It’s not really spring — it won’t officially be spring for another sixteen days — though today it does feel as if spring might truly be on the way. It’s certainly sunny and windy enough to evoke the coming season, though more wintery temperatures and perhaps even some snow are forecast for next week. Still, the first signs of spring have sprung — a couple of tulips have pushed their way up through the soil and oh, what a welcome sight they are!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that more than these few hardy bulbs made it through this very cold winter, though there’s really no reason to expect a problem (except, of course, for my lack of a green thumb and even more crucially, my lack of knowledge about how to care for plants).

There are other signs that the ground is warming up — seedlings are sprouting up all over the place, even where I don’t want them to be, such as on my pathways. This would obviously be the best time to hoe up weeds in my garden, but I have no idea which seedling are weeds, which are weedy grasses, and which are flowers. I’ll find out soon enough, I suppose, hopefully early enough that I can get rid of the weeds before they take over.

Although we haven’t had a lot of moisture recently, and although we’ve been treated to desiccating winds, and although I’m sure my grass and various garden spots are ready for a supplemental drink, I’m not going to water quite yet because . . . well, because I don’t want to. I somehow manage to sprinkle myself almost as much as I sprinkle the yard, and it’s still too cold to be outside in damp clothing. (The current temperature of 44 degrees is not all that warm, even though it does have a springlike feel.) Besides, I don’t like battling the wind. Wind frazzles me and makes me feel unsettled.

Besides, even though I can feel a tinge of the awakening spring inside myself, I’m not quite ready for the commitment of gardening and yard care. Nor are my knees. They are protesting just at the thought of all that bending and stooping.

But still — tulips!!


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.


It surprises me how many days can pass without anything special to blog about — just the normal flow of seasons, of light and dark, of . . . sameness. There’s not even anything in my stream of consciousness to make me stop and wonder. Of course, if one pays attention to one’s surroundings, there is always something that’s not exactly the same from day to day or even minute to minute. For example, I’ve noticed that the last couple of snows we had didn’t melt so much as evaporate. They disappeared without leaving behind puddles or even moist dirt. In fact, the ground is so dry, it makes me wonder if I’m going to have to start watering my lawn and garden spots. It’s still cold enough, though, that I could probably pass on the chore for a while longer.

Despite periodic bouts of temperatures that never rise above freezing, there are signs that spring in coming. When I walked home from work last night, it was still light. Well, twilight, but that’s still light enough for me to see my way. The longer days, if nothing else, promise that the spring equinox is not far off.

I’m still ambivalent about the end of winter. It will be nice not to have to deal with the cold, but spring brings a need for outside work. Lots of work! And I’m in a lazy mode right now, not wanting to do much of anything. I imagine when spring is here and I need to start taking care of my yard and gardens, I’ll welcome — at least for a time — the opportunity to be outside. And, I must admit, I am hungry for color. Last winter, my lawn stayed bright green, but this year it’s as drab as the rest of the yard. That the days themselves have so often been gray only exacerbates the drabness.

But then, I have to admit, what I mostly see is words on the pages of the books I am reading, so what is going on elsewhere is of little import.

Come to think of it, I have no idea what is going on elsewhere. Is there still a world out there beyond what I can see with my own eyes? For a while, I watched the news with the woman I sit with a few hours a week, but she lost interest in television. Which means I get to go back to my normal state of obliviousness. For a long time, even before that brief spate of news watching, I inadvertently managed to keep up with what was going on in the world by the events my Facebook friends commented on, but since I stay away from Facebook — if Meta doesn’t want links to my blog, then I don’t want it — I don’t even get that second or third hand news gossip.

I guess the moral of this story — to the extent that there is a moral — is that even when everything seems the same from day to day, things are still changing, whether we want them to or not.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Lazing and Lolling

Despite the end of winter coming in just over a week, there are very few signs of spring, though generally by this time the snow drops are coming up and the tulips are poking through the soil. There are no snow drops yet, but a couple of tulip tips were visible before this latest round of snow and single digit temperatures. (Last night, it got down to 7 degrees Fahrenheit.) From what I can see, those brave tulips are still green beneath the snow, but the sort of up and down weather we’ve been having is hard on spring blooms.

I suppose this kamikaze weather — warm spells interrupted every week by winter storms blowing through — doesn’t give the bulbs much impetus to wake up and be perky. Come to think of it, this weather doesn’t give me much impetus to wake up and be perky, either, but ever since I moved here, I can’t sleep past first light so, perky or not, I do get up. I’m hoping the bulbs will eventually do the same, though there’s not much I can do about it if the drought exacerbated by this peculiar weather pattern has killed their interest in waking up.

Surprisingly, the ground isn’t frozen. I went out in the mid-morning chill to loosen the ground around my newly planted trees, and I was able to get down pretty far. The person who planted them for me dug post holes rather than a big bowl, and I needed to loosen the dirt to give the roots an easier time of spreading when growing season starts. I might not have gotten down far enough to make any difference to the roots, but at least the loose dirt will help soak up moisture, which will then loosen the deeper soil. At least, that’s my surmise. It might not make any difference at all, but I worried about the trees, so I needed to make the effort to my quiet my mind.

That bit of digging made me look forward to gardening weather. The last frost here generally comes around the fifth of May, so I can’t do any planting until then, but there will certainly be plenty to do once the weather is consistently warmer. If nothing else, I can water my grass and my bulbs. The lilies (which may or may not come up depending on whether I planted them deep enough), like a lot of water in spring, and not so much later in the summer. I also still have a few patches of weeds to dig up. I wanted to wait until after the trees were planted, thinking the weeds would be dug up when the holes were dug, but that didn’t happen. Still, it’s a small area, and I got started on that today.

I’ve been rather lazy this winter, lolling about, reading and doing as little as possible (though come to think of it, I’ve been working a lot more hours at my job the past few months, so that cut into my lolling time). It makes me wonder how I will cope with having a lot to do when gardening season rolls around. I suppose I’ll do what I always do — do what I can when I can. Of course, I won’t know what all I’ll have to do until May when I see what comes up and what I need to replace or replant. Until then, I’ll continue my winter ways, lazing and lolling.


Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

The Cycle of the Seasons

Despite all the snow that fell here this winter, we’re still in a drought situation. The snow was the light, airy kind that couldn’t hold together to make a snowball. Not that I wanted to make snowballs, but a couple of people in snowless country wanted me to make a snowman or snowwoman or some kind of snow creature. Apparently, the sort of snow we got didn’t hold much moisture, hence the lack of snowballs.

I don’t imagine the lack of winter moisture will make much difference to me and my garden. When the ground dried between storms, I made sure to water my greengage plums and a few other prized plants. I’m hoping that will be enough to give them a good start this spring.

Spring? Wow, that’s not so far away — only nineteen days! We generally have late snow storms and late frosts, so planting time isn’t until May, but maybe I should start thinking about what I want to plant when the weather becomes optimal. Or not. Since I don’t want to drive a long way, and don’t really have much luck with mail order plants, I’ll be at the mercy of the local hardware store. I suppose I could buy the plants early and keep them inside to give them a better start, but that decision is still many weeks away.

Meantime, I am enjoying the sun and the warmer weather. And I certainly will appreciate the lower heating bills!

One of the odd things about having lived so many years, is that time moves faster in relation to one’s time here on Earth, and so it’s easier to feel the seasons cycling from one to another. Which, of course, is a good reason to enjoy whatever the day brings because before you know it, arctic temperatures will return. But perhaps, with a bit of luck, not until next year.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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