Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 9, 2014

It’s beginning to feel like spring here in Southern Ontario. But I’m not taking anything for granted just yet. Not one blessed thing.

Yesterday my beloved asked me if I wanted him to remove the “claw” from the bottom of my cane. It was a new addition this year, and boy was I glad of it. Basically the device which I bought at the local Walmart is like an ice pick. You attach it near the bottom of the cane. It’s on a spring-like hinge, so you can release it from its resting position on the side, claws up, and lock it down, so those sharp metal teeth “cover” the rubber cane tip, effectively biting into the ice with each step.

That five dollar doo-hickey prevented me from slipping all winter.

I nearly said yes, because while it is clinging to the side of the cane that’s away from my body, I still have to be careful not to catch it on anything—or anyone. But in the end I said no. I think I’ll wait a while yet, as I don’t completely believe that bitch, Mother Nature, is quite done yanking our chains for this year.

Even so, it’s good to see the signs that spring is beginning to take hold. All that’s left here at our place of the white kaka is a bit of ice and snow in our back yard, remnants of the piles that my husband made each time he cleared a path for the dog. Poor Mr. Tuffy, for most of the winter his beloved yard was inaccessible to him, except for that path. Seeing him out there and watching him looking up, up, up and the big wall of snow that ran either side of his path reminded me of some of the wire service photos I saw this winter. You know the ones I mean, where the snow walls on either side of the highway were impossibly high—several feet above even taller vehicles, like busses and trucks.

I imagine the dog felt it was just that high.

For the most part, the weather is above freezing now. The air has smelled incredibly fresh a few days this week, and there has been the best sign of spring yet – the sound of birdsong.

I’m an author, but I can’t describe to you the specific birdsong I hear. Nor do I (sadly) know the kinds of birds that are making those songs. But I do know I hear them every spring. This morning I stood by the open back door and as I listened, I closed my eyes and could see myself as a child, hearing that very same melody, my heart uplifted and eager for the warm weather I knew, by that song, was just around the corner.

There are other ‘natural’ signs of spring, too. We have to be vigilant now to keep our garbage can lids secured, and have to pull the cat window insert out of our small kitchen window every evening, so as to frustrate the racoons. I’m not against these furry creatures foraging for food. I just want them to do it elsewhere.

The squirrels have been active too, although I don’t have any fear of them coming into the house. No, the only thing they do is sit on the branch outside our living room window and make faces at the dog. I think they like the sound of him barking like crazy when they do.

The other sure-fired sign of spring hasn’t happened yet, and this one I’m never happy about: the invasion of the ants. Every spring, we get ants coming into our kitchen, which is surrounded on two sides by outside walls. This is an old house and has a lot of gaps and holes and such. I’ve tried bay leaves and I’ve tried cinnamon at the sites of their incursion, hoping to stem the flood. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. And yes, I have tried sealing the holes I see, but there are so many more that I don’t.

I think the ants are just the not-so-funny way Mother Nature has of keeping her finger on our “buttons” when she has no choice but to finally put away her winter clothes and let the sunshine in.


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