Delayed Rights of Spring


It seems like it stopped raining. A recently absent companion, the sun, checked in. It was a welcome warmth.

There hasn’t been a single May morning coffee on the back porch. In any regular year, by this time, there’s usually been more than one seating. When the birds are doing their chirp thing. The sun is doing it’s shine thing. The air is doing it’s tickling breeze thing.

There are few weeks in the year that so fully welcome balancing a morning mug and the sports pages. Warm, bright, dry and bug free. With miserable rain every day so far this month, we’ve already lost two of those potential weeks.

Looking across the back porch, though, it’s not just the weather that’s less than genial.

There are still remnants of the last Christmas party strewn in the corners of the deck. Two green solo cups, one flattened, are joined by yellow half smoked cigarettes, empty charcoal gray seedling containers, a ladder, a racoon trap and detritus–including rusted scrapers, bent racks and lava rocks–from the protected charcoal grill and the busted up gas grill. Oh, and the two faded cans of diet Dr. Pepper that somehow did not burst during the multiple freezes since that party. It was a good party.

There are a few planters, some with dirt and some still virginal. Virginal except for that wintering over, anyway. There are some random pieces of wood–in that they really have no discernible purpose on the porch, an empty propane tank and pieces of a windchime that was weathered down. Six iron chairs are stacked in the corner, next to an upturned plastic trash can and an abandoned votive holder. The really nice one that refracts the flicker of the candle onto an evening meal.

The deck isn’t rickety, although it looks like it might be. I would not recommend leaning against the rails, more out of an abundance of caution. I would not recommend walking barefoot, this is from an abundance of splinters picked out of my feet.

It sounds much worse than it is, though. It’s about twenty or twenty-five minutes of picking up and another five or ten minutes to wipedown surfaces. Once the cushions are set on the unstacked chairs and the red and white striped umbrella is planted and raised, all I need to do is find my favorite tablecloth. The sun-bleached green one strewn with large pink cabbage roses that used to belong to my mother-in-law. It has a  five or six inch double fabric border that is a little more green, a little less bleached. It’s square so it gets angled like a diamond to cover most of the round table.

The round table on the back porch is waiting for my red mug and the Sunday paper and my countenance proclaiming spring. Coming soon.

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