Warning: This is so full of clichés that I can’t even pre-identify them all with my normal —cliché alert— warnings. It’s so bad that I’m going wait awhile to post this, like I do before I send a “flamer” email.

Seriously though, I just can’t believe how much better I feel when spring starts peeking out. It’s like a buzz or something. Maybe that’s why they call it “spring fever”—duh.

I have to work hard to get through winters here. To this day, I know the only reason I survived those Wisconsin winters was because I was in school and working 2-3 jobs at a time.

It’s definitely not as bad here as it was there, but it is an annual challenge to my mental health. My winter trip to somewhere warm and sunny is a “medical necessity” as far as I’m concerned. It gets me through. And my mom started giving me an amaryllis every Xmas too, which is simple, beautiful and therapeutic.

The transition from winter to spring is also a bit difficult — losing that hour of sleep last week just about sucked the life out of me — and when the alarm goes off it’s still dark, which makes me want to snoogle down into the covers more.

But at least now when I wake up I hear birds chirping, not silence. The first morning I hear birds before the sunrise, I swear my heart just jumps.

Strangely, I want to break into song:

"Why do birds suddenly appear 
Every time you are near? 
Just like me, they long to be 
Close to you."

Yes, that was the Carpenters. I referred to it, I sang it, and if you know the tune I bet you’ll be humming it all day now (heh heh heh).

Once it’s light, the cardinals, chickadees, tufted titmice, and goldfinches come out more readily and I can see them right at the feeders outside my window.

If I have time, I’ll “survey the manor,” check the bulbs’ progress, do overall “ooh, the xyz is coming back up!”s, and until this year I enjoyed my forthythias (yes I KNOW it’s not spelled that way—do a search of blog for more background on it).


I see my bulbs coming up and —major cliché alert— it brings me such relief, peace and joy. Winter’s almost over! The cycle of life is beginning again!

I already sense my parents’ disappointment that I’m not their religion, but this could send them into conniptions if they saw it: In many ways, spring is better than is the original easter. It’s the time for rebirth, renewal, and the shedding of deadness. It’s energizing.

On the day that you were born, the angels got together and decided to 
create a dream come true. 
So, they sprinkled moon dust in your hair, with gold and starlight 
in your eyes of blue.

mooh ahhh hahahahahaaaaa


My town has a new trash provider, Christian Disposal. They have a modified jesus “hey i’m a christian” dove as their logo (presumably secularized for palatability by non-christians).

The logo is prominently displayed on the 65-gallon bin I get to wheel downhill every week, as well as on the single-stream recycling bin I so love <previously discussed here: Cheap thrills or lame thrills?>

When she saw the logo, my sister commented that now I have jesus picking up my trash. In fact she’s said that many times. I’m not gonna say anything bad about them though, since unlike Veolia, these people actually show up.

Secretly I crack up about her for talking about jesus taking my trash, but in public I chastise her and tell her to watch out for the lightning, which is god coming to smite her.

Here’s an email she sent me the other day.

Email: If Jesus can take our your trash, can his momma keep your data safe?

Note that Mary’s insides light up when you’re moving data. I just love those twisted folks at Gizmodo for finding yet aNOTHER thing you didn’t know you needed.

Saw these today on the road:
-Amish buggy on flatbed;
-propane bbq pit along side of highway (standing up, ready to go);
-a mini-airplane stabile (the opposite of mobile) Airplane-ettes were approx. 1-3 feet in wingspan, and there were approx. 8 different models; Picture about 7-8 “miniaturized” World War II airplanes standing on big straws that are mounted in the ground.

Favorite signs:
-“Blasting zone ahead—turn off 2 way __ <missed it> and cellular telephones”
-“Robert _ Byrd Center for __ __ <missed it>”; I racked my brains to figure out what this could’ve been, but all I could think of was “Robert _ Byrd Center for Allegedly-Recovering Racists.”

Today’s game: “Count the road kill”*
9 (mostly in Indiana for some reason)

(*only remains of single animals, not total number of parts seen…)

Indiana was still beautiful, as was Kentucky. I didn’t remember KY very well from previous trips, so I’d forgotten about the miles and miles of brown wood fences, and how they contrast so beautifully with the (yes I’m going to say it) Kentucky bluegrass. And all the horses! I have never seen so many in one day. If it were a little warmer…

Then I hit Louisville. Ick (from the highway anyway). Also the entire eastern 2/3’ish of the state—double ick—scary industrial stuff along the water. The same could be said for West Virginia, where I could find no merit whatsoever, outside of good coffee at McDonalds.

What an ugly, torn up, gloomy, scary industrial, strip-mined state (can you hear me Sister Conaghan from 5th grade science? I remembered.) I could not wait to get out of there, but unfortunately I was in both for most of the day.

Driving by all those piles of coal and the impact of their mining makes me all the more conscious of my impact on the environment (‘cause I need to be more conscious about something, right?!). And you thought I was bad before…

It was like (the proverbial) night into day crossing into Virginia. You literally drive through a tunnel, and voila! Beautiful green grass, farms, horses, meadows. God I loved it! I felt like it was my reward for time served in eastern KY and WV.

Unfortunately, that was where I hit the “gotta-get-home-before-dark-from-Easter/Spring-break” crowd. Lord. Literally, I rounded a corner and had to jam on my brakes.

Truckers tip: Turn on your emergency flashers when you see a line of traffic ahead. It makes people take pause and look ahead to figure out why you’re slamming on your brakes. You’re welcome.

Anyhoo: After 10 hours of driving and starting to lose it, I crossed into NC and a forested, flowered restful-looking “Welcome Center” (rest stop). Rested a moment (used the bathroom) then stopped in the nearest town I could, which is also one I was interested in seeing, if only for one reason: It’s Andy Griffith’s home town, which they based “Mayberry” on.

It’s called “Mount Airy” and it’s an odd juxtaposition of new construction strip malls and wide highways and a classic “old-timey” town interior downtown. It actually reminds me of Washington, MO and vicinity. Except Wash., MO doesn’t have the “Old City Jail” that was modeled after the TV show, which is a little bass-ackwards if you think about it.

The town is cute but seems very white, and very conservative. I can find only 2 radio stations on the FM channel, and one is Jesus and the other is Jesus-related country music! I just don’t think I could live somewhere like that. ‘Nuff said (but you know I want to say more…).

Place I wish I’d stopped at: Tudor’s Biscuit World

Names of places that have the same name as other places I’ve been: Oak Hill, Ghent, Fish Hatchery Road, Paris, Ashland (they’re both HOLES), Mt. Vernon, Charleston