Spring couldn't come too soon

Ah, spring! The word has a welcome ring.

In all its glory, spring has arrived, and it couldn’t be more welcome after a Connecticut winter that most of us are relieved to say good-bye to.

Following the devastation of hurricane Sandy in the fall, the winter season was underway in a fairly benign fashion. But that was no harbinger of what was to come. Then the calendar page turned to February.

Whenever the statistics of the heaviest snowfall in this area comes to light, Feb. 9, 1934 is the date. I remember that storm and there is a photo of me atop a snow pile many feet high, exacerbated by the amount of snow my poor dad had shoveled off the sidewalk. Of course those were many decades before the convenience of the snow blower.

This year, almost to the day, a blizzard named Nemo blew in with snow depths that rivaled the 1934 storm. It began on Feb. 8 and continued most of the following day with Connecticut receiving one of the highest snowfalls in New England.

Then, before the effects of Nemo had completely melted away, along came another snowstorm, Saturn this time, with up to a foot of heavy wet snow; a challenge for any snow blower or shovel.

After enduring all that, it is no wonder spring was especially welcome this year.

What are your past thoughts and memories of spring?

The first thing that comes to my mind in a childhood memory of the relief I felt shedding the scratchy long stockings I wore in grammar school, long before little girls had the convenience of wearing tights.

On the positive side, there was the happiness of longer and warmer days, more time spent outside roller skating and riding my bicycle; no television or computer to keep me occupied inside in those days.

Dad would be busy taking down the storm windows, the old-fashioned kind that hooked to the top of the outside window frame, a far cry from the convenience of what storm windows are today; then putting up the screens on the windows, assembling the screened porch and getting out the porch furniture.

I might add the Dad was somewhat skilled in carpentry, and he made the storm windows and the screens for the porch.

Also, this was a good time of year for Dad to clean the cellar and the garage.

Mother would be caught up in a frenzy of spring cleaning. Down came the curtains to be washed and dried on frames set up in the backyard. Little pins surrounding the frame would often prick her fingers as she stretched the curtains and pinned them to the frame.

And there was more, much more. With a bustle of activity, combined with considerable disruption, every room, kitchen cabinet and closet were thoroughly cleaned.

I especially remember that closet business. When I was old enough to lend a hand, I had to pull everything out of my closet, all the toys and games and whatever else I had accumulated, not to mention the clothes, so the floor could be cleaned and polished.

The words, “Ellen, I’m going to clean your closet today,” were my dreaded call to action.

And, I might add, my clean freak mother did all this over again when it came time for the fall housecleaning. Of course, Dad also would do everything in reverse; off with the screens, up with the storms. Well, you get the picture.

Above all, spring was gardening time. I loved helping Dad rake and spade the gardens; watching the perennials shoot up through the soil, and planting seeds. I often had my own little garden space, and I tackled the challenge with a great show of enthusiasm, but, I must confess, as spring turned into the hot days of summer, my enthusiasm would often wane.

Every year the change of season would bring another chore: Washing and trips to the dry cleaners, cleaning of winter clothes and out with the spring and summer things, or whatever else the warmer days required.

One of the most welcome aspects of spring is watching the trees and bushes come alive, after appearing so drab and lifeless for so long. The world not only comes alive visually, but also audibly as the songs of the birds fill the air.

What’s not to like about spring? We’ve waited so long and it passes so quickly.


To comment, send an e-mail message to Ellen Beveridge at ellenfb@sbcglobal.net