Waiting, anticipating

Susan Manzke
Now Media Group

Spring is on the calendar. In fact, we're halfway through the season.

While waiting for the end of winter, I had a countdown on Facebook. I posted photos of flowers saying it was nine, eight, seven… days until spring. It made me happy to think about the end of cold weather and the advent of warmer temperatures.

Weeks have passed, and it seems I'm still waiting for spring to arrive, really arrive. The advent of the vernal equinox made the days so much brighter, and that made me happy. But now I see flowers blooming in friends' gardens, not here. Yes, those gardens are in town, and that does make a difference because they are protected more, but I'm still jealous.

I've been watching the plants around our home. The tulips are up and green; still, they haven't popped yet. Since it has been cool, maybe they are holding their blooms in and waiting for better weather before displaying their beauty. I expect some of my tulips will have opened by the time this column is in the paper.

Looking farther in the yard yesterday, I went searching for apple and pear blossoms. They are not ready either. I'm looking forward to the day our backyard is filled with white.

That time always reminds me of the book, 'Anne of Green Gables.' Young Anne was overwhelmed when going through a blooming orchard and called it 'The White Way of Delight.' Nice. I prefer to think of the flowered canopy as a white tunnel.

Even though I'm anxious to see the fruit blossoms, I'm willing to wait a bit longer. Let them take their time, and then maybe a frost won't damage them. I don't want what happened to us in 2012 to happen again. Spring arrived too early. Everything bloomed, and then a killing frost came — no apples or pears that year. I'll wait for timely flowers.

I'm not the only one anticipating. Bob looks every day for the exact moment his fields will be ready to work. My husband is 73 this year, and he's still farming, though he did give up some rented ground last fall. He said as long as his body holds up, he'll be out there doing what he loves, and I don't blame him. Farming is more than a job. It's a way of life.

All April, Bob has been watching wet fields. Now neighbors are beginning to open up their own crop land, and Bob is thinking about getting onto ours. He will not be planting corn this season. His rotation has soybeans on the schedule, so there's no hurry. Soybeans are sensitive to cold. They are planted later in the spring than corn.

That doesn't mean that Bob isn't anxious to get going. Bob says he's not in a rush, but I can see that look in his eyes that means he is ready even if his land isn't.

Now that area greenhouses are advertising garden plants for sale, I'm even more in an impatient state to get things planted.

I tell myself just visit the garden centers and have a look around. Don't buy anything yet. Don't tempt yourself to plant tender plants before their time. Well, maybe just one or two plants wouldn't hurt. If they get zapped by frost, I can always get more.

Today I think I'll take my houseplants from their winter shelves and carry them into our enclosed porch. They will be safe there ... I think.

I've got to do something soon. It's spring after all.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; ;