a daily morning and evening ritual chasing that coon off the porch and around the back yard with a stick. I’m trying to keep him from double fisting the cat food — while the goofy cats, only one of which can be touched by a human hand — sit idly by and watch.
If cats laughed, I’m sure ours, or whoever-threw them-out’s-cats, would be rolling on the ground belly up watching me and that coon playing tag.
He runs one way and I take off in that direction only for him to circle around and back up the steps to the porch. Round and round we go, where we stop nobody knows.
Eventually I give up — he doesn’t — and I take the bowl of food back inside and watch him, standing upright on his hind legs, watching me through the dining room window. One of us is going to have to learn the hard way.
So, we played our game for a little while then I mounted my faithful mower and hit the grass. It was really mostly weeds and ant mounds and lots of pine cones beneath this one very prolific pine tree. I bought new mower blades but saved them until after this first cutting because I’m just too lazy to pick up pine cones and small sticks when the mower can mulch them all up for me. It’s a bit rackety but no one lives close enough to be bothered by the noise except my dear wife who watched from the front porch and, well, she’s stuck with me anyway.
I always dread the first lawn mowing of the season because it seems like once it’s done it’s a never ending battle until the first frost in the fall. I suppose that is because it actually is a never ending battle until the first frost in the fall.
This year I feel lucky, though, that the first cutting is done already. Last year, if memory serves me correctly, that chore got delayed — likely by rain and work and the likes — and by the time the first mowing was mowed it had to be mowed twice to get the job done.
Saturday it was easy even with dull blades. The wild onions were plentiful and with every round of that big ole front yard I could take in a big whiff of their sweet aroma and instantly in my mind’s eye it was the year 1968, or 69, or somewhere around that time, and I could hear Sadie — the sweet lady that sat with us as children — yelling though the screen door on the back porch of our old house on Church Street in Newton.
“Timmy,” she hollered, “run down there and pull us up some of them wild onions to go with these scrambled eggs.” I did, and she did her magic, and shortly our bellies were full.
Simple and delicious. The eggs, that life, those memories!