IMG_1378Printemps, or spring, started here about a month ago, but now it’s official. What a joy to have that thin dawn light on waking, instead of inky darkness that makes one want to roll over and curl up. The birds are singing their lungs out, the sky is turning brilliant hues before the sun makes its formal appearance over the horizon. It’s energizing. It’s easy to get out of bed.IMG_1259The vignerons, or winegrowers, are hustling to prune the vines before they bud out. We barely got any frost, let alone a hard freeze or snow, this winter. Frost is a threat until les saints glace–the ice saints–in early May. The afternoons are wonderfully warm, but it’s plain cold before dawn. Spring in the south of France is long and slow, in no rush for those baked days of summer. It tempts and taunts, with surprisingly balmy days followed by a wash of cold gray. We’ve had a good four weeks of almost-uninterrupted blue skies, and even the big, heavy clouds didn’t deliver. The garden is parched, the soil hard. I actually want rain.IMG_1379I’ve been reading about the floods in the Midwest. So awful, and so soon after the last floods. I know how they feel, at least kind of. We were isolated, with no roads, no telephone or Internet, for several days following flash floods last fall. Our house and most of the village escaped damage, but 15 people died nearby and many homes, businesses and farms were devastated. Too much rain, too fast. It happens more and more.

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This little stream was a raging river back in October.

IMG_1257On these nice days, I’m trying to get out for walks. I was really into it for a while, then lapsed. I think it happened when I overdid the running and my knees started to hurt and make strange noises. I took a rest and the rest took over. In fact, that happened just before the flood, which washed away my jogging path, so even when my knee was better, I had an excuse not to go out. I am picky about where I run–I avoid cars and, above all, dogs. IMG_1267IMG_1396IMG_1364The park path is being completely redone, full of earth-movers at the moment, so I’ve been setting off on country lanes. I appreciate getting to a spot where you don’t hear anything but nature. The wind in the pines, the birds singing. In summer, the cicadas thrumming. IMG_1243IMG_1380

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Promise!

IMG_1251IMG_1366I have a Fitbit that tracks my steps. I really like the no-delusions-of-grandeur factual accounting of what I’m doing. If I spend a day at my desk, I can’t dismiss it with embellished ideas about having walked around the house enough to count for something. Because it doesn’t. Fitbit takes your age, height and weight and calculates how many calories you’ve burned, based on the number of steps and heart rate. My average is just shy of the recommended minimum of 10,000 steps, burning an average of 1,980 calories. That is awful! No wonder it gets hard to maintain a steady weight, and even worse to lose weight, as you age.IMG_1266

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Like stars in the sky.

IMG_1260 Yesterday we brought out all the patio furniture and worked in the yard. I continued my Sisyphean fight against weeds. Soon I will plant the bee and butterfly garden. Something low maintenance–one and done. Native plants that won’t need to be watered.

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Can’t resist repeating my IG pun: WALLFLOWERS!!!! My friend B would have loved it.

IMG_1376Spring cleaning inside may occur soon. Not exactly Marie Kondo, though definitely purging some joyless junk. A moratorium on acquisitions of anything but comestibles. Just don’t need it. I want to shake off winter and stuff and just breathe.IMG_1370

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I know I showed some of these ladies recently, but I can’t help thinking of them every time I see these flowering bushes.

IMG_1367Another aimless post, as weightier topics swirl in my mind. Like a snow globe. When they settle, I will set them out. Do you do the same? What are your spring rituals?

 

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32 thoughts on “Spring in My Step

  1. It’s called creative procrastination, what’s going on in your head. I use it a lot — both as an excuse and as a deliberate technique.

    I’m always disappointed by the amount of calories swimming burns. Rapid walking is much more rewarding from that point of view — but — heel spurs…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that term fiom above- creative procrastination – I think that will be my new mantra. Spring has spring here on the West Coast with record breaking high temperatures. I love it.
    The garden is has all my attention now.
    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spring rituals: Opening the house to let out all the ‘bad humors’ (fusty smells of an old house) that have been locked in over winter in the Deep South; Planting the first seeds for my vegetable garden; and as you have said – the pulling of never ending weeds.

