Facebook is strange and sinister, but one of the intriguing elements to me is the “On this Day” feature where Facebook shows you what you posted on this day in all the years you’ve been using Facebook. Since I deleted my Facebook in 2012 and rejoined in 2013, most of this “On this Day” for me is since I retired and moved to Monte Vista. There is a definite pattern to what-happens-when in this small town.
On this day (yesterday) last year and the year before I commented that the days are warmer and kids are bouncing basketballs to the park. Spring must be on the way. Two years in a row and yes, only two days ago, I heard a kid coming down the street, bouncing his basketball, heading to the park a block away. Like a clock. Almost to the day. And, of course, there are the Sandhill Cranes. In March they fly north to Yellowstone Park (their summer home) stopping here to eat, hang out, mate and generally party. It’s their Spring Break.
The little early spring flowers throw their tiny wonder up one or two inches into the sky always around now. I only know this for two years as there were no spring bulbs in the yard when I moved here. I had to set that clock in motion. I also noticed that I take the same pictures at the same time every year (or have, so far). “Wow! The crocus are blooming! Wow! Wow! My tomato seeds have sprouted!” There is a woman down the street who has a very beautiful border around her front lawn. I walked by to see what she uses for mulch (leaves), and I walked by to see when she removes the leaf mulch because I think she knows what she’s doing. I’m setting my clock by hers.
Yesterday I had a hard time finding a place to walk both Dusty and Bear because there are a lot of people in town for the Crane Festival. Dusty isn’t friendly when he’s leashed, and off leash, he’s a big, black dog bounding happily to meet people who might not want to meet him. We ended up on the golf course. There were two early-season golfers out on the driving range (pasture). Yep. My town has a beautiful skate park and maybe it’s one of the few places where you see skater kids in cowboy hats. Another sign of spring.
People start coming out, too. All winter, the streets are pretty empty. People aren’t walking their dogs. The slough was more or less abandoned as was the golf course. The first warm day brings humanity out into the world like zits on a 14 year old. I resent this (on behalf of Dusty T. Dog) as we’re happy to go out in the cold. Every year when I have to stop Dusty from barking at some nice people with their dachshund, I think, “I’m being nice to you, but you haven’t earned this. Where were you when it was 20 below? Huh? Huh? Were you here? I think not.” I’m cheered by the knowledge that — if the clock is accurate and the pattern holds true — it’s going to snow some more before spring is over. Bear and I are hopeful. We thrive on nasty weather.
I like winter best, but it might be because in California, without four seasons, I used to measure the passing of the seasons by the likelihood of rattlesnakes on my hiking trails. I could expect to start seeing them around Valentine’s day and could be somewhat safe of their hibernating by Thanksgiving. I hiked anyway, but it was nice to have a few months to relax…