It's March Break. What that means is all five Peanuts are home. All week. That's nine days! You know what? It's been really wonderful. It began for me with a lovely visit from a dear friend (Carly, who is up in a tree) and eased into day after day of absolutely beautiful, incredible, honest-to-goodness Spring weather. Flower beds have been tidied, grass has been raked, cars have been cleaned, bikes and balls have been unearthed from the shed, Christmas lights and baubles have been taken down, and boys have been playing out of doors from breakfast to supper every day. Hoorah!
Now I am impatient to see things turn green and grow. You know I am no gardener, but last year my sister and I undertook to nurture a few potted things through the growing season. That tentative proposal became a full-out campaign to establish an entirely new paramecium-shaped flower bed around the tree in the front yard, planting unknown but enticingly-named flowers alongside the front walk, pruning a defenceless shrub within an inch of its life, engaging in a battle royal against the squirrels, chipmunks and grubs that were determined to eat our poor plants, and proudly displaying several pots of herbs, greenery, two failed tomato plants and some glorious crimson geraniums.
This year, at this house, we have a neighbour who does the pruning for us. She told me yesterday, quite confidentially and rather sheepishly while pointing to some very tiny brown sticks poking out of the ground in her garden, "I couldn't make myself stop once I got started!" and then pointing out a round bushy thing of ours beside our driveway, "I couldn't take it, so I came over and did a little pruning one day. Just a little, I couldn't help it." She has advised us to wait until its a little warmer before doing any more pruning, but I think we can safely leave that task to her. I'm planning what I want to grow this year, and have already found great satisfaction and ... am I really going to say this?... tranquility, from doing a little digging in the soil. With gloves on of course. I don't want to have any bugs crawling across my hands. Ugh.
Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, a big feast day for Irish Catholics...and anyone else who enjoys a green beer. Today is the tenth birthday of my Number One Nephew! (Happy birthday, oldest Peanut! I remember the day you were born. Wasn't it yesterday?) and tomorrow is the feast day of St. Joseph. He is one of my favourite men, and certainly one of my favourite saints. He's the patron of Canada, of families, of workers, of the sick and dying and much more, but just that short list makes him someone you want to keep on your short list. The Catholic Church has a tradition of praying novenas - 9 prayers or 9 days of prayer leading up to a feast day for a particular intention. I had many prayer intentions for my Papa Joe, and having my own dear Pop to add his heavenly assistance, I know they will be answered.
However, all this feasting and warm-weather-revelry has thrown my routine off balance. So many days have gone by now without me doing any writing worth writing about (and zero motivation, inclination or inspiration to try) that I suddenly find myself behind with my assignments, and now I must scramble to catch up while still trying to learn something from the work. It's been a blip.