It may be “Springtime in the Rockies”, as the old song goes, and I doubt very seriously that it is. It certainly isn’t springtime in Arkansas. Today is Wednesday the 24th of April and I have my heat on. It is nearly forty degrees colder than it was Monday. Last week it was so pretty that I moved my plants from the garage outside. My bougainvillea was so pretty and green with a few pink flowers appearing. Today the leaves are black. I mean BLACK. I didn’t realize we had had such a cold night as to kill plants.
It is almost May and ground is not warm enough for going bare footed. Not that I will. The first of May Mama would feel the ground to see if it felt warm, if she thought it felt warm enough we were allowed to go bare footed outside. Of course by the time the first of May gets here it may be ninety degrees. I think it usually was May when we first pulled our shoes off to go outside to play.
It seems to me that school was out around the first of May. I remember one time having a May Pole at School. It was probably one of the late Mary Dunn’s projects. What has happened to May Baskets? Remember when May Baskets were the going thing? It didn’t have to be a basket, just a bouquet of flowers. I had a man tell me that when he was a boy a bunch of his friends would get together to make May Baskets. Before you think how nice it was when boys would deliver May Baskets let me tell you about them. They would fill the baskets with fresh cow, you know what, lay paper on top. When the baskets were delivered they would knock on the door, light the paper with a match and then run. You know what happened when the receiver saw the fire, they would try to stomp it out. This man was raised in a city and became a doctor. This just goes to show that boys will be boys wherever they are raised. At least they did not make bombs out of pressure cookers. Boys used to steal watermelons in the summertime, “TUMP” toilets at Halloween but never did things that would hurt someone.
One of the things my late brother, Pat, and his friends would do was to go swimming every year on his birthday which is March fifteenth. I think the following poem written by Pat will give you a little insight that boys will be boys. EARLY SWIM. We shed our woolen, winter clothes and stood shiney in our skin, Oh, that chilly air was cold, but the ice was growing thin. Who’ll go first, who’ll take a dare was the common shivering cry, Go Al, or Cal or Joe or James but never, never I. But, oh how the situation changed when on the scene appeared, a group of giggly, silly girls, the thing we’d always feared. Out of the brush and down the bank and through the willow stumps, like seven frightened frogs, went seven purple rumps. There was nothing more that we could say the story finally told. But a stupid question of us was asked, “Was the water cold?” I guess if a bunch of boys can go swimming on the fifteenth of March I can stand a windy, thirty something day in April.
I know that spring will soon be here to stay and by June we will all be wishing for these nice, cold days. Are we ever really satisfied? I am just thankful that I live where there are four seasons. I love the beautiful days of spring when the world seems to come alive again after the long winter. I love the sounds and food of summer. The food being all the fresh produce from the garden. Mine no longer comes from my garden but the Farmer’s Market or the gardens of friends. The cool days of fall as the world prepares for winter. The changing colors of the trees. The smell of wood burning fireplace in the neighbor’s house. The memory of our heat being a wood stove. I love the winter and the bare trees. There is something beautiful about a bare tree. Each kind of tree with its own unique shape. I guess I just want to say I am thankful for all my blessings. Among them a good warm house on a cold April morning.