Like no other year, this spring cleanup has turned into a bit of a walk down memory lane. With each layer of snow melting away and layers of leaves raked off the grass, memories of the autumn and the reminder of what came before so many winter storms are unearthed.
As the white cement slowly retreated from our front yard, the eerie remnants of bones and skeletons emerged from below. Surrounded by candles and set in perfect composition to spook the trick or treaters, our Halloween decorations literally entombed and encased by winter sat undisturbed. A walk down Burgar Street revealed others who didn’t have time to tear down the ghouls and the goblins before the early snow.
Among other items lost to the waves of winter storms included a hidden sled, a glove, and countless dog toys. It’s almost like Christmas morning all over again, at least for the dog.
Raking has provided hours of exercise this week as I hastily tried to scrape the wet, compacted mats of soiled leaves from the grass. Akin to waking up with bedhead, this process also involves raking the grass in an attempt to comb its matted blades into an agreeable surface which I am happy to say has already hosted backyard catch and baseball.
Little League will begin upon the return from spring break. Like all spring sports this year, baseball has been delayed due to the snow. Thanks to the valiant effort of the snow removal team at the school campus, however, baseball and softball, track and field, tennis and soccer are finally playing on home turf and court.
The first tickling of spring wind returned with the bluebirds this week. It deterred me from an afternoon bike ride. It’s easy to forget until it returns the immutable presence of the Methow’s spring winds. The wind can be a real trickster this time of year. While the skies may look blue and sun shining yellowy warm, one is often tricked into an afternoon outing only to be slapped in the face with the wicked chill from the north.
I am one of those people who abhors the wind. I find it irritating at best, aggravating and downright soul sucking at times. The wind sucks all positive energy out of my best intentions and after a day of windy exposure, leaving me feeling aged, exhausted, angry, and anxious.
To survive the spring winds, I have developed a copacetic relationship with it. It’s almost clockwork — it typically shows up around 1 p.m. so it’s easy to plan around. I make sure to do my walks and runs in the morning hours when the air is calm and slather thick ointment on my face when I work outside in it.
Having endured countless Little League games, soccer practices and the like to come home with bronzed checks and a chill you can’t shake, my “if I ruled the world” solution would be to alter the spring sports practices. Practice and play in the morning, shelter from the wind in the afternoon in the classrooms.
The upside to the wind returning, means wildflowers are returning too. Spotted this week were death camas, yellow bells and spring beauties. I still haven’t seen the buttercups but most promising that spring is here, were the first blooming balsamroot just south of Pateros along the south-facing slopes.