It finally got warm on Monday of last week. It didn't last long, as the cold and wind came back with a vengeance on Tuesday. But Monday I was warm and happy.
Warm weather means getting out and getting the yard into shape. The first warm day of the season always starts innocently enough. You go out just to see what is happening.
Next thing you know you are looking for the rake to get the matted leaves out from under the bushes and shrubs. That always leads to a sliver in my hand because the rake handle was chewed by my dog several years ago when she was in her puppy chew-it-all stage.
So I go into the house and extract the sliver and change into a tee-shirt instead of my heavy long sleeve shirt. Then I head to the garage to find my gardening gloves.
This will take any where from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on where I left them last fall and how distracted I get doing other things.
Once I locate them I begin to slip them on and usually feel something foreign in the fingers and rip them back off screaming. I then take a hammer to each finger of the glove until I am convinced I have killed what ever was in there. Usually it is a stray piece of leaf left over from fall raking duties.
Now that the gloves are safe, I have forgotten what task I was on, so I head to the garden area. For years I have struggled to grow flowers in the side of my yard. I buy new ones every year; nurture, feed and water them, just to have them fade before the season is even over.
But now I have decided to try and grow a small vegetable garden in the same spot, the flowers are flourishing. I can't kill them to save my soul. I have even resorted to the deadly weed killing spray and they still are coming back.
I finally remember that I was going to rake the debris out from under the shrubs when the dog comes trotting over with the rake and lays down to nibble on the end again.
I reclaim the rake and get working. Before long I have started a pile for the spring clean up pick-up. It isn't long before the loppers have appeared and I'm trimming all the trees too.
My neighbors up the street have a huge pile and I don't want to look like I haven't spent as much time as they have cleaning up.
Soon I am standing back admiring the pile. Of course no matter how much I try, I know that I will be picking these things back up at least twice before the city gets by to get them.
And as sure as taxes, Tuesday we got those monster winds and my entire pile scooted down the street. The bad thing is that when I gathered it back to the curb it was about half its original size.
Someone else will be cleaning up some of my mess. My pile had many items blown down from other neighbors. It is one of the facts of life in dealing with the winds of spring. At least most of what headed down wind was the fragrant detritus pulled from my herb garden.
But since the warm weather is still not a sure thing each day, we can just look forward by saying, "At least it's not as bad as yesterday."