By Leslie Parks - Sunday, May 05, 2013

The winter sometimes feel so dark and dreary, like the sky is lower to the ground, crushing me.  I push through the days of the no sun chill until spring comes.  It feels as though the sky lifts and stretches out a bit, the light starting before five in the morning and ending after nine in the evening.  I need to be outside playing, working, relaxing, laughing, stretching my arms out and feeling the sun hit my face.  The kids get outside more too.  They start asking to play different games or doing different activities.  Even Isaac, though as he gets older it is not happening as often. His activities have graduated to Frisbee or soccer with friends.  We have enjoyed the trampoline for years and are continuing to do so.  Backyard baseball is another activity that makes it's appearance in the spring, each of us taking our turn at bat.  Every night when John comes in from work, he says hello, gives me a hug and a kiss, chats with the kids, and then walks out to wander our little bit of earth looking at his plants, his shrubs, his fruit trees - a ritual, a routine.  The door is left open more, and the garage can't hold back the bikes, unicycles, roller blades and wazzis anymore. Often times the toys become strewn across our front lawn and the neighbors too. The kids spilling the contents of the garage throughout the neighborhood until I reign them back in.  The lawnmower emerges and the youngest child goes to work. John and I plan the yard out, making new beds, buying plants, hauling the yard waste that has collected to the dump.  It feels good, involved and tiring.  As it warms up, lunches are eaten on the front steps so the breezes are blocked but eventually they migrate to the backyard.  Each time reminding me of having lunch at my grandmother's who cooks a large meal for lunch and then hauls everything outside.  My backyard becomes a haven once again and beckons throughout the summer to be there instead of inside.  My favorite time is when the lawn is mowed and the toys are picked up.  I guess it mirrors the need for order in my house since my favorite time inside is having the house clean and the toys picked up.  The end of school also becomes visible taunting me with less structure and routine, eagerly anticipating John working his 40 hours a week within 4 days and spending Friday, Saturday, Sunday with us.  I love springtime at our house so full of newness and promises to come in the summer.

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