I am eager for Spring, and while the calendar, the planets, and Major League Baseball have declared it Spring, I have not seen what I want to have seen. I want to see snowdrops and crocus. Fat robins. Wakeful grass. Some insects.
There is none of that now. There is instead the slightest fur on the maple trees. A hint of red… perhaps, but really nothing. There is still ample snow, and wanting it to be gone, I went down to the sub-basement of Old Building here at the Mill and knocked on Percy’s door.
“Hey, Percy,” I shouted. “Don’t you think it is time to start fixing the divots that the snowplow made in the lawn?”
I could hear her stir inside, but from the sound of her answer I knew she wasn’t even out of bed.
“No,” she said.
“Don’t you want to know how the ruts got there?”
“No,” she said again.
“Well,” I said, “The Swede got drunk on New Year’s and said he was going to build a hockey rink, but he just tore up half of the yard and then went back to Mulligan’s.”
“Good for him,” she said.
During the summer, there is nothing Percy cares about more than the lawn, so her response to my, admittedly sensationalistic, report of Old Man Johansen’s New Year’s mishap made my heart sink. We must be a long way away from spring if that didn’t wake her up.
“Don’t you think we should get out the wicker furniture? We want to give that stuff plenty of time to off-mildew, don’t we?”
“No,” she said.
“Should I call the Dank brothers and tell them they should put the bong down and get ready to paint?”
“I have an idea,” she said.
This was hopeful. Maybe something vernal this way comes.
“Why don’t you and the Dank brothers go fuck yourselves?” Her tone was more tired than angry.
“The groundhog has seen its shadow,” I thought. I really didn’t want to face the snow.
“I don’t give a fuck,” Percy groaned.
“All we have to do is make fun of Susan Rice’s hair and write a couple of stories about how Estonia is, was, and will always be Russian. It should be easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy.”
I heard the unique click of Percy slapping up the barrel of her 4/10 shotgun. I ran away from the door as quickly as I could and made sure I made plenty of noise running up the wooden stairs to the basement.
There was nothing to do but go back to the winter cabin and build another fire in the wood stove. The ground is still covered with snow, but the snow is soft and there is mud in it.
The season can’t be far off.