Ah, Spring! Ah, Poetry! Ah-choo!

Despite the soaring pollen counts and the jungle that used to be my yard, I love spring.

I love walking outside and seeing a bunch of tiny daffodils peeking through pine straw. I love chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, little kidders in their church finery, with Easter baskets and bonnets. I love the explosion of azaleas blooming at The Masters and the excitement of the highs and lows on that Sunday as golfers make a run for the green jacket. I love digging out my sandals from the back of the closet, and sitting on my deck, reading (and sneezing) in the sunshine. There’s something poetic in the air when spring arrives.

I know booksellers and teachers and poets and the like got together and chose April for National Poetry Month ostensibly because it was available and people could celebrate with a high degree of participation. But that sounds awfully stuffy and dry, doesn’t it? I’d rather think it’s because April is right there in the midst of spring when the earth is coming alive again, just like words come alive in a good poem. Rebirth, renewal, rejoicing!

I hope your April has been glorious and that you enjoyed a poem or two. If you haven’t got round to the poetry, here’s a list of 10 Classic Spring Poems Everyone Should Read and I liked Dr. Oliver Tearle’s choices. I have to admit that it’s The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot that always comes to mind in spring but only because of that well-known first line…”April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land…” Maybe in an English Lit college class long ago, a professor made me read it, possibly explained it, but it’s just that line that’s stuck with me.

I don’t believe April is the cruellest month; maybe one day I’ll write a poem titled “April Sings of Hope” but until then, I’ll keep writing at the Muffin. This month’s offerings, “New Tricks” about learning my lesson when working on novel edits, and “I Get By with a Little Help from the Pros” where the advice therein is great whether you’re a writer or new car owner.

Which reminds me…I need to figure out where the button is that will spray my windshield. It’s a pollen-y mess!

Cathy and Libs ♥ (who is on the prowl for snakes because yeah, April is Snake Month, too)

Plans to Give You Hope and a Future

Did you ever have one of those days, two years after a pandemic, when the sun is shining and everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done because at last–AT LAST!–you can go where you want and do what you want?

Except right there in the middle of your joy, there’s a feeling of not-rightness. And you remember Ukraine and want to cry for the heartbreak in their lives.

It’s a hard time and it takes me back to those days and weeks after Mister Man died and I’d wake up with the sun shining and for a blissful moment or two in my forgetfulness, I’d wonder what the glorious day would have in store for me. But in the next moment, reality would say hello again and grief would almost take my breath away.

Yeah, those were tough times, and I feel like a whole nation on the other side of the world might be experiencing those same feelings of loss and confusion.

And so here at home, we pray, we send help in whatever ways we can, and we grab ahold of the hope that a peaceful resolution can be found soon.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

And I know that even in my dark days, I needed routine. So I’m out and about again, singing with my choir, going to lunch with friends, and writing.

My plans–the ones I’m pinning my hopes to– are to finish up edits on my novel but first, I had to work out a bit of a sticky wicket with whether to have an epilogue or a last chapter. I discussed all that over at The Muffin in The Epilogue Question. (Spoiler Alert: I went with the Epilogue. )

And then, after watching Juniorette Hall perform in The Addams Family, a Musical, an idea just came to me, so I wrote The Just Trap.

All will be well, y’all. I just know it.

♥Cathy and Libs (who didn’t get her teeth cleaned after all, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Okay, yes, it’s January. It’s supposed to be cold. And furthermore, I know there are plenty of folks dealing with FEET of snow outside their windows, whereas here, I’m just stepping out into twenty degree weather with teeth chattering. (It actually did snow a few weeks ago–BRRRR!) But I just feel like it may be colder than it usually is Down South this year.

Plus, as you’ve probably surmised, I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to being cold. I always think of that Robert Frost poem, Fire and Ice, when I’m freezing, because frankly, ice, freezing, and cold temperatures would mean the end of the world to me. As Youngest Junior Hall said after kicking a basketball