The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
the Times 

Spring –you tease!


February 13, 2020

Last week, I was so excited. There, on the south side of my house shooting upwards to the fog shrouded sun, were sprigs of daffodils. Yay! Spring has sprung and I am ready for some sun. I started to fantasize about lighter clothing, lighter food and maybe even an outdoor tennis game. Then, boom! Rain, snow, cold and flooding. I am back to being mud-bound. I don't remember seeing this much mud in my house since the last flood in Los Angeles about 5 years ago.

I keep sweeping, dusting and mopping, yet Mugsy, my dog, and I manage to trample in mud with every walk, trip to the trash or when unloading groceries from the car. The mud seems never ending, so I have decided to work with the mantra from the movie Field of Dreams. Instead of baseball players appearing, I want spring. My mantra is: "If I clean, spring will come," and just maybe those buds that are starting to pop on the lilac bushes will actually start to bloom.

Ever the optimist, I will start my spring cleaning in the hopes I can lure the warmer, drier weather to appear. Markeeta Little Wolf has inspired me, I decided to start by making a batch of her homemade laundry detergent. But first, I have to rewash the white towels that turned grayish blue when I threw my blue sweatshirt into the towel load. I don't want to ruin her lovely laundry soap with a large quantity of Clorox. That just doesn't seem right.

I am so over stews and soup! I'm thinking about lighter, spring foods. My herbs from last year are actually resurrecting themselves. I started to pull out what I thought was grass growing in my parsley, then realized it's the chives making a comeback. So, while I'm in spring cleaning mode, maybe I will start a little weeding as well.

Lilacs, chives, magnolia tree blossoms and weeping willow blossoms are starting to tease me. So, I will continue to clean and sing my mantra, "if I clean, spring will come." Occasionally, I am actually in the mood to clean; usually it's because I'm procrastinating; even cleaning is more fun than work, starting my taxes, or re-organizing my closet, so that in two weeks when Daniel moves here, he will have room to hang up his clothes. But, if I keep up my mantra, the reward at the end of this cleaning blitz should bring the gift of spring and sun.

Flowers are nice, but the lure of asparagus, artichokes, apricots, and rhubarb have more appeal to me. Anyone who knows me, knows; it's all about the food, and now that the chef is moving in, I'm anticipating some very special meals. Thankfully, he is already planning the garden, with all sorts of vegetables and herbs, I am ready to turn that work over to him. Although I enjoy the bounty of the garden, I plant things that are tough and can withstand being ignored. I treat the garden like cleaning, I try to get away with the minimum. Tennis, hosting a party, meeting with friends, going for a run are activities that have more allure to me than picking weeds.

Wow! It worked, it's Monday morning and the sun appeared. The mantra may have worked. Yesterday I cleaned, today the sun is out. If the rain and cold return I will clean, repeat my mantra, "if I clean, spring will come," or, I will learn to live with mud. I've heard Waitsburg dirt is the best for growing things, but right now it just seems to be growing more mud and dust. Today, I'm basking in the sun!


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