Spring has sprung. I have a feeling we’re still in for some more cold days here in northern Wisconsin, but for today we are reveling in the newness of the sun and warmth.

I’ve been upright all day, by the way. Pretty exciting stuff, given my past 8 days spent horizontal. I. Will. Take. It. Felt so good that I broke free of something that’s been holding me back in the blogging and writing realm. I decided that the Facebook experiment is officially over, and disconnected. No more auto-posting to everyone I know. Somehow I thought way too much about every post knowing it was headed out there into FBLand. Don’t ask me why. But I’m done. It feels good.

The kids spent the morning on the trampoline (best investment of our lives) and are now out shooting hoops with their cousin next door. Probably catching a little sunkiss they’ll be nursing later. Well worth the price.

Scott is over at the guy‘s place, butchering all our excess roosters. 9 of them, to be exact. One bit it before we even got them all rounded up, one didn’t make the trip, and the other 9 are watching the scalding pot come to a boil next to their cage. Good riddance. How we were so lucky to hatch 11 roos and only 8 hens I’ll never know.

The chosen one – the rooster that made the cut – is currently strutting his stuff around the yard with his harem of hens. This is the first freedom they’ve tasted, free-ranging like a chicken should. Hopefully they’ll be smart enough to not deliver themselves up to the neighborhood dogs like previous generations. Hopefully they’ll lay a few more eggs now that the coop is free of all that chicken testosterone. What a disaster.

We didn’t tackle too much yard work, but the sleds were put up for the winter. There shall be no more need of them this year. The shovels are next. Didn’t want to get too excited and get everything done at once.

I did take a stroll through the yard to tamp down some of the ruts we burned in this fall when we got the big van stuck. We’d done ‘er good, too. We lowered Scott’s 2 deer right into the back of the van – down from the deer tree, y’know – a pretty slick setup, we thought – to take them to be processed into tasty nourishment. But we failed to remember that the van has about as much traction as hockey skates on a fresh rink. And our yard was greasy with the first snow of the year, about an inch of slushy mess and more falling. You see what happened there.

The neighbors’ field burned this morning. Not an event worthy of celebration, but a sign of spring nonetheless. We were making breakfast when Scott’s pager went off and announced the location of the grass fire. Sounded an awful lot like our own land might just be in flames. Alas, it was the neighbors. Their brush fire got away from them and a few acres of their hillside paid the price. Yikes. First fire in a while Scott’s been able to respond to directly from home. Makes one puff with a little bit of hometown pride.

After all the excitement, I went along to the dump this afternoon, to help unload the giant van – chock full of 5 25-meter pool lane lines from a swim team faux pas. IMG_20181029_153649.jpgIt made me smile, as I stood their stripping those 2,ooo floats from their 650 feet of cable, to watch the influx of (mostly) male dump-goers, transforming instantaneously as they dismounted their trusty steeds and entered into the primal dump-ritual made so sweet by the first pangs of spring. They drive up weakly, still hung up in their hum-drum lives, but emerge into the bustling dump atmosphere and their chests suddenly bulge. Macho smiles spread across their faces. This is the life. What could be better than chucking your garbage into the compactor and sorting your recycling, communing with the rest of the garbage-producing world?

All over the countryside, folks are out in their yards; carrying shovel-loads of junk to their sheds, sitting out in the sun, raking the leaves that they missed this fall, visiting with the neighbor over the hood of the truck. Windows are open, in the houses, in the cars. Somehow the whole world just got more neighborly. So many smiles.

If only we could all live with the excitement of these first days throughout the year. Seems it only takes a wee bit of time before we’ve hunkered back down to focus on taking everything for granted.

May we all embrace the newness around us,  as well as that blessed same-old, same-old,

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