Saturday, April 21, 2007

Best Day Ever

Yesterday was the most beautiful day of the year across New England and the best day too. Not only did we bake and purr in 70 degree temperatures under sunny skies. Not only did we see the orange breasted robins of spring take off their flannel long-johns. Not only did we watch a crescent moon hung in a pin-point sky. Not only did the Red Sox come from behind and beat the Yankees at Fenway with a five run eighth inning. On top of all that I went out and bought a new tractor. Did I ever mention I wanted a tractor? I'm an American boy. Of course, I wanted a tractor. And now, fifty years after the first time I realized I really wanted a tractor, I have one.

I got the loader, backhoe, bushhog, and york rake attachements and have more things to bang my shins on in the barn than you can shake a hydraulic hose at. I am so happy. Everytime I think of my handsome orange tractor I get a rush of endorphins. As a kid when the first day of spring arrived I might venture down to the corner store for a popsicle. Later on it would be me and the girlfriend in a rowboat on the lake. Later still, perhaps a new mitt for the boys and a bucket of Tee Balls. Now I venture across the river to New Hampshire -- where all the manly arts still live free or die -- and buy tractors.

My college son had this insightful response to the news, "...nice going, Dad, but I have a feeling this thing is going to spawn more projects than it finishes." He's right, of course. That's the point.
Spring is a time of hope, redemption, horsepower and long long lists of projects.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Sunday Blues

It's a beautiful Christmas, er, Easter Day here in Vermont. A crust of snow glimmers in the field. A chill west wind brings the promise of fresh flurries. The boys are scratching at the walls -- trapped in the house by weather while suffering sugary Peep-induced psychotic episodes of angst and horror. I put the sleds away three weeks ago and arranged the rockers on the porch. They blew over.

Easter is a celebration of renewal, redemption and hope. Why do I feel like suffocating a meteorologist with synthetic Easter Basket grass? I've lived in the North my entire life and every Spring about this time I realize all over again that I am, in fact, insane. But the realization obscures and fades as the weather eventually does warm and the pastel colors of Spring crowd out the black and white realities of our latitude. Renewal. Redemption. Hope.
Neat trick, God.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Look, Ma

Yesterday my four-year-old asked to have the training wheels removed from his bike and then promptly mastered the two-wheeler. He woke up today, put on his helmet, and headed out the door for more. I don't know why watching your children wobble away on two wheels feels so powerful. Honestly, it would feel little better if they flapped their wings and flew. Come to think of it, that's it -- little birds fluttering out of the nest. You swell with pride and fill with dread all at once. Mama birds must feel this too. The little ones are going to make it. Thank God. And they will soon enough be gone. Oh God.

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