We waited all winter for spring to arrive: The day the warm air chases the cold away, causing it to retreat until it mounts an October resurgence. Once the warm air enters, everything opens up, like a million tulip buds. We thought spring had arrived in mid-March when temperatures rose to the mid-sixties, but the cold air snuck back in with a vengeance, as did the nasty virus, and everything that should have opened closed down.
All winter long Pocket and I have been planning our gardens. We had prepared for prolonged cold rain, late-season snow, and flooding, but not for a pandemic that would stop Mommy from being able to elbow other people out of the way to buy the best flowers at the greenhouse.
The good news is that we won’t need to buy flowers until the end of May. The ones that fill up our early spring gardens are annuals planted long ago. We can always count on them. They are tough little buggers. Not even a skiff of snow last weekend can slow them down.
Our first garden day was three weeks ago. It was the warmest of the three workdays we had this spring. Mommy cleaned out the front garden, Daddy raked and mowed the back lawn, which for some reason was three times as high as the front. My parents lined the driveway, and the edges of the gardens, with solar lights. It helps Mom and Dad find their way home at night, but I always worry that a confused pilot is going to try and land his jet on our small strip of tar.
The second garden day was on the following Tuesday. It was the most productive session we had, even though it was cold and wet outside. Mommy vacuumed the patio and began cleaning out the massive front garden while Daddy mowed the lawn, and then went to work on the grass in the back. Last fall, he dug up the dead spots, and spread seed, but he did not use enough sod on the places he repaired, so the yard was filled with divots that we spent the winter stumbling over. He had to dig it up again and make sure the sod was level with the ground. Meanwhile, Mommy began pulling weeds out of the front garden, by the bucket full. If only we could grow grass in the backyard like we grow weeds in the front garden.
Monday was what they call around these parts, "Patriot's Day." It is when the Red Sox play a home game at 11:00 AM, and runners compete in the Marathon. None of those things happened this year, because of the virus making the day just like any other in a string of cold, wet days, which made people unable to go out even if it was legal.
My parents didn’t work in the yard for long. It is no fun to toil in a spring garden on a cold, raw day. At the end of our brief garden day, Daddy put out the rest of the decorations, including Saint Anthony, in the hope that once back in the garden, he would bring spring, and cure everything that ails this country.
We had big plans for our gardens and the world this spring. Forty-eight hours later the wind had blown Saint Anthony facedown in the garden. Oh, Lord. 2020 killed Saint Anthony. We are screwed.