It’s not easy seeing green

I was granted many blessings and abilities (though I don’t always see or appreciate them) in my life. I was not granted patience. I hate waiting. Microwave popcorn takes too damn long. Stoplights are maddening. And Wisconsin’s usually procrastinating spring is just plain torture.

As I’ve stated earlier, we just lived through one of the coldest winters in 75 years, the coldest for many of us in our entire lives. And spring is whimpering in like a beaten dog. We’re so despirate up here for spring, that we are looking at highs in the low fifties (twenty degrees below where we should be right now) and saying, “Well, it could certainly be worse. We had snow this time last year.”

For gardeners it’s an added aggravation. You know those pretty pictures you always see of crocuses blooming with a ring of snow around them? Yeah, we had that; more enjoyable in the picture than real life.

Finally the snow is gone. The carcases hiding in the snowbanks have been exposed and finished off by starving eagles. Emaciated deer are chewing whatever they can find. The robins are finally able to indulge in fresh worms.

And the many leaves that blew in from other yards after mulching was done last fall are covering my garden beds, mocking me. I see little green shoots peeking out underneath them. I lift up the leaves in a few spots. And the rationalizing begins. “Theses are perennials, right? They’re suppose to be cold hardy. They wouldn’t be leafing out right now if they weren’t suppose to be uncovered. They need the sun.” I swear I can actually hear the rake in the garage calling me, “Come and get me. I promise to be gentle. You know you want to…

But past experience has taught me otherwise. It’s too soon. So I put at least some of the leaves carefully back, and then I sigh despondently, and I walk away. The old adage up here is, you never uncover the garden beds until after Mother’s day. You don’t plant annuals until Memorial weekend. One little dip in the fickle jet stream, and the damage is done.

I always laugh bitterly when I watch the news in Washington DC and they are showing off the cherry blossoms around the Capitol in April. This year it was more painful than funny. This year it was just mean.

Stupid patience.


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