Spring Fever

For Joan Donaldson

Today, March 20th, is the first day of Spring.  If you are really in the know, you might call it the Vernal Equinox, and do that little experiment in which you test an egg and see if it shares the equilibrium that is supposed to infuse the day.  This winter was not any colder than usual in Texas, yet I have been longing for everything to warm up, even though I know friends from other parts of the country have had it much rougher.  My friends post messages that lament the snow, even if it does look beautiful.  Rarely have I had to deal with ice on my windshield in Houston, although it was freezing when I visited San Antonio in February. I hadn’t even thought about ice since I lived in North Carolina, but there, I just told everyone I was from Texas and stayed inside until the weather got better.  Trust me: they didn’t want me driving either, and all it took was one spill on some black ice in a parking lot to make me pretty much succumb to complete hibernation during winter storms.

But today, in Texas, is perfect.  It is not humid, it is not too hot, it is not too cold, and when I take my walk I see all the greenery and think it looks like it has been spring for ages.  Nature can fool you that way: it changes costumes, makes you forget the previous scene.  I am supposed to be running, but I have injured my heel, and I am sort of grateful that I am walking so that I can really look around me.  Things are starting to bud, and I can see the holes in the telephone poles from the woodpeckers that I usually hear when I am running.  Usually, they are as loud as jackhammers, relentlessly pounding away at the helpless poles.  Today, I don’t hear them, but I can see the magnificence of their efforts.  Those woodpeckers don’t give up. Continue reading

Amateurs

angel

One Saturday, a few Aprils ago, Christopher and I went to Nassau Bay, Texas, a stone’s throw from NASA, so he could work his first volunteer event as a Ham Radio Operator. The 5 K run was called “The 10th Annual Race for Yuri” in honor of the famous cosmonaut.  I have to tell you, when Christopher took a course at his junior high to become a licensed ham radio operator, the one word that entered my head was “Why?”  Doesn’t the world have cell phones now?  But then there were the terrible bombs at the Boston Marathon, and when no one could text or call because everything was jammed up, the Ham Operators got things done, and there was nothing in the skies obstructing their missions.  Christopher’s teacher, Nick Lance, was a retired NASA engineer, and fantastic with the students. I admit that I was so wrong about that course.  Sometimes, it is good to be wrong.

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