The sweet smell of springtime.

thYesterday I used every clothespin we own to fill the line-on-a-pulley that DF put up last fall. The sun was out, the temperature was in the mild mid-40s and our laundry was going outside.

The comforter, blanket and pillows went outdoors, too. That’s something we do year-round because fresh air = wonderful sleeping. But right now we don’t hang things out until after 10 a.m., when cottonwood, aspen and willow pollen levels drop.

Although I developed seasonal allergies in my late 40s, I’m not complaining: Pollen in the air means spring is finally here. Real spring, not calendar spring.

No leaves yet, mind you. No flowers, either, although we spotted some embryonic dandelions in the yard today. (This is the year that we teach granddaughter Rose a new game: how to behead the yellow blossoms of Taraxacum officinale.)

The strawberry plants I started from runners have sent up new growth and today DF spotted the first rhubarb nub poking up above the soggy beige ground.

He’s started vegetable seedlings that will soon need repotting, as they’re quickly outgrowing the recycled four-packs in which they sprouted. This is a chore he’ll do with a smile, anticipating the thrill of putting them into the ground over Memorial Day weekend. For now we’ll enjoy their little green leaves and hope they don’t get too leggy.

We’ll enjoy the clothesline, too. Last night our bedroom was wonderfully fragrant because the linens had soaked up the sun and the breeze. The sweet smell of springtime followed us into our dreams.

Readers: Got any favorite rites of spring? Especially those that don’t involve allergy meds?

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  1. Tina in NJ

    For years now, my Mother’s Day flowers have been annuals, mostly marigolds. They go in the front yard and we enjoy Mother’s Day flowers until Jack Frost takes them in the fall. Buying annuals each year may not be super frugal, but they last waaaaay longer than cut flowers.

  2. Ah yes the allergies! But apart from those, being able to open the windows and really let the house breath for a few hours each day. Cleaning up the yard and three season room, making them ready for our friends and family. And my favorite: getting the vegetable patch ready for a new season!

    • Donna Freedman

      We’ve got lots of seedlings and I wish we could put them out now. Too soon, though, because the ground is super-cold and the temperature still can go below freezing at night.
      Last year it got very warm in early May and we put the plants in by the middle of the month. You guessed it: The weather turned chilly again and some of the plants were stunted. Not killed outright, just sort of shocked. We swear we won’t make that mistake again. Probably.

  3. I love, love, love spring, but I can’t stand the rain. I wish I could discuss this with Mother Nature to calm down the with the rain and ration it out so we can fully enjoy the sunshine and blooming flowers.

  4. When I was teaching 6th grade, we looked out the window and noticed that the trees were budding outside our portable classroom. It was sunny and warm that day after a horribly gray and cold winter. So we scurried outside, lined up with our faces to the sun, closed our eyes and just let the sensations of spring overwhelm us. We smelled, we touched, we listened, we felt. Later we wrote poems about the experience. It was so awesome that I did that every year.

  5. We too share the sweet smell of a spring fresh bed last night. I have to say that is an addiction to me! I did my wash this weekend and put it all the lines….I just love how easy it is and the clean scent is awesome 🙂

    • Donna Freedman

      Keeps the electric/gas bill down, too, and may also add years to the life of your clothing (that tumbling and direct heat takes its toll).
      Thanks for reading, and sweet dreams. 😉

  6. I like to walk around the yard for several weeks in a row and revel in the plants as they peek through and finally grow, little by little. I identify the micro climates in my yard and expect the daffodils on the south against the rock basement to bloom before the one on the north and shady side of the house. Sometimes a volunteer will surprise me.

  7. lostAnnfound

    Opening up the windows and airing out the house! getting rid of the old winter stuffy smell that we have had for the past few months is the best!

    • Donna Freedman

      Yep. I’ve got a couple of windows opened now, for cross-ventilation, and another line full of clothes flapping in the breeze.

  8. Sounds wonderful! It’s still quite cold here, but we’re eager for spring to come. We turned the heat off last week thinking we were in a warming trend… but it wasn’t so. We’ve got the heat back on, but hopefully not for much longer. I love the period of time when we can go without heat or AC–having the windows open and enjoying the breeze is just ideal to me.

    • Donna Freedman

      Still chilly here but not super-cold: 30s at night, 40s during the day. Our heat is set on 60 degrees at this point so it hasn’t been coming on very often.
      I’m with you on the fresh air, although sometimes in the summer we close the windows because it’s raining and breezy and in the 40s. Funny how the 40s feel so great right now but will chill me in June. I know that humidity has something to do with that but it’s also the mindset: Summer should be warm.

  9. Glasgowrose

    Listening to the spring peeepers (frogs). Sigh, I will never be tired of hearing them.

  10. Susan R.

    The subdivision I currently reside in has “covenants” banning clothes lines because they are not aesthetically pleasing… I say that that the people who wrote this restriction (which I DO NOT follow) have never slept on line dried sheets. Amen.

    • Donna Freedman

      You know what else isn’t aesthetically pleasing? Having other people tell you what color to paint your fence.
      I know, I know: Covenants can help prevent people from running repair shops out of their garages or slaughtering hogs on the front lawn. But jeez….What harm can a backyard clothesline do?

  11. Christy

    Using a Neti-pot will cut down a bit of the allergies!

    I also hang dry everything I can, excluding towels which I still do in the dryer. Sandpaper towels after a refreshing shower are no treat.

    Spring time means “spring cleaning” perfect time to take out and clean the screens and windows. Also for taking stuff to donation and prepping for a summer garage sale.

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