I don't usually like Sundays. They seem too squished from beginning to end. I spend too much time thinking about Monday, and often wish I was born with multiple hands to accomplish everything I see that needs doing. Sundays bring that out in me. Everywhere I look, I see a project. Sundays are usually a great day for a local outing away from the house and all the work that beckons.
I thought yesterday would be a pretty awful day. I didn't sleep well, waking often and pacing the house, getting drinks of water, checking on Cora, falling asleep to too-busy dreams. But in the morning the sun was shining and the day beckoned with possibility. We decided to go out to breakfast, but as soon as I checked our bank balance and saw how much we've managed to spend over the past couple of weeks on birthdays, outings, dates, babysitters, and $400 garden building materials (including soil and compost), I dug in my heels and made a huge breakfast with all the yummy produce in our refrigerator--scrambled eggs with red peppers, onions, and mushrooms, served over fresh spinach with grated cheddar, roasted potatoes with paprika, toast with butter and blueberry jam, fresh fruit, and coffee and tea.
While I whisked the eggs and roasted the potatoes, Brian and Cora played with Play-Doh at the kitchen table. They made trains with wheels and tracks, chug-chug-chugging along.
It was so much better than waiting in line. The sun streamed through our kitchen window. I listened to them talk animatedly. We sat down and ate and listened to each other. Somehow, breakfast turned out perfectly--crispy golden potatoes, acres of flavorful eggs, just-browned toast. All of us agreed it ended up being so much better than going out. And we meant it.
Afterward, Brian played the guitar and then he and Cora headed out to the backyard to pick spots for our garden beds, and replant our indoor plants.
I started cleaning. You might not think this sounds like the beginnings of a perfect day, but hear me out. I cleaned the baseboards, dusted all the furniture, vacuumed under the beds and sofa and chairs, watered the plants, cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen. Meanwhile, every time I looked outside I saw Brian and Cora in different parts of our yard, bending over to study bugs, picking flowers, spinning and falling down, transplanting our potted plants and sifting through dirt, scoping out areas for the garden while Cora pointed and offered her opinions. Finally they took a break and rested in Adirondack chairs while studying the bird house and searching for bumblebees.
The windows were open, a breeze wafted through the house, everything started to feel organized and clean. By the time I was finished, there wasn't any more dust. I went outside and played with Cora while Brian started building the raised garden beds. I kept getting distracted by the clear view of the Cascades etched in the sky, still partly covered with snow. But in our yard bluebells, tulips, and daffodils are pushing up and blooming everywhere.
Soon, the neighbor kids came out in their backyard to see what we were up to. Shortly after, a little girl who lives behind us climbed the fence and we all started playing soccer in our backyard. Then we migrated over to our neighbor's super cool play structure and zipped down slides and swung on swings and played a hilarious game of T-ball. Meanwhile, just over the fence, I was able to see Brian constructing our cedar gardens.
By lunchtime we were filled with fresh air and sunshine.
It is spring here. It really is. It feels amazing.
We ate an easy lunch of leftovers and put Cora down for a nap, and then Brian and I spent several hours working in the yard. He finished the beds and I raked the yard and swept the patio and just generally looked up at the sky and felt happy. There's still a lot to do out there. There always is. We don't bother with the yard during the winter. The lawn doesn't grow, but the weeds do. We have some major weeding to do. Major. But I'm excited about it.
The garden beds are arranged and ready to go. We just need to fill them with dirt and compost and plant some seeds. I went to bed reading my gardening book. I'm going to start with some of the easy seeds that don't require indoor starts: carrots, bush beans, radishes, corn, spinach, yellow squash, and potatoes. This week I'll start the ones indoors that need it: cauliflower, lettuce, onions...and a bunch more that I haven't decided on yet. Hopefully more greens, but I can't remember the growing cycle for those.
The apple and pear trees are starting to bloom. I'm worried we didn't prune them back last year and thus may have another year of low fruit production, which makes me sad when I think about all the lost apple sauce and apple butter and apple pies. But we'll see. Maybe we'll get lucky.
Today, Cora and I sat in the sun and had a picnic, then wandered around barefoot, feeling springy wet grass and moss beneath our feet, and puttering around in the raised beds. We spent a long time listening to the birds and filling the bird feeder with seeds, then sitting quietly on our blanket waiting for them to come.
"Shhh, Mommy. The birds are coming," said Cora.
"Yes, I'll be very quiet," I whispered.
"I maybe see a bird!" she shouted. Then, "Shhh, Mommy. Quiet. The birds are shy."
We sat like that for a long time. The sun made us drowsy. Now she's sleeping and I'm going to start writing.