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STATON: Thinking of warm, spring-like thoughts

According to the calendar, spring is less than 30 days away. I do not know what images your mind conjures up by just thinking about spring but it can put my mind into overdrive.

Today when I thought of springtime, I thought of Momma getting the urge to go fishing on the creek bank or pond. She would have my brothers digging for worms beside the barn or lifting up the big rocks we used like a sidewalk outside after a rain.

Later in life she would buy night crawlers and stay all afternoon on a creek bank. Even as she was dying from cancer, she went fishing. It gave her peace I guess. I cannot think of spring without thinking of my Mom going fishing.

My Mom would always do some major spring cleaning. The first thing that went after the first warm day or two was the old coal stove that was our main source of heat. She was always happy to get it up in the fall and happier, I think, taking it down in the spring.

I always loved the house getting all clean after winter because we always got new linoleum for the kitchen or rugs for Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom.

New blinds or curtains were replaced if needed or new wallpaper went up. It was never a lot, just what she felt like they could afford at the time.

I could picture in my mind’s eye my mom’s clothesline and sheets flapping on the line. I thought of how good those sheets would smell when I got in bed that night. Fabric softener was never used back then but I promise those sheets smelled as good.

I also cannot think of springtime without thinking of Easter. It usually meant getting new clothes for Easter Sunday and a pair of new shoes. I usually got little white gloves that were worn only for that one day because I put them up afterward.

Another spring thought is the smell of freshly-plowed earth for a garden. It is forever in my memory of spring. The smell of fresh mowed grass is another smell I love of springtime.

I cannot think of the garden without thinking of getting fresh lettuce and onions from the garden. We loved what we call wilted lettuce.

It was made from fresh lettuce, green onions, bacon crumbles, salt and pepper, and hot bacon grease poured over it. Oh, how good that first batch was. My mom made it in a big dishpan with since the lettuce wilted down so much.

The beautiful blooming of trees is another favorite memory. My favorite thing to see in bloom is when the jonquils and Easter lilies bloom. I absolutely love them. When they first shoot up from the ground I always get excited.

When I was younger, the thought of watching softball at the Boone’s Creek Baptist Camp ball field, and later playing on a women’s team in the church league, always brought excitement. It is a memory I hold dear.

Something that is not done much anymore, but a memory that pops up is tobacco bed burning. The ground was burned where a tobacco bed would be to keep weeds out of the beds once the tobacco seeds turned into tobacco leaves. All around the countryside in the springtime, the burning of tobacco beds night or day could be seen.

Another not-so-pleasant smell was the cleaning out of the barns and manure spread over the fields. You always knew which farmer had just cleaned out a barn.

I also love the fresh smell of a spring rain. However, if the truth be known, my favorite thing about spring is not the rain but the sunshine.

I love the first time the weather is warm enough to lay in the sun long enough to get a suntan that I can keep all summer. That is my favorite way to relax.

I love the feeling of sunshine on my body. I used to lie in the sun no matter how hot it got in the summer. I cannot do that anymore.

It is a wonder my first daughter, who was born in August, was not born with a suntan. I have gotten more aware of the danger of the sun as I have gotten older.

I have a feeling I will hear from many of my readers who can relate to some of the same memories I have of springtime.

I think people just seem happier in the springtime than any other time, and I am one of those people.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.