We love the early spring! Our winter was not bad, but we were all tired by February and are now outside enjoying the weather.
Some trees are in bloom, some have already lost their blossoms, there are dandelions and violets (not enough for dandelion wine or violet jelly), tulips and daffodils are out, but I have seen no lilacs.
And here’s the sure sign of spring: lawn mowers.
The men are out with their machines all weekend. You will be sitting in your backyard, pleasantly enjoying iced tea and a book, when CH-CHUG-CHA-ZZZZZZZZZ. There are many types of machines, mowers, edges, and is that a chainsaw? Couldn’t they find something quieter?
There are a few women who mow: they get the job done and are gone. I did mow half of the yard when we first moved here. I got blisters, and my husband insisted on taking over. Very nice of him!
Spring comes on very fast. Just a week ago, I snapped this dark photo. You can see the grass is patchy, and the woods are still brown. On this particular day, the bicyclists were out, the walkers were out, occasionally a whole team of of RAGBRAI riders went by (preparing for the seven-day cross-state ride in July), and track team runners from the nearby college.
AND WE ATTENDED A LIBRARY SALE.
The library seems to cancel books only so we can buy them. We came home with some astonishing finds:
No, I can’t believe it either. I haven’t read the American writer. Suzanne Berne, but her first novel, A Crime in the Neighborhood, won the Orange Prize. Yes, the library is really getting rid of Virginia Woolf: this isn’t in the best shape, but I did see several other titles in very slightly better shape. I can only assume they have other copies. This beautiful Everyman’s edition of Graham Swift’s Waterland appears never to have been opened. I’ve heard of Dubravka Ugresic and was very happy to find her book.
I have read Susan Sellers’ Vanessa & Virginia, a novel about Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, but decided I would like to own a copy. Two by Isabel Allende: her work is superb, but I have not read all of it. John Updike is always brilliant–we thought he’d win the Nobel, but the Swedes apparently hate Americans and haven’t given it to an Amercian writer since 1993–and this is one of his last novels. I have enjoyed both the award-winning Alvarez and Rushdie..
So what is my challenge this year? Read my library sale books! It should be possible, yes?