Saturday, March 30, 2013

Desperately seeking spring

What happened to spring? Minnesotans want to know, and you can't really blame us.

The photos on this page were taken on March 24 last year. Thanks to a record-setting warm March, crocuses and bleeding hearts were emerging by St. Patrick's Day and azaleas were leafing out with abandon. By contrast, March 2013 has been colder than normal. We still have snow on the roof, a foot or two of gritty snow slowly melting all across the yard, and absolutely no signs of emerging plant life.

Minnesotans don't expect great weather to last, or to repeat itself. A typical reaction to a mild winter: "We'll pay the price next year." Still, life conspires to get our hopes up about spring. For starters, it seems that we naturally crave spring's promise of warmth, new beginnings, the upswing in the cycle of life. But there are plenty of other prompts.

Let's start with Punxatawney Phil and those old guys in top hats who speak of six more weeks of winter as if that were a worst-case scenario. We know better than to believe such a thing (2012 notwithstanding), but the annual Groundhog's Day chatter gets us thinking spring months too early.

The beginning of Daylight Savings Time seems another harbinger of spring. Frankly, it's always a pleasant surprise, in those those first few days after turning our clocks ahead, to find that it's still light at 5:30 p.m. It reminds us of the promise of our long summer evenings, when it stays light until 9:30. But those evenings are still far off...and more so since DST begins weeks earlier than it used to.

Then there's the official "first day of spring," the vernal equinox. I seem to recall that it was snowing and about 20 degrees this year.

Growing up, I always equated Easter with spring, and with wearing a spring outfit to church. Year after year, I had to cover my new pink dress with my winter coat, and leave the cute straw hat at home. This year we've been told to expect snow flurries Saturday night, and Sunday highs in the 30s with gusty winds.

Okay, so none of those events can be counted on to get spring underway. Certainly the opening day of major league baseball will do it, no? No. The Minnesota Twins are due to play their opener at home, in an open-air stadium, with a predicted high of 33 degrees and continued strong winds. Brrr.

So with promises and false hopes all around us, there's nothing to do but create spring for ourselves. Starting with a springtime header made up of last year's photos. 

Meanwhile, speaking of Easter, I'm hooked on the annual St. Paul Pioneer Press Peeps contest, which draws an amazing array of creative and elaborate entries. Entering is on my bucket list.

This year, just for fun, I invited ViMae to create a scene with me. She came up with a Christmas wedding, prompted by a scrap of wrapping paper we used for a carpet. The wedding party is entering as couples, plus one tiny flower girl. The bride and her attendants carry red roses and the groom wears a red boutonniere. I'm kinda hoping this is the start of a winning tradition.


Teresa Evangeline said...

Good heavens. I knew it was bad, but your photos definitely show the very stark difference... I'm celebrating because my driveway shows dirt now... Happy Easter, Nancy!

Grandmother Mary said...

Oh my! Hope spring comes soon. Meanwhile, I love Vi's creation. What a creative child. I'll put up some photos of confetti on my blog for you all to marvel. Sun and warmth were delayed here too but have arrived.

DJan said...

We are basking in the rays of sunshine that were absent for us last year. I love the pretty little wedding, and I think ViMae has a future in art! Happy Easter to you anyway, and I'm hoping that it won't be long now before you're seeing the signs that spring is on its way. :-)

stephen Hayes said...

Mrs. C. loves Peeps but they are one candy I can pass on. Happy Easter.

Chantel said...

Oh, we are sorely missing spring here too. *sigh* However, your peep wedding is quite adorable! See--this is the difference when you have boys: we have "peep wars." You place two peeps on a paper plate, facing each other, with a toothpick stuck in them so they are "holding a sword." (buying different colored peeps helps to differentiate the warriors) Hit the one minute button and as they begin to swell....whoever stabs the other first wins!! (and then we all eat rock hard, "dead peeps.")

Boys! :) Happy Easter dear!

Red Shoes said...

Happy Easter!!

Spring will arrive!!


Far Side of Fifty said...

I am certain you will get spring before me.
I really enjoyed ViMae's take on the peeps wedding..I think it would be a winner for sure! It sounds like a great tradition to start!
I saw snow on Easter Day..does that remind you of a different kind of song?
Patience..spring will come..Many up here are predicting a very cold summer..I hope not:)

Sally Wessely said...

I hope the scene creation is also the start of a new tradition. What fun! Sorry about the weather. If I could change it, I would for us too.

Jeanie said...

Minesotans aren't the only ones who want to know. We Michiganders are ready to hunt down Phil and show him what happens to groundhogs who lie!

But I do hope your Easter was lovely! Not quite the spring Easter we hoped for but here the sun was out!

Ms Sparrow said...

I love those peeps dioramas! They are so creative and such fun.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Nancy! I hope things are on the mend, we had 62 degrees here today! Practically summer! Mind you, we've had blossom for weeks, despite the mediocre outlook. I wish you Spring x Indigo


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