|Satsumas in bloom around the breezeway|
I think Bernie is the cutest thing, though Rob disagrees. Bernie’s got a big head, a tiny body, and one eye—and he’s filthy dirty. Though I’ve been taking care of him for years, he has remained steadfastly feral all this time. He still hisses at me every time I present him with his Fancy Feast.
By Saturday morning the rain was done and the birds were singing. I sat at the kitchen table and worked on a craft until it got light outside. I was drinking a Coke and stitching up a little felt Halloween ornament, a friendly bat with pearl beads for eyes and a little smile showing vampire teeth. Softee was sitting next to me on one of the benches at the table, and as I petted her she got so overstimulated that she stood up on her hind legs and started playfully biting my head as she hugged me around the shoulders with her front legs. She kept biting and wrestling me and getting her claws stuck in my pajamas, and I was laughing and laughing and saying, “Softee, you’re making my stitches come out all crooked!”
About 10, Rob and I went to Tallahassee to run some errands. We got a new battery-powered push mower at Lowe’s, and we also bought a beautiful painting at Memory Lane Antiques, near Lake Ella. It’s a swamp scene by Florida artist Donald Gibbs, full of intricate detail—Spanish moss and reeds and a feathery egret. The owner of the store told us that Gibbs painted the delicate strands of moss using a pin instead of a brush.
We spent Saturday afternoon mowing and edging the lawn for the first time this year. I did hours of weeding too, which was the most fun I’ve had in ages. With the rain, the yard had turned bright green—spring had finally come. When we took a break to have some limeade on the breezeway, Rob reported that he'd seen a hummingbird, and I told him I'd seen a chickadee with an inchworm in its beak. "I saw a little box turtle, too," I said, "under a Shi Shi Gashira sasanqua."
It was such a beautiful day that when Buntin, our temperamental tortie, sneaked out of the house (all our cats, except Bernie, are indoor cats), I didn’t bring her inside right away. Instead, I carried her around in the sun for a while and let her smell things, which is what cats like to do, mainly, when they're outside. Rob was walking with us and making suggestions about where to stop. “Let her smell the lemon blossoms,” he said. “And don’t forget the glorious roses.”
|The north side of the yard after mowing|
|Winged pig on the breezeway|
|Birdhouse and plum branches|
|Rob admiring the lemon tree|
|Rob and Buntin|
|Leroy rejoicing for spring|