Friday, April 5, 2013

And Finally The Thaw

It's been a long winter in the mountains. Spring is slow to come, if at all. Sometimes we skip right over the season and head into Summer. But drip-by-drip the thaw has happened. Last week, I put out the bird feeders out again. One morning I woke up and realized I was hearing a familiar sound, dormant for the last few months-- the unique chirping song of a robin. I stayed in bed for a bit, my eyes closed, just listening. It's a sound that always takes me back to my childhood, listening to the morning song of a robin as it digs for breakfast, waking up early, taunting me to get up too.

The other sure sign of spring is when the deck, attached to the back, south-facing side of our house, is finally free from the layers of snow. That's when I start closely monitoring the thermometer, watching the red line of mercury for any movement of hope. When it finally reaches fifty degrees, I turn to my dog and let him know, "It's time, Blue."  I grab a blanket out from the chifferobe and place it on the warm boards of the deck. I pull on shorts and a tank top, ease myself onto the blanket and sigh with pure contentment. The air may still have a slight chill, but the heat-absorbing wood beckons me with a promise of warmth and sun.

I know what the doctors say about too much sun. I take precautions, but heaven help me, I can't resist. With all my blonde hair, and fair-skinned cautions thrown to the wind or the sun as the case may be, I lay out and absorb the sweet comfort and restoration of the rays.
I'm not alone in this quest for solar comfort after a long, cold winter. Blue pit-pats after me, flopping gratefully on the hot wood with a grunt and groan of satisfaction. After a bit of sunning, he gets up and heads out to the grass for a long, satisfying back scritch in the dry winter grass. It's like spa day for him. He rolls on his back, legs kicking gleefully and twists and turns for all he's worth. I watch him and envy his freedom. I long to join him, rolling in the grass, my legs and arms flailing about, but I'm not sure which of my neighbors might be home, watching, becoming alarmed at the sight.

When he is done rolling, he heaves himself up on all fours and shakes wildly, loose bits of dry grass and leaves flying off of him. I brush the rest off. "Silly, Dog-Dog," I tell him gently. His fur is warm beneath my fingers. And his eyelids droop as he wanders towards the deck for more of his nap. My lids are a bit heavy too. Just a few more minutes of sun, not too much, I promise. After all, we've waited a very long time for the thaw.


20 comments:

  1. I need to do this, I suffer from a vitamin D deficiency and no matter what I do I can't seem to bring the numbers up. Maybe a naked sun bath would do the trick -- worth a try, although the neighbors may not be amused. I guess shorts and a top will have to do. :)

    I'm going for a walk in the sunshine, it will help too, and not embarrass a soul!

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    1. I'm laughing at naked sun bath, Yolanda. We all live on 2-3 acre plots of land so my neighbors aren't smack close to me, but still, I'd hate to be responsible for traumatizing neighbors, small children or animals. Too funny.

      I love the sun-- my husband calls it my "happy place" because I get all content. Today is cloudy though and I'm pouting about it.

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  2. Aww, Blue is such a handsome guy. I could feel my eyes getting heavy along with both of you, it sounded so comfy out in the sun!
    Nothing better than the sound of the first robins, I love it.

    Happy weekend, Julie! :)

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    1. He's my buddy, Julie. Have a great weekend, too!

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  3. A purely wonderful post,Julie! Spring thaw. Sunshine. Dog happiness. There's nothing like it.

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    1. Still too early to start gardening, but that's my next pursuit!

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  4. Love this post . . .and I must admit, I have actually done that, in the grass next to my dogs . . . thankfully I have lots of trees around my back yard. I made my kids laugh, and the dog wasn't sure what to think.

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    1. And did it just feel oh-so-good? You've inspired me. Next time, I'm joining him!

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  5. The thaw has definitely arrived! I stood on our deck yesterday, face to the sun, enjoying it. I'm not a sunbather by nature...okay okay, hardly ever...but it was nice not having to bundle up to go outside. All three of our animals were on the deck, worshipping the sun.

    Blue is gorgeous! Can't blame him for the Grass Wiggle Dance :)

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    1. Lawd help me I love the sun and love to lay out in it. I'm very careful not to overdo but oh my, it's my happy place.

      Ohhh he's OK. I'm shaking my head. We adopted him from a Weimaraner rescue when he was five and he's got all kinds of weirdness but we just love him anyway.

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  6. I've heard you mention The Thaw before...so glad it is happening. The sun has remarkable healing properties—both physical and mental. Hope dog-dog and writer-writer enjoy it in all its splendor.

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    1. Augh and then we got a poop-load of snow. Sigh.. it will get here eventually.

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  7. Two days ago we were outside in lightweight jackets, racking the dead grass from last year. This morning there's 2 inches of snow on the ground! But--the robins don't care. They're scratching through the snow and find all sorts of goodies. Plus--I do believe I just heard a loon!

    Yay, spring thaw! Mucky, but who cares, right! We survived another winter.

    Blue is beautiful!
    Great post, Julie!

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    1. We just got 6" of heavy, wet snow. We need the moisture so desperately, I can't complain. I think. Well... maybe just a little. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  8. It's been beautiful weather here too. I'm not ready for the heat of the summer, but I do love this mild weather even with the mud and rain.

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    1. We have long winters-- 6 months of it. But our summers and falls are ideal! We get a lot of summer residents like places like Florida or Texas get the winter birds.

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  9. We had snow yesterday, but it's starting to melt. Hopefully we'll get some sun soon. But at least some of the plants realize it's spring. I saw a few green shoots poking out of the soil this morning. :D

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    1. It's still too early for green shoots at our elevation, but I'm eyeing the garden beds with hope.

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  10. Summer's on the way, and I want to see a pic of you, lying on the grass, arms and legs flailing just like your dog! :-)

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    1. Ha-- now THAT would make a funny post! ;)

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