Monday, March 26, 2007

Signs Of Spring...

The first few hints of spring are always teasing moments that make you long for more warmth and yet balance that longing with the knowledge that there is still a bit of winter left. Nick’s mother took the girls Friday night so that he and I could join another couple for dinner at a new Italian restaurant in town. It has been a while since I put on a dress and went out to dinner at a nice mid-range restaurant with just adults for company. I know this for a fact because Erin peered rather intently at my eyelashes when I came down the stairs and said “It must be somewhere fancy because you’ve curled your eyelashes and gooped them!” My eyes are fairly sensitive and as a contact lens wearer, I keep the mascara use to a minimum... so she knew it was a special event. Waking up alone with my husband on Saturday morning was also a nice treat!

By 11 am, we joined the girls and grandparents at the the country church on the outskirts of town near a huge sugar bush. They do a pancake breakfast every Saturday morning for 4 weeks leading up to Easter as the sap begins to run in the maple trees. Once we finished the delicious meal, we walked deep into the woods along the muddy path to visit the 4 sugar camps along the way. At the very end, they were doing maple taffy (which I grew up calling “tire” in Qu├ębec) which is boiling maple syrup poured over snow until it becomes a sticky, chewy, sweet mess that you wrap around a popsicle stick. Usually, I am the one that gets messy, but this year it was Bethany’s long hair and pair of mittens that got coated with sugary goop when she tried to savour the stuff instead of gobble it! We had a few tears and had to soak both mittens and child upon our return home, but this is always one of the first true signs of spring in our region. The days are warm enough but the nights still below freezing for the sap to run well. To have such a wonderful resource so close to the house is something I treasure. Moncton has been growing by leaps and bounds lately, but I hope we don’t lose some of the more rural touches completely.

Yesterday afternoon was also a bit warmer and very sunny, so a friend and I went for a walk in the woods near our house along the park’s trails. Compared to our frigid walks in December when there were almost no other humans in sight, yesterday was a zoo! It is as if everyone around me is shaking off that winter slumber and sticking their noses out for spring!

Today was spent getting a freelance writing assignment done, working with a translator on a joint project for 2 hours and trying to get a few things tidy around the house as well. I’ve told Bethany that since I have proof she is able to clean bathrooms now and Erin has needed to help with some laundry, that their chores are going to expand to reflect their new capabilities! That statement was met with groans, of course, but I do have the goal of producing capable, resourceful daughters who will know how to take care of themselves when they go out on their own...

Speaking of which, it is far too quiet upstairs. I must go check and see what they are up to!