This weekend I met a delightful lady named Nancy, and she told me a great story.
When she was seven or eight years old, bobby socks were all the rage, and Nancy desperately wanted a pair. However, her parents refused to acquiesce to the trend of the time and buy her any. Instead, Nancy had to wear ugly brown full-length stockings.
“So I went to the library,” she said, “I had a library card even then. I found a book about knitting and checked it out. Continue reading
One of two species of Hepatica that graced our early spring hike.
My daughter and I took full advantage of the first mild weekend of the spring season. We traveled west to Magnolia Bluff County Park for an early morning hike.
Magnolia Bluff is the second highest point in Rock County, and if you hike to the west lookout of this sandstone/limestone bluff around sunset, apparently you are in for a treat. (I can’t wait to return for sunset.) As we hiked up to the top of the bluff we saw green plants just beginning to poke their shoots out from underneath the blanket of fallen leaves of the forest. We talked about the life cycle of decaying leaves on the forest floor. Most of the green that we saw was a result of moss covering fallen logs and exposed rocks, but we did see a few ferns beginning to unfurl their fronds in the early spring.
Only one type of flower graced the forest floor, and I did not recognize it. Continue reading
It was one of those days when I was doing a lot of snipping at my daughter, and she was doing a lot of not doing as I asked. Everything was becoming a negotiation, and nothing was done without a lot of whine. Pretty soon we were going to need to break out the cheese and crackers.
Finally out of complete and total frustration, I snapped at her: “Can’t you do at least one thing without whining?”
She stopped what she was doing, looked up at me earnestly and asked “Which one?” Continue reading
Not spring yet, these flowers aren’t blooming…
A couple of weeks ago my daughter was exploring the daffodils that were poking their stems up above the now snow-free earth behind our house, and peeking out as if to say: “Is it Spring yet? Now? Now? What about now?”
I was attempting to get my daughter’s bike tires inflated to the required 35 PSI, failing mostly because every time I checked the tire pressure, I let more air out than I had just put in.
Pretty soon she came running around the garage, her hands held in front of her, cupped gingerly around some kind of treasure.
“Mom, mom. Guess what I found?” Continue reading
Normally Midwest winter-to-spring transitions are subtle events, with gradually warming days, slowly melting snow retreating to brown grass and mud puddles, and the return of one new species of animal, plant and insect at a time.
There was nothing subtle about Saturday. It was like the southern Springs of my childhood, when one day you woke up, and Spring had just happened.
I walked outside Saturday morning and the chatter of birds was amazing. I didn’t hear the chatter of only one species—the distant honk of a Canada goose on one day, the “what cheer” of a cardinal on the next. No, I heard the throaty trill of the red-winged black bird, chirps of finches, chicka-dee-dee-dees, high-pitched panics of killdeer, honks of gaggles of geese all at once. It was as if Spring itself had decided: Enough! Enough of winter. Enough of ground hogs who don’t know their business. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I drove to Madison to do some furniture shopping. One of the furniture stores boasted a great play area, complete with books. On top of that, they offer hot, fresh-baked cookies.
“Any chocolate chip cookies?” my daughter asked enthusiastically.
“No, but I think you might really like these soft ginger cookies.” I recommended.
“Umm. They smell great.” She inhaled deeply and picked up a cookie.
I walked back to find my husband who was speaking with a salesperson and left my daughter with the plate of cookies. When we returned to the “kitchen” to check on her, she had this sheepish grin on her face and another cookie in her hand.
“How many?” I asked. Continue reading
“So this is a solution of calcium ions. Has anyone ever heard of calcium before?”
The children nodded their heads and let out a few tentative “yeses”.
“You have. Good. Where do we get calcium?”
“Cows!” my daughter shouted out. Continue reading