Straddling Spring & Winter

I started walking in the mornings, which felt delightful, and then it got cold again and the contrast between my warm, snuggly bed and damp chilly wind outside was simply more than I could bear. The trouble with this time of year is that at first you’re so winter-acclimated that a sunny 30-degree day feels fantastic, but then if you have a few days in a row in the upper 40s, you’ve been spoiled again until you’ve been through another winter. Or, at least, that’s how it is for me. And now I’m stuck with another “window day”: the kind of day that looks fantastic until you open the door and actually go out there.

If you are looking to embrace the season exactly in the here and now, it’s the perfect time to check out a Maple Open House. But if you’re just begging for springtime, this weekend is also the Capital Region Flower & Garden Expo. I’ve never gone to this, but I’m thinking that this may just be the year.

Meanwhile, I’ve been juggling spring and winter activities. Last weekend, J was home for a very quick visit during her spring break, and we met up with two of my sisters and another friend at Thacher Park. The Indian Ladder Trail was closed due to mud, but we took a lovely walk along the top and then into the forest across the street. One of my sisters had never been there and was surprised by how fantastic it was. We explained that yes, we’d visited many times, and it was a standard 5th grade school field trip while the kids study geology.

It had been a while since my last visit, for the Wild Ones Native Seed Swap. But I am gradually learning that the trips I always think of as daunting-but-worth-it, like Thacher and Indian Ladder Farm, are not nearly so daunting as I remember from the girls’ preschool days now that I have reliable GPS directions at my fingertips. So it’s encouragement to get out there a bit more often. I’ll try.

Speaking of daunting-but-worth-it (I hope), tomorrow night, my plan is to drive two hours each way to go snow tubing at Stratton in Vermont. G has spent most of her winter time with her new host family, and I was actually out of town for the two most substantial snows of the winter (lucky me). But it came up recently that she never did go sledding or snow tubing, ever. Which surprised me because she has elementary school kids in her family, and I just assumed that that would be a family activity. My kids were always chomping at the bit to go play out in the snow. I only realized this a couple of weeks ago, at one of her dinners at our house, and I know that she’s deeply enthusiastic about snow and that sledding and tubing were on her USA bucket list. And that activity’s absolutely got an expiration date attached. But luckily, when all else fails, you can just drive north. Is this kind of a ridiculously long drive for a couple hours of activity? Well, yes. On the other hand, since I’ve bopped over to Northampton, MA multiple times this year already, I figured I could handle it. I have no idea if there’s actually still a snowy landscape around, or if we’ll be looking at a bunch of snowmaking tracks piled on top of the dirt, but either way, we’re crossing an item off G’s list. And it’s entirely possible that she’ll never get the chance to do this again, so it’s motivating.

In other news, not only have I managed to avoid killing any of my newer succulent babies, one is actually beginning to flower!

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Are you as thrilled and delighted as I am? NO! You cannot possibly be as thrilled and delighted as I am. I haven’t watered these babies once since they’ve arrived home. To be honest, I’m scared to water them.

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