Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Cleaning Is In The Air!

I am ready to shake this place up! Too long have heavy curtains been drawn across dingy windows, quilts of autumn hues thrown across sofa backs, and dust bunnies thriving in nooks and crannies. Well, no more. For it is Spring and we have come out of hibernation. Doors and windows are flung open for fresh air. Then closed again as the cool air reminds me that it is a mere 44 degrees!

 Like the solitary bee who first appears in the early season, gathering strength and beckoning the others to come out of the hive, I am gathering my troops to meet their duties with that same determination. We will exchange the snow shovel for the rake, the snow thrower for the leaf blower and march out into the newly awakened world. Rugs are hung over railings and beat with abandon. Decks are swept and the land is surveyed.

 Where will the hammock go? We need new path lights set there. Another wind chime will be wonderful there. A new flower bed should go there.I want those shrubs moved to there.

The birds are boisterous and excited also. They chatter over their suet meals, squabble over the sunflower seeds and lay claim to last years nests.

 The Northern Flickers are sizing up the telephone pole in the back of the yard for their own and chasing off the mourning doves who like to perch there. No longer content with his cache of filberts and walnuts, our little squirrel  delights in teasing the dogs by running just out of their reach along the fence and into the cherry tree  for his share of seed.

Dan and I both thought we saw and heard a hummingbird so we dig out the feeders and prepare them for the tiny visitors that rely on the nectar for warmth and energy.
The bulbs we planted last fall are breaking thru mulched beds s are the garlic and onions. The koi are up closer to the surface of the pond tho still sluggish, but any day now will be looking for their first seasons feeding of Cheerios to break their winter fast. A bag or two of water softener salt to put a healthy slime coat  on their skin and all the pumps turned back on and we will be ready. The pond looks naked now but soon the plants along the edge will appear and the first long-legged lily pads will appear on the surface.
The tomato plants have come up and soon will need to be divided and put into bigger pots. Early summer flowers are started in the greenhouse and potted plants overwintered are trimmed and fertilized. The sun-warmed greenhouse is very cozy this time of year and a welcome retreat when a sudden downpour or a snow shower sends us scurrying inside.

The chickens are gearing up. The ground has thawed and special treats of weed seeds that have sprouted and bugs and worms crawling up out of the depths cause much excitement and clucking.No part of the garden is left unturned. every nook and cranny is explored. The roosters, ever vigilant, strut  amongst their flocks, casting glances round for intruders from above.
Back inside cupboards and drawers are thrown open. The time for organizing and sorting has begun. What should be kept, given away, re-purposed? The pantry is organized and lists of new supplies for the jam-making season are written.

New recipes join old ones and beloved cookbooks stand shoulder to shoulder with crisp new volumes. Likewise, the library shelves in the office are given a quick dusting, because to tarry too long there would result in the rest of the day spent in idle repose, leafing thru craft design books or sighing over the pictures in the gardening and decor books.

Travel books on the coffee tables that kept us dreaming of warm, far-away places throughout the winter are replaced with the latest garden magazines and the newest release of the Flea Market style magazine.

Fresh bouquets from the grocer are used to brighten  houseplants long overdue a leaf rinsing and fertilizing.
Counters are swept clean of clutter, cabinets are polished, and displays are dusted.

Bread is baking in the oven, the dishwasher is humming and the vacuum is chasing the last of winters grit from under sofas and in corners. Pastels and bright colors in pillows and coverlets, rugs and curtains replace the heavy and more somber colors of winter.

Spring has arrived, even as the wind howls and the snow and sleet beats down. We take comfort in knowing that one day soon, it will be warm again!

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