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Column: I’ve got the (spring) fever

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This time of year has always been torture to me.

Once I’ve heard that first chickadee of spring whistle ‘weee-doo,’ I’m doomed.

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My dreams begin to feature sandals, the crunch of fresh veggies and the scent of blooming lilacs or a freshly plowed field.

Packets of carrot, bean, lettuce and pea seeds sit in a plastic bin next to my front door, along with flower bulbs, my gloves and a shiny, new trowel.

I look through garden magazines and greenhouse catalogs like some sort of fiend.

You see, I have a recurring case of spring fever, capable of driving a winter-weary person mad, that pops up each and every year. The sole cure is the wonderful time of year we call spring.

Once the first few warm days break through winter’s layers of snow, ice and gloom, I get irrationally hopeful that spring has come early and the frigid cold has gone away for another nine months.

As the weather has proven this week, those first hopeful days could easily end up blanketed with more fluffy white stuff falling from the sky and covering the precious (if dead) grass.

Snow shovels are still the tool we reach for, rather than a garden spade.

Today, March 20, is the first day of spring. Well, at least the calendar thinks it is.

And based on the five-day forecast while writing this on Tuesday, spring hasn’t exactly sprung. Yet. There have been a few feeble attempts at a hop or a skip, but those have been followed by cold wind and what the Weather Channel called a “wintry mess.”

This isn’t spring. Not even close.

To me, spring is the low drone of a lawn mower, punctuated with an occasional sharp crack as a rock is sent flying by the blades.

Spring is re-filling bike tires with air and taking that first glorious ride – afterword, swearing to get back into shape because you shouldn’t be so darn tired.

The first time ditching long johns, insulated coveralls and heavy boots when going out to do barn chores means spring.

Spring is finding the first little, white bloodroot sprouting out of the dead leaves in the woods.

Mud on your shoes, symphonies of frogs singing at night, fresh rhubarb and tiny, bright green leaves making their first appearance on the trees… it’s all about to happen.

Now, tell me, can you feel a hint of spring fever creeping in to the edge of your mind? I can, and I think the cure can’t get here soon enough.

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