Weather in Kansas can by “iffy." If it does not snow, I can navigate the hill. If it rains, the hill is often slippery with mud. Last week Mike, trusty handy man, was going to drive me to my deaf daughter’s former home in Olathe. The tenant had moved out, making no provisions for heating. Of course water pipes burst and the house was a mess. It snowed and I wondered how I could get down the hill to Mike’s truck. I decided to slide down seated on a large cardboard box. This has worked before. Fortunately the sun appeared and melted the snowy hill. One must cope with the vagaries of country living.
We lived many years in the Chicago countryside: the red-winged black birds heralded spring’s arrival. In Kansas, thunder, lightning, rain, sleet and snow can occur simultaneously. Resident professor Roger Boyd once told me his first sign of spring is early morning bird songs. I heard the cheery calls of cardinals who were silent almost all winter. Carol at “The BB Breakfast group” announced that enormous flocks of redwings had arrived. To me the surest sign of spring is hearing tiny frog “spring peepers” in the marshes along the lake. If their trilling fills the air, spring truly has arrived.
My forsythia has yet to bloom. Branches cut a few weeks ago are bravely in bloom in a vase in my living room. Those of Joan, which were cut earlier, have been in bloom for some time. Unlike Kansas weather, forsythia is reliable. Another true harbringer of longed-for spring.
Tiny red catkins cover the top most branches of my silver maples. The sun hits the upper branches. One must take into account microclimates. Daffodil leaves are well above ground on my southern exposure. Those on the north side of the house bloom a few weeks later. I have looked in vain for white and lavender violet leaves in my flowerbeds on the eastern exposure. Sadly, because of a former broken hip, my flowerbeds are in a bad state. Which is nothing compared with piles of “paperwork.”
I do not know what I would do without the excellent help with taxes provided by AARP: a lifesaver! Taxes can take the joy from a spring day. I surely wish all that paperwork occurred in winter. I would like to walk across the dam, sit in the sun on the rocks on the eastern side, enjoy the view and listen to the wavelets ripple on the rocks. Our lake is truly beautiful and it is very clean. No cattle or fertilizer run-off and no sewage from commercial or housing developments.
I do wish access on the west side by the dam was not so dangerous. Unless one can crawl under the fence one must navigate a slippery gravel slope with no handrails. This is an accident waiting to happen! On a recent walk across the dam I met a gentleman who formerly worked for lakes all over Kansas. He too deplored the dangerous slope provided by the “powers that be.” I waste gas and energy driving to the eastern side where crawling under a fence is not necessary. The previous day my friend Tracy and I crawled under the fence on the western side of the dam. I could not pull myself up on the other side. If she had not hauled me up I would still be flat on the ground.
Seems to me someone should rectify this situation. All you dam walkers write the newspaper or call the dam powers that be!
“The years at the spring, and the days at the morn; mornings at seven; the hillsides dew-pearled; the lark’s on the wing, the snail’s on the thorn: God’s in his heaven—All’s right with the world.” -- Robert Browning, 1813-1889