Tag Archives: Spring

Courage at Twilight: Car Switch

“It’s time, Dad,” I announced. With winter weather in the recent past, and any remaining snows sure to melt fast, I told him the time had come to park his faithful Suburban in the garage and for me to take my extended turn parking in the driveway, where guests should park their cars.  But, before the Suburban would fit in the garage, I had to stow the kayaks somewhere, and just in time for kayak season on the Jordan River.  The big car would not fit in the garage with the kayaks leaning against the wall.  I was not too thrilled with Dad’s idea about where to keep one of the kayaks, but as I had no better ideas, I gave his a try.  Reorganizing the various gardening and cleaning and camping and bar-b-que supplies, I cleared a top storage shelf and heaved up a kayak.  To my surprise, the boat fit perfectly on the high shelf, anchored by two stiff bungie cords (so it would not fall on Mom’s cute Subaru).  With my Outback parked in the driveway, I exchanged the ice scraper for the windshield visor.  Dad’s beloved car will sleep sheltered in the garage starting tonight.  He said just yesterday as we drove to the Post Office and then to the grocery store, “I just love my car.”

Courage at Twilight: First Week of Spring

With heavy snows and sub-freezing temperatures just three days ago, today reached 65 degrees, made warmer by the bright sun and blue sky. I found Dad settled heavily in his recliner, looking exhausted, which he was.  He explained that he had worked “all day” in the yard, raking out thick mats of pine needles and milkweed stalks from the landscaped beds.  He had reached above the rock wall and stretched the rake as far as he could—he can no longer climb to the terrace.  “Can you help me?” he wondered, asking me to pick up the piles and compact them in the big garbage can.  I used the technique my son Brian taught me, scooping a snow shovel underneath the pile and pinching from the top with a rake, then picking up the pile and dumping it in the can.  Before long, the piles were gone, and the can was compacted and full.  I jumped up onto the terrace and quickly raked the area Dad could not reach, filling the can beyond the brim.   “Doesn’t that look nice and tidy?” he asked, pleased.  He was thrilled to have worked in the yard after the long winter, though he characteristically worked too hard and too long and barely made it staggering back to the house, to settle heavily in his recliner, too tired even to eat.  But Dad came outside and sat in a chair to watch me finish the work he once did, to crow over the tidy beds, and to sigh at his beautiful snow-capped mountain view.  “Isn’t the mountain just beautiful?  Lone Peak is now a designated wilderness area.  There are no maintained trails.”  He had climbed to Lone Peak 20 years earlier, exulting on the 11,253-foot peak, neglecting to take enough food or water, and making it back thanks to nice young hikers who noticed and shared.  “Did you hear they just found a wolverine in those mountains?  A wolverine!  Here!”  We had seen the story on the news, of game wardens in a helicopter filming a black wolverine racing through the snow in that wilderness.  They trapped it without injury, anesthetized it, measured and weighed it, radio tagged it, then released it, excited to track its forest wanderings.  Relatively little is known about wolverines, but the solitary aggressive carnivores often roam 15 miles a day in the most rugged mountain wilderness.  “I just love sitting here looking at the mountain,” Dad said as I went in the house to cook dinner.  He had me leave his tools outside, ready for tomorrow’s spring yard work.

(Pictured above, a view of Lone Peak, from YouTube, used under the Fair Use Doctrine.)

 

Dad and great-granddaughter Lila by the landscaped terrace and rock wall.

Songs of Spring

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How delightful are the sights and sounds of Spring.  Winter has lain upon the land so long that we have almost forgotten the sounds of warm-weather life.  With the melting snow, the greening grass, and the budding trees, we know that Spring is coming.  Best of all, the migrating birds are returning and singing their beautiful, unique songs.  The yellow-breasted Meadowlark is a favorite, with its complicated melody.  I hope you enjoy this poem about the songs of Spring.

Songs of Spring

Ice and snow begin
to yield to a longer sun.

Meadowlarks have returned
singing melodies:
sogladwearetobeback!
arentyouhappytohearus?
sogladwearetobesingingandsingingandback!

A hundred little blackbirds
in a bare tree top prattle,
zippatappazaptap!
zikkatikkazakkatat!

Robin hops quietly
in the greening grass,
stops to reconnoiter,
searching,
one eye for juicy brown earthworms,
the other for the cat.

Winter

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Come February I truly begin to tire of Winter’s weary landscape.  Everything is brown.  I want the trees and roses to bud.  I want the bulb flowers to rise.  I want the peach and apricot trees to blossom.  I want to feel the renewal of life.

WINTER

Winter has lain
long and heavy
on the landscape,
pressing pliable grass blades,
weighing down supple apply boughs.
Too long
has the sky hung
gray overhead.