Tuesday’s is usually a work day for me, but today I was home with Miss One. Yet another bought of conjunctivitis meant that she was excluded from child care but still her happy and active self. In hindsight it was perfect timing, we enjoyed to most glorious day together and while I did sneak a little bit of gardening in here and there on the whole I just spent the day with her doing the things she loves to do, all of them outside. All this got me thinking about the great things Spring offers that don’t relate to the garden.
1. Whole days can be spent outside, enjoying the sunshine without the oppressive heat of summer. I’ve been blessed with two girls who just love to be outside, at the moment all I have to do to encourage them to head outside is open the back door and for Miss Three I don’t even have to do that. It would be nice to have a slightly bigger yard for them to play in (there’s definitely no room for the trampoline Miss Three longs for), but at the moment there is enough to keep them happy and entertained. We’ve squeezed in a patch of lawn with a slide, a sandpit between the fruit trees, a swing under the pergola, some paved area to ride the trike and of course the mandatory mud and water. Days outside mean tired children at the end and the house stays clean and tidy (if it ever was!). In a couple of years time I’m hoping they will play happily unsupervised and not pull up all my pot plants! But for now it gives me a good excuse to leave the housework and sit in the sun with a cup of tea while pushing the swing.
2. The sunny weather and longer days puts us all in a good mood. Pretty much everyday for the three months of winter Miss Three asked me if it was still winter or if it was finally summer yet. While it may not be summer she was so pleased when I finally told her it was spring and so was I. When I pick the girls up from child care in the afternoons it is now pleasantly light, instead of depressingly dark and there’s often time for a quick swing or slide before dinner rather than fifteen minutes of TV (that’s if I’m organised and have dinner ready to go before we get home).
3. Spring weather means that washing can be done and dried in a single day, I’m especially thankful for that after the wet winter we’ve had. My lounge room no longer resembles a dry cleaners with clothes hanging everywhere and the clothes horses have been packed away (though still in easy reach if I need them). Spring is also often a bit on the windy side so washing gets nicely whipped around and comes in smelling of sun and soft from the wind.
4. Sleeping comes more easily….. in theory. Nights are still cool and require cosy doonas or quilts, but aren’t so cold that my toes feel numb and my hands freeze trying to hold a book open while I read in bed. These are the ideal sleep-inducing circumstances, but Miss One has yet to realise that and while she’s waking so am I. On a positive at least getting up in the middle of the night isn’t quite so torturous as it was a few months ago. And every now and again she gives me a glimpse of what a normal, full night’s sleep might feel like and let’s me imagine life like that again….. just for a moment.
5. Variety at the markets. For several months now I’ve diligently made my weekly (mostly) venture to the farmer’s market to stock my fruit bowl, crisper and fridge. We’ve had gorgeous apples, mandarins, oranges and blood oranges, kiwi fruit and pears. The veggie staples have been root vegetables, pumpkins, greens of all kinds, leeks and potatoes. All lovely, but not a lot in the way of variety. Last week I started to see a change, some greenhouse tomatoes had appeared and asparagus, wonderful asparagus had arrived marking the start of its very short season. I’m looking forward to increasing colour, vibrancy and variety in the coming weeks and months.
There are some other fabulous Spring things, the footy grand final (not that my team has won one in my lifetime!), the Royal Melbourne Show, daylights savings, I could go on. However, my list celebrates the everyday wonders of the season, the things you can appreciate each morning, or long for while stuck inside at work. The things that cost nothing, that you miss greatly during winter and that make this season seem like a tonic after the colder, grayer, darker months. The difference must be really stark in climates where winter is literally freezing and daylight hours few and far between. Having celebrated all this, I can feel that determined tickle at the back of my throat, the slightly stingy, watery eyes and the constantly drippy nose that spring also bring…. but I choose to ignore that for the time being. I’d love to know what you celebrate when spring comes along.
I think Liz was heading into the kitchen for her list, I’m just popping over now to check it out.