It is the first day of spring, when everything should be new and possible, or impossibly new. It has been cold and damp and gray, because we have no respect for meteorological certainties.
But things are blooming on the ground. Last week, in the snow, the carefully installed pansies and daffodils were bent over low by a wet snow. And while that stuff is gone, the dampness is hanging over and clinging to us. The chill is made downright cold because of the damp, and upgraded to demoralizing based on the gray skies, because the gradient suggests it will never ever change.
So, on this, the weekend that prefaces spring, we had a dismaying end to winter. As for the winter itself, mild. Not so bad. A few harsh and cold days here and there and just a few small snow showers to hide from. It was, as they say, a mild one. But it has persisted enough, and the new has not yet begun with the proper zeal required by my discriminating tastes. (Rain today. Pleasant tomorrow. It is a fickle start to the season.)
So, on Saturday, I stayed inside and worked on a puzzle:
I received three puzzles at Christmastime. And I said they would be terrific winter weekend projects. As I am officially over the season, and the season has yet to be over itself, I am puzzling in protest. This is Declaration of Independence. I did the borders first, and then the historically accurate doodles along the bottom — Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams and Franklin. Then I slowed down as I worked on the signatures, because I went back to this book. It was also a gift a few years ago, about the origins and fates of the 56 men who signed the broadside.
And, of course I had a helper:
So that was Saturday. And yesterday, we actually saw the sun. It was the second time in a week, and such an exceptional occurrence that I’m now counting the times it happens each week. And I go outside. So, yesterday afternoon, a bike ride:
First one of the year. Felt like it, too!