Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment. ~Ellis Peters
My town looks especially lovely in springtime ... after the winter we had, it really looks great. Because of the early warm weather, the spring flowers have bloomed and some are already finished blooming. Too quickly. Spring comes and goes too quickly. We live near a lake, so near that when it floods I like to say we have lakefront property. Fortunately we aren't that close. But we are close enough that it's our lake. It belongs to us and another oh, 300,000 plus people.
Across the street is a park filled with crabapple trees. Right now it looks like cotton candy in various shades from pure white through pale pink to fuschia and nearly aubergine. My street leads to a main boulevard with spring flowers and bushes blooming in the median. Tulips of three or four shades are at their peak. One of my neighbors has a front yard full of bluebells.
Ah, Spring ...
April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. ~William Shakespeare
My mom was born on August 3, 1917. Do the math. That means she is 92 years old. She is still very much alive and well in every sense of the word, and is a 20+ year survivor of ovarian cancer. Oh, she gets frustrated at times because she tires more easily and can't walk as fast as I do, but she walks and goes and does. After my father died in 1990, she stayed on the family farm for a couple years before deciding to move to a home in town. She painted the house yellow and white and it became a cottage. She planted a garden in the backyard and always shared delicious treasures with visitors. She stayed there for 16 years until 2009, when she moved to a beautiful two-bedroom condo across from her church. I love her new abode with it's east-facing windows and appealing patio. Usually when I visit her, we stay in and talk as fast as we can because she loves to play hostess and is still the best cook I know.
Saturday we decided to spend a couple wonderful hours together in downtown Marshalltown at a new bookstore called Stepping Stones, an art and gift shop across the street called Perfect Setting, and a new restaurant around the corner called Haven. If I had my way and could change one thing about each of them it would be more light in Stepping Stones, Edith Piaf instead of Barry Manilow songs in the background at Haven, more affordability at Perfect Setting. But each one is lovely as it is. The energy in my former hometown has increased because of the addition of these places and I hope that everyone supports them. There have been other wonderful shops in Marshalltown that have fallen away: Kathy's, Bob's, Dori's. How interesting that they all have people's first names. Maybe that will be one reason these new shops will have staying power. They have names that draw you in, pique your curiosity. I can recommend each of them.
It is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones, after all - Laura Ingalls Wilder