But it’s not here fast enough.
It’s the nineteenth month here in Mad’ville and some days it seems like Florida was just a dream. I walk around the cul-de-sac in the mornings with Reagan and admire the early signs of spring-yellow bursts out from the browns and grey tones of the landscape-forsythia, daffodils and buttercups. Yet some days, I can’t stop comparing my new digs (yes, still feels like new) to the lush and vivid landscape of Florida, my home for twenty-four years, especially the last three with Elvis, which felt like a fairy-tale. Florida is picture-perfect postcard material: twenty shades of palm-tree-green, homes dyed Easter egg colors with white picket fences and latticed-covered gates, covered in climbing, clinging, vibrant purple, pink, and orange bougainvillea. Turquoise water, water, water, everywhere.
The first weekend of April arrived and Spring tagged along. Finally. On this early morning walk, I notice the cherry trees budding pale pink and white flowers. Crimsoned red buds pop on a tall tree that I haven’t identified yet, probably a scarlet oak. It is peaceful here, with the exception of the rambunctious squirrels that chase each other up, down, and around the hickories, their tiny claws on the bark sound like an old-fashioned typewriter.
Spring is late to arrive this year and I yearn for green. Any green will do. The trees have been bare long enough. We’ve had a mild winter, relatively speaking. Not as mild as 2012, but certainly less than most of the country. Mad’ville is tucked in the corner of Western Kentucky, far enough south we don’t get the frigid white blizzards from the Great Lakes, and east enough we don’t get the mess from the Mid-West.
So eager for spring to arrive, three weeks ago, after a blustery wind storm, I created two arrangements for the outside foyer using the river birch branches I’d picked up from the lawn. I added a few silk stems, pea rock, a glass vase, and a clay urn. Martha Stewart I’m not, but this little crafty-thingy was the perfect pick-me-up.
Days passed. Secure in my thinking that the last frost was over for the year, I headed outdoors. I hung two hummingbird feeders, patiently waiting for the return of the ruby-throated hummers. Once I spot the first one, I’ll hang the other feeders. No sense getting the ants in a feeding frenzy until the birds show up.
I spray-painted the passionflower trellis and fake turtles black. Maybe went overboard spraying the turtles, but a fresh coat of paint, even black, looks better than last year’s tired-looking yard decorations. I also planted dahlias, Oriental lilies, and starburst bulbs. Tomorrow I’ll plant the petunias (another lure for the hummers), more lilies and starburst. Then I’ll pray for rain.
I bought a tulip-daffodil combo arrangement at Lowe’s and after I consulted Google (what did we do before she came into our lives?) I was unaware tulips are planted in Fall. Another reason it was wicked cheap.
Reagan (who is not happy I’m snapping a picture of him in this shot) is giving us a bit of a scare. He’s been diagnosed with an enlarged heart. And come to find out, dogs don’t have heart attacks, their hearts just grow until they stop. So heart medicine it is and a little more anti-anxiety meds to keep him calm. Ha. As if any fox terrier is ever calm.
On other fronts, my salmon ebook manuscript is finished. I’m now interviewing prospective programmer’s with hope to find someone reputable and inexpensive (is there such a person?) to convert the file. I’m already considering the next two species and researching companies from which to procure product. Alaska Seafood and Copper River Salmon have been very generous supplying me with product, and I am grateful and blessed to work with two respectable organizations.
I landed a food column in a small local newspaper. Yes, in print. My focus will be farms, farmer’s, farmer’s markets, and CSA’s. I’ve prepared a rough editorial calendar for the publisher whom I meet next week. More details to follow next month.
More news about next month. I’m invited to the Sustainable Foods Institute at Monterey Bay Aquarium, on a full media scholarship. Three days of panel discussion, lectures, meet and greets. I can hardly contain myself. I contacted Edible Orlando magazine with a few ideas for its fall and winter issues. And my brain is percolating with ideas for more stories and submissions. I feel like my window has opened up a bit. I love the feeling. I’m hungry for more.
Elvis is awesome. As always. He reminds me when I get too serious (the Irish in me) with a joke or a little tease, always with a poker face. And I’m learning not to take it literally, that he is simply much better at blowing off the minutia of life than I am. Oh, I have a new nickname, “Country Girl,” because I’m beginning to get the hang of getting up at the crack of dawn to see the critters in the woods, or something along those lines.
I’m saving so much money living here, just by not wearing makeup! What a simple joy. Of course it helps I work from home. Naturally I wear lipstick and mascara for outings-the Mad’ville Police functions, dinner dates, and such, but really, to live a simple country life without eyeliner, blush, and powder, is damn good.
And although I occasionally wax poetic about Florida-the lifestyle, the food, and most important, our friends-I’m okay here, ‘cause I know better things are on the horizon. In fact, I’m foraging for morels next weekend. On our property. How lucky can a country girl get?