    This was a lovely post! Aimless? Not in the least! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Open windows are wonderful. Though down here people open their windows for 15 minutes or so every day, usually with their bedding hanging out, to air things out. Even in the dead of winter, unless it’s pouring rain.
      Have fun planting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t I wish! Here it is like living in a jungle – too hot and too humid. Then in spring we get pollen that turns everything yellow and in summer we get monsoonal rain. We have very tiny windows of opportunity for airing. (pun intended 😉 )

        Liked by 1 person

          1. North Alabama, near Huntsville, USA, where you swelter in summer and quite often FYA off in the winter. You do acclimatize to these extremes (sort of) but I often wonder how those southern belles survived with all those layers of fluffy clothing, petticoats and corsets with no air conditioning. We moved here 11 years ago, and have no plans to leave (Bob’s work) but the joke in these parts is that you don’t rely on the weatherman… Wanna know the weather? Watch the skies… Sorry, I could go on, but I will spare you. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, your countryside is just beautiful. The flood – how horrible – and it’s not being reported as much as the idiot-in-chief’s daily tweets, go figure.

    That middle aged weight! I need to get 25 lbs off – and it’s really a struggle! UGH!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck. Slow and steady is your friend–otherwise your body will just shut down and refuse to burn calories. I have found my Fitbit to be a big help, because I can SEE approximately what I’ve burned, and I can guesstimate how many calories I’ve eaten. Nothing rigorous, just ballpark, but it helped me drop about 5 lbs. Hoping to drop another 5. I’d rather it take a while and stay off rather than get it done quickly and then yo-yo back up. If my body is burning less energy, I need to consume less, forever.

      Like

  5. I got a FITBIT for VALENTINES!!!!!NOT MY KIND OF JEWELRY!
    Have to say I could care less about THE STEPS……..I will NEVER see 10,000!!!!!
    Mine is to see THE HEART RATE SPIKE after an EPISODE!MY ITALIAN thought of THAT and I have to say I love the bit about how much one sleeps!What is your REM AVERAGE?I’m lucky if I get TWO HOURS of REM!THAT does not seem like enough to me and MY deep sleep is barely an HOUR!NO WONDER I’m SO TIRED!
    TELL me do we know the average REM for a 58 year old woman?
    XX

    Like

  6. Beautiful photos! We haven’t been to our French home since the beginning of December, which seems an age, mainly because of family commitments and our trip to South Africa. We’re aiming to return in a couple of weeks. Can’t imagine what the garden will be like…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Winter here has been gray and rainy, for the first time ever I felt as if I were suffering from depression. I typically love Winter but this year we did not have any snow, just long weeks of cold, rainy damp, chill in your bones cold.

    I have never been a runner but I love to walk. I too have a Fitbit, (we will have to link up and challenge one another to stay on track), and work from home so there are definitely days where it is a challenge to get in 10,000 steps in addition to an hour of hot yoga.

    I am looking forward to warmer days of Spring but like you I hope they linger because soon it will be hot, hot, hot and humid and although I enjoy the ocean and the beach it is often so hot and humid it is sometimes a little miserable.

    Have a great week my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your yoga practice and your paddle-boarding are inspirational.
      It gets very hot here, too, and we don’t have A/C, but the heat is dry and bearable. The architecture is made to keep interiors pretty cool without A/C. Summers are hot and humid where I grew up, and the such weather can put a damper on activities.

      Like

  8. I like the snow globe analogy; the same thought has often occurred to me as I need things to go quiet before I can deal with them. As for spring, this year is feeling rather unsettled to me, with spring coming at first too fast, then dragging its feet. My rituals are taking out the garden furniture, trying to revive a couple of neglected plants, inevitably tossing a bunch of stuff and making a trip to the garden centre for something fresh! Oh, and enjoying a first drink outside in the sun. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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