It’s time to get into the swing of spring

By Jim Lee

This month is about ready to bite the dust after some much-needed April showers, and winter has probably gone to sleep for a few months. All things considered, this is a great time of year.
I have always enjoyed spring. Once we get into the swing of the season, we should really appreciate it.
Yes, I know spring started with the vernal equinox over a month ago, but I’m talking about the real spring, not what the calendar says.
When I think of spring, I think of the gently warming weather, the world awakening to a sunny greeting after a long, icy slumber.
(No, I didn’t copy that off a free calendar from a Realtor with a big advertising budget.)
I realize a lot of things just go dormant as part of their life cycle in winter, but they seem to come to life in spring — like a metaphor of resurrection.
The buds come out on the trees and other perennial plants. Tulips and daffodils poke their happy colors out the soil. Soon buds become leaves. Birds chirp for mates. New Yorkers stretch out on the grass in Central Park and gaze lazily up into the trees with the new leaves and watch a pigeon mug a squirrel.
The eternal cycle renews itself once more.
The new season means we have to make adjustments and think ahead, too. When do we restart the timer on the lawn sprinklers and begin mowing the lawn? When do we set out those tomato plants? What should we put on the lawn to make it look better than the neighbors’? How do we get the dog to stop digging holes and chewing up the fledgling lilac bushes?
All of this requires either experience or research. Some of us need a whole new set of skills.
The season also means cleaning out the garage, minor household repairs, and hiding from the wife and her chore list.
Last Christmas, Saundra gave me a new tool box. Was that a preview of coming attractions? One of these days I’ll have to get some tools to put in that pretty new box.
I love tools, especially the picking-them-out-at-the-store part, but I have a problem knowing how to use them once I have them. How in the world am I supposed to know how to use a new gadget when I can’t get the shrink wrap off?
In all fairness, I have to point out that Saundra does not make demands on me as a fix-it guy. Her response to my resolve to fix anything, such as the garage door coming off the track, inevitably is, “Go get Dave.”
Doggone it, maybe I don’t want to go get Dave. Maybe I need to prove my worth to the world of aging (but handy) homeowner dudes instead continually exploiting the best neighbor anybody could hope to have.
I need to get my hands on a project, to prove what I can accomplish — then I’ll get Dave.
Unlike the skills involved in domestic repair, cleaning out the garage requires no huge degree of manual dexterity or mechanical/electrical aptitude. The project simply requires overcoming procrastination.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to con some of my friends at Kiwanis to do it when I get around to it. In the meantime, I’ll continue trying to get that insulating Styrofoam whatever-it-is off the outdoor faucets where the hoses hook up.
I think Dave put me on about needing a left-handed screwdriver because I happen to be right-handed. He can’t fool me that easily. So there.
Ain’t spring great?

Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail: