The Suitcase Lady


March 21, 2017, 10:18 pm

Michael Perry in his new book, Roughneck Grace, calls our Wisconsin springs “this brief season of abeyance between snowmelt and leaf-sprout.” He also adds “the season of rediscovery.” The last is not a profound statement. He’s referring to the items that turn up when the snow piles melt… the lost earring I found last week.

Personally, I define our spring with the words fickle and fortitude. We get all euphoric when a fifty degree day rolls around and shed our layers of clothing and fears that winter is without end. A day later the thermometer is fifty degrees lower and a big snowstorm blows in. In a few hours we are back to living in a world of white. This requires intense attitude adjustment and more cash to pay the snowplow guy.

I find that a list of don’ts is helpful in coping with this schizophrenic season. Here are a few of mine:

  • Don’t put the large soup kettle away.
  • Don’t take the winter boots to the shoemaker for new heels just yet. Sandals in snow is a poor option.
  • Don’t run the car through the car wash. ( Note that I learned this the hard way. Last week the skies were clear when I entered the wash and filled with snow when I excited.)
  • Don’t leave home in a spring jacket without a winter coat in the back seat.
  • Don’t start any cute little tomato plants in pots on the windowsills. They will produce tomatoes before they will be able to survive outside.
  • Don’t go into the garage without waders on. Half of the gravel driveway and a ton of slush have migrated into there.

People who live in tropical regions have none of these concerns. Every day resembles the one before it….a lot of sun, some rain, more sun, warmth, flowers blooming, butterflies flitting and almost equal night and darkness. But there is one thing they will never experience, and that is the total sense of absolute joy when the first true spring day arrives and we realize we’ve made it through another winter.

Our only leaf-sprouts… the pussy willow branches I brought inside to warm up

3 Comments for this entry

  • eve robillard

    Oh, that’s a lovely photo. And thanks for the laugh.
    (from one who knows)

  • Alyce Weiss

    Your don’t list is right on. My addition being a city dweller on a corner is don’t put the shovel in the garage as you may need to make a path out.

  • Liz Levins

    Also, don’t put the lettuce seeds into the kitchen patio pot (until late May).