2011-04-20 / Editorial

Don Lively


Ah, Spring in the Blessed South. When a young man’s fancy turns to… Diesel fuel. Fertilizer. Bottom plows. In every direction around my wooded enclave the sights and sounds and scents of farming tell me that winter really is over at last. Smelling the freshly turned soil and hearing the tractors and implements moving down the long rows bring back vivid memories of my farmboy days when dormancy gave way to new growth signaling the beginning of the new season.

Springtime is here.

Mama used to brag that she had one child in every season. It’s factual and acknowledged family history though I seriously doubt that she and Daddy planned it that way.

It just happened.

I was born in the Spring. That might explain the easy going, peace loving attitude toward life I exhibit every day.. Well, some days. Okay, every blue moon.

Anyway, whether here in Dixie or in my adopted homeland Out West, Spring is my favorite time of year.

Here’s why.

Spring is when things that have been brown all winter begin to turn green.

When critters and creatures and feathered friends that have been hiding throughout the long, cold months once again fill the woods around these parts with sounds and songs to listen to and playful antics to be amused by while sitting on the porch without a coat for the first time in many weeks.

When Crock-pots of chili simmering on the counters in the kitchens of our warm and cozy homes are replaced by Low Country Boils coming to life on the decks and patios and in the tiki huts, and when more pork chops and drumsticks find themselves on the grill than in the skillet.

The second finest of God’s natural creations, in my opinion, the dogwood blossoms, make their first appearance in the Spring and grace us Southerners with their beauty for a couple of weeks. They are soon followed by number one, the magnolia blooms which hang around for a few months. Those are just two of the hundreds of colorful flowering plants that paint and primp the South about this time every year.

Of course, even in Spring, there are tribulations. Along with the balmy temperatures comes the one date of the year that I dread worse than any other.

April 15th.

Seems that the proverbial arm and leg is no longer enough for the various governments that want to help themselves to my hard earned cash. These days they want a goodly chunk of my posterior too.

Who decided to do this in the Spring?

It seems much more appropriate that tax day should arrive when the other blood suckers like fire ants and mosquitoes do, in the summer time. Think about it. You’re just getting over the lack of funds after the Christmas holidays when you find the taxer’s hand in your pocket.

Okay, enough of that little rant, we were talking about Springtime, not legally sanctioned robbery so let’s return to capricious musings.

Every year when Spring arrives I start to miss my Gold Wing, the one I bought a year after I scattered pieces of my first one down a pass in northern New Mexico. Despite spending the better part of a year recuperating from that little mishap I got my second one as soon as I was healthy enough, but later, finding myself single again, I needed a house worse than I did a motorcycle, so, it got sold. But when I see the riders cruising along in jeans and tees, and, of course, a helmet, I wish I was out there with them.

This time of year there are more deer out than ever. If they survived the recent hunting season and haven’t been annihilated by an eighteen wheeler they probably feel they’ve earned the right to stand and nibble tender new buds and shoots along the rightof ways.

The turkeys are out in abundance too even though their season to become legal dining fare is in full swing. I’ve seen dozens of them in the past week. I think they are either fleeing from the hunters who can hunt or teasing the ones who can’t but at any rate they never seem to be in too big a hurry.

Yes, Spring is here. Enjoy it while you can. Before you can say “ ninety-nine in the shade “ it’ll be…well…ninety-nine in the shade with a gazillion gnats thrown in for good measure.

So, string up the hammock, throw the shrimp skewers on the Weber and have a ball.

Later yall.

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of Howlin’ At The Dixie Moon. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com

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