Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)

Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Spring Fever

A sure sign it is almost May at our house is the sun has moved out of my eyes when I try to watch the evening news on T.V.

April showers bring May flowers! I’ve heard that all my life, and probably recited it more than once. But no one ever told me that the first two week of April showers were going to be SNOW!! Finally, about the 15th or so when we had had a night without even a trace of snow, and the thermometer was above freezing for at least a few minutes we all began to think maybe it would be spring after all.

A few days of warm (relatively speaking) and signs of spring appeared: Snow berms shrunk; the crocuses came up under the snow piles shrinking away from the house; the streets were clear; I could see the house across the street. Altogether, signals almost as good as May flowers.

A sure sign it is almost May at our house is the sun has moved out of my eyes when I try to watch the evening news on T.V. (NO! I can’t move to another chair!) It takes about two weeks from the time it moves into the window until it is far enough along it does not bother me. It will be back in October.

The kids in the Village alerted me to paying attention to the sun. I had come from northern Idaho. The sun comes up, the sun goes down. Maybe someone notices it straight overhead at noon for some reason, otherwise, the sun’s position is irrelevant to life there. Not so up North, maybe because they don’t see it for quite awhile every year.

They all had clocks, and recognized that school started at 9 a.m., and the plane came in about 10:30. The store opened at 10, and Trapline Chatter came on the radio at 6:30 a.m. But they also abided by a more natural time line: The day the sun went behind the Hills across the river was time to start laying out the trapline; in the late summer, school would start soon when the sun began to set into the river.

The kids drew my attention one early spring day when the sunbeams finally came through the window. They just touched the bottom corner of the blackboard at 10 a.m. Next day a slightly larger area was lighted, so we began marking the 10 a.m. boundary. Great learning experience for the teacher. Also the kids because they bet on the date the board would be completely lighted. The winner got to plan lunch. I think we had turkey. (The school received “commodities” including turkeys, which the cook only prepared on holidays. We had extras.). And I learned to watch the sun for annual deadlines. Now I know not to drive to Soldotna in the early morning in the spring because of the sun in my eyes, or to return very late for the same reason.

And now May is here. No green leaves yet, and no daffodils for Mother’s Day, but the rhubarb is peeking up and we can round trip it to Anchorage in the daylight. All’s good!

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