Sunday, April 6, 2008


Miriam over at AnceStories 2: Stories of Me for My Descendants has a great prompt this week - Spring!

How do you feel about Spring? Is it a favorite season of yours, or a least-favorite? Why?

Spring is my second favorite season, after Autumn. Right now is the part of Spring I like the least: the lawns are brown and muddy, grass is dead, no leaves on the trees, and the temperatures fluctuate too much - it is 66 degrees today here in Chicago but it will be barely in the 40s by the end of the week.

What are your favorite Spring activities? Do they include gardening and yardwork? House repairs or touch-ups?

Spring is my chance to do touch-ups around the house and also map out home improvement projects. I have two this year: replace the drawers on the built-in 100 year old china cabinet in my dining room with cabinet doors; and refinish the bathroom part of the master bedroom suite.

Do you have favorite Spring flowers or blossoming trees?

I remember dogwood growing up and I am very partial to hyacinths.

What are your favorite Spring sports, either as a participant or as an observer? While basketball is wrapping up in March Madness, baseball, track and field, tennis, and golf are starting up in schools across the nation.

I am not a sports person, at least not in the team sports sense. I always drifted more towards the personal sports like weightlifting where I challenged myself and not others. Also, the current nature of sports in this country disturbs me - we pay some players more for one game than we do a teacher's annual salary. I'd like to see us raise children who see teachers as their idols and heroes, and not the latest sports star hawking his or her line of Nike shoes.

Here in Spokane, Spring is welcomed with such community events as Bloomsday Run (one of the largest in the nation) and the Lilac Festival. Does your community have Spring events, and what is the extent of your participation?

In Chicago we have the Easter Flower Show at Marshall Field's (I still can't bring myself to say Macy's!), opening day for the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the reopening of Buckingham Fountain, and Spring will close on Memorial Day weekend when we hold Bike the Drive: Lakeshore Drive is closed - all 27 miles - and taken over by bicyclists of all ages.

Do you have a regular Spring cleaning time? When is it and what does it include?

I usually have to wait until all danger of snow is gone here in Chicago - my biggest cleaning chore is salt removal. I usually put leather conditioner on my huge leather sofa, clean the windows, change the filter on the furnace/air conditioner, check smoke alarm batteries, put away the flannel sheets and bring out the lighter comforters as well, put away winter clothes and donate some to local charity, pull out recipes for cole slaw, baked beans, fried green tomatoes and all my favorite summer foods!

What are your favorite Spring holidays? Easter or Passover, Mother's Day, Earth Day, Memorial Day are a few.

Least favorite: Tax Day.

What are some of your favorite foods that are in season during Spring?

Asparagus (grilled then drizzled with asparagus and olive oil), English peas, rhubarb.

Ah-choo! What do you like least about Spring?

My allergies act up - this is the first year that I have had to take Allegra D each day all year rather than just seasonally. I also don't care for all the rain!

Do you have favorite memories of Spring Break from your school or college years?

I usually didn't travel home on Spring break - it was a chance to catch up on studies or just take some time and enjoy wandering around Washington, DC.

What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the Spring? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during Spring?

Most of the birthdays among my mother's siblings occur in July - which is weird since there are 12 kids and the girls all have names that start with J. But my great-grandmother Therese McGinnis Austin was born in Spring, she married my great-grandfather John Ralph Austin in Spring, and he died in Spring.

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