According to the calendar, spring is here, but signs of the season have been appearing in North Texas for weeks. Most trees have leafed out already and some are blooming. The daffodils in a neighbor's yard are finished for the year. The bluebells - the state flower of Texas - are about to carpet the hillsides. Temperatures have been warm most days with a few very cold nights and lots and lots of rain.
I've been in the mood to clean out and reorganize. First on my list was the kid's room at our house. I went through all the books, puzzles and toys, pulling out those that Noah has outgrown. He and his friend Theo looked at it all and agreed on what should be given away to younger children. They kept a couple of items but helped me put everything else into bags. Then we set off for The Primrose School, where they both attended Pre-K. As we traveled the few blocks to the school, they reminisced adorably about their time there and what they missed now that they were third-graders (naptime and recess were high on the list). We dropped the bags at the front office and asked if the boys could visit their old teacher, Miss Moss. She shouted with delight when they came in the door, amazed at how big they were.
I moved all the puzzles I'd accumulated during the pandemic into the closet and reorganized the games into the small armoire. Building sets went into the drawers beneath the IKEA trundle bed. Then I realized that we had a lot of stuff that I wanted to get rid of. In the garage, a 36-bottle metal wine rack was first on the list. There was an old printer (still functional) and a DVD player and a 45-inch TV replaced by a larger set. Years ago, we bought a complete set of dishes and a tea set in Philadelphia's Chinatown. While we loved using them when the kids were still at home, it was time for them to go. I had a bunch of dachshund figurines that belonged to my parents and some larger ones I used to display on top of the kitchen cabinets along with some artificial plants and baskets. I found a number of pots I had used for plants, as well. All of these will go on sale next weekend, with any remaining items sent to the thrift store.
Soon, I will tackle the outdoor spaces. Some of my patio plants were killed off during a frost, so I will replace those, having seen some good deals at a huge new grocery store near here. Next comes the task of filling all the planters around the pool with colorful annuals. First I have to get several bags of potting soil to fill up the containers. Miraculously, most of my perennials made it through the winter and are filling out beautifully. I may have to replace a couple and transplant one or two, but with so much rain, it's been kind of a swamp in the area in front of the brick wall that rings the garden. I'm hoping our lawn service can come up with a drainage solution.
I'm enjoying the relatively cool weather and looking forward to days when the kids can swim. We got out the pool deck furniture today and hosed off the big umbrella. I've laundered all the beach towels and sorted through the toys, most of which hit the trash. Soon I'll make a trip to St. Louis to visit a friend, so the blahs of winter are officially over. Stay well, my friends!
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.