Been doing ALOT of dreaming lately. Daydreaming - maybe it's spring fever. I tend to do that to get through March and April. February ends and you're like, "YAY, winter's over!" And then March dragggggggssssss. And April disappoints! You have snowstorms and the beautiful, clean snow melts overnight. Then you have mud and rain and it's bone-chilling cold even though the thermometer reads 50 degrees. So dreaming is definitely in order.
But it is beautiful today. It's really warm and the sky is so blue - without one cloud. I was sure I would find a crocus blooming in my yard, so I went outside with my camera. But not a one. I DID find THIS "growing" in my garden though! If you double click on the picture, you can see my yard reflected in the blue glass ball. Isn't that so cool??
I do have to say, there are certain events that occur in March and April that confirm to me that winter IS ending. Daylight Savings Time starts in 6 days! That is definite joy! While I hate the dark mornings (wouldn't you, if you saw 4:30AM too many mornings a week?), I LOVE the longer light in the evening. And the fact that we don't have to wait until April for the clocks to change anymore! Yay!!
One of the highlights of this time of year is the first night I hear the peepers! Peepers - you say? Come ON - you have to know the sound! It's the sound of spring! Those little froggy like thingys that fill the night with their beautiful song? The weather determines when I start going outside each evening to listen for the sound. If it's a warmer March, I usually hear them the last week of March. Some years - not till April. But to me - it is the sound of hope.
And the Boys of Summer are back! I LOVE BASEBALL. I especially love my Yankees. (I especially love Andy Pettitte - HA!) I have sooooo many memories connected to the Yankees. My son Michael was born in the middle of a Yankee-Boston playoff game. The doctor was watching the freaking game instead of me!! Anyway - spring training has begun and I even watched a game already! And we won! Woohooo! But I don't only love Major League ball, I love my son's baseball season. This week is the team draft and by weeks end, we will know who's on Michael's team. My husband is one of the head coaches and we are right on the front line. You would be amazed at how serious these grown men are! You gotta laugh! Lighten up guys!!
Anyway - Michael is 10 and last year he proved himself to be a pretty good little ballplayer. He can hit, he can field and he can pitch! So it's very fun. (stressful to watch him pitch, mind you) But I LOVE hanging with the Yummy Mummys on the hill cheering our sons on and indulging in great conversation in between plays. Adds a whole new dimension to your life! It brings the girls together and we all take turns keeping an eye on each other's kids and I just really enjoy the girl time. And nothing beats watching your own kid play!
Then there's the New Haven St. Patty's Day parade. It's held every year on the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day and I think I have missed only one parade in the past 23 years. Before kids, it used to be one big party fest. Most years, I saw 5 minutes of parade and 5 hours of the inside of a bar. But that was always so fun. March Madness would be blasting from the tvs and everyone was in such a good mood. Afterall, the parade is the spring opener in New Haven!
Then we had kids and everything shifted! Outside - that is! It is always so FREAKING cold out there! I don't remember it being so cold in the olden days - perhaps, BECAUSE I WAS IN A NICE WARM BAR? Helloooo? But we line up our chairs, the women and children wrap up in blankets (Snuggies for the kids - so queer...I mean cute!), the kids talk us into buying dumb, expensive junk toys and balloons, the coolers of beer open and the long afternoon of festivities begins. Quite different from the early years of parade "watching". But hey, life changes...
And don't forget Easter. Huge holiday at our house. We actually end up hosting 3 totally different functions in that one day. I take Easter Monday OFF!!! First thing in the morning, my side of the family gathers for a big Polish breakfast - kielbasa, ham and colored eggs - oh and CHEESECAKE, (This year's first sweet indulgence after 40 days off the sugar drug!) And then there's the annual "Who's Horseradish is Hotter" contest. My father makes it, I make it and we each buy a brand and the same gyrations occur every Easter. Who's creates the best horseradish headache? Which one makes your eyes tear up the worst? Anyone having a seizure? Surely - that jar is the winner!
So that ends about 10 and the Easter Egg Hunt begins. We started this tradition back when we had no children but had nieces and nephews. This will be our 19th year and it has taken on a life of it's own. In an effort to preserve the integrity of the hunt, as children grew up, we invited more and more families with young children and now anywhere from 20-50 people show up. In addition to our own family and extended family, the neighborhood comes as well as friends from near and far. You know how hard it is to hook up with friends during the year? Well, this takes the pressure off. We know we will see each other on Easter so we're good! What cracks me up is how many people still come who don't even have young children anymore. And the teen and adult children are starting to show up again!
It gives everyone a chance to catch up, the weather has never stopped us and there has even been several Easter Sundays where it was so warm that everyone just lounged around outside on the front porch and in lawn chairs and no one wanted to leave! It's 2 hours, from 11-1 and the adults drink mimosas and bloodys and eat shrimp cocktail and coffeecake. The kids eat - what else???? What I love most? The memories for the kids. My best growing up memories revolve around holidays with cousins and I am positive these days gone by will live forever in their memories.
Once the hunt crowd disperses to their own holiday celebrations, Bob's family gathers here and we have dinner together. This year is going to be awesome because -THE YANKEES ARE PLAYING THE RED SOX!! Personally, can't think of a better way to spend Easter afternoon! AND I get the next day off!!!
I am sure there are a few things I have missed boring you with - my daughter's ice skating show is in March, I have 2 different trips to Boston planned - one with the girls and one with the family and some friends and don't forget it's the opener to the running season! In fact, today is a perfect day for a run. But alas - my 8 year old daughter Brooke is sick and there are no outdoor runs in the immediate future. But I can dream!
So yes, this time of year is the long stretch to summer, but there are definitely milestones that we experience each year that break up the monotony. So I try to remind myself that there is joy to catch even during the muddy season and if all else fails - I have my dreams!
PS - look what I DID find in my garden when I was out there with my camera. My daffodils! With buds! Can you believe how big they are? It really IS true - spring is coming!