Today was a breezy kind of day, the kind that made the stack of papers on my desk scatter across the floor when I was not looking, the kind that made me look over my shoulder for a pop-up shower that never came. The kind that chipped off a tiny piece of my heart.

The days are taking on a new kind of rhythm and I'm rinsing the house in air with the perfect tinge of spring. Maybe this is what they mean when they talk about fresh air. Warm air just never feels very fresh. But spring air, perfect. Maybe it's just me.

I went to bed last night a little groggy, a little stuffy, very sure that I had come down with a cold. I woke up dreamy and well, so I chalked it all up to allergies. Blast 'em.

Clearly, things are changing. The light has a little more glare. There's a filter sliding away from it, and we all know what that means, but I'm not about to say it, because for now? It's still winter spring.

Go ahead. Hate me. I will holler about Spring every single day that I am able. It's just that good. It's good in a hoodie in April and it's every bit as good in a three-quarter sleeved cardigan in May.

The garden is calling me. It's a crying shame out there. A lawless place. Even still, there are left over leaves, the errant tough weeds, and tumbling winter weary hydrangeas.

Mr. Weatherman says that it should have been in the low fifties yesterday. Instead, we saw sixties. So I understand, every extraordinary day is a gift. But today I'm here to tell you, so are the ordinary ones.

An ordinary day where I found the limbs of a naked tree against a blue satin sky and noticed knots of red gearing up for a show. Suddenly, it didn't matter that the pipes kept clogging or that the brown makes me crazy. Spring is here, and she makes things better. I laced my shoes this morning and took the long way with the puppies. We took some detours and walked on low stone walls. Around the bend, we found a Pussy Willow tree. It's been way too long since I ran my thumb across one of those fuzzy buds, all bundled up in their little fur jackets. My mom used to clip branches for me so I could wrap them in soggy newspaper and take them to my teacher. I could almost feel the bunch in my fist and there I was again, 63 and 7 at the very same time.

My heart beat faster, fresh air on forearms and cheeks, a prelude of everything that comes next. Once again, I could not help but thinking, Summer's coming! But still, I didn't dare say it out loud. Because for one thing, it could still snow. And for another? I didn't want to hurt Spring's feelings before she even officially landed. There's nothing worse than being relegated to opening act, especially when you're so dang good at putting on a show. I've spent the last three months wondering where I went and if I'd ever crawl back out. Can it be as easy as a sunbeam and a breeze? I tell myself that I'm not that kind of girl, the kind that requires coddling, the kind whose joy is situational or seasonal.

But today I felt that ease. I wish I could tell you that I found it back in January, but that just isn't true. It must have been suffocating under all the layers, hiding out in the dark. I'm too scared to check the forecast for tomorrow, but I'm hoping that today has some sort of a time-release effect. I can already feel the ice dripping off of my cold, cold heart.

Lately, I cannot do perfection. I cannot do striving to live a life that is seen as blameless and honorable to those around me. I can't try everyday-everyday-everyday to balance the scales between successes and failures and hope that fate grades on a curve.

But I can do faith, because above all else, there is grace.

I did not start this post intending to say all of that. I guess that's just what early Spring air will do to a girl.

What I really meant to say was, I miss you Dad.

Three years ago I found myself face down in a life I did not recognize. In truth, I didn't even ask for it. I didn't go looking for the trouble. I didn't understand it, didn't want it, couldn't walk away from it. The details are both hazy and razor sharp.

I chose the worst possible circumstance to abandon some of the control I had clutched until my fingers cramped. I came nose to nose with my own reality, my own heart, and denial was no longer an option. It got a little ugly.

So here I was, the Good Little Girl who always tries to do the right thing, and I was every way but right. Rebellion was intoxicating up until it was soul-asphyxiating.  The dust barely settled, and I knew I needed help. I needed someone to tell me the truth about things, but mostly, I needed someone to hug me and promise not to stop.

I wracked my brain and cried in the shower, for one person - just one, who would suspend judgment and help love me back to life and tell me to get my crap together. that this is going to be a long, long road.

I took an unsaid oath that once I started I would see it through. The problem with that is, well, the fear. It's still there. It's rapping at my windows and it's busting out the panes. Sometimes I make the wrong choice. Sometimes, I make it easy and just open the door.

just sayin'.

carrot cake

4 eggs, allow to stand at room temp for 30 min
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup oil
  1. Grease & flour two 9 inch round pans (one 9 by 13 works too!)
  2. In large mixing bowl ,stir together wet ingredients.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Add dry ingredients.
  5. Stir just until combined.
  6. Stir in carrots and stir just until combined.
  7. Pour batter into pans, dividing evenly.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

2 packages of soft cream cheese
1/2 cup soft butter
1.5 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat the cream cheese & butter well.
Add powdered sugar and beat again.
Add vanilla and beat until fluffy.
Add more powdered sugar if your frosting is to thin.
Add more milk if your frosting is too thick.


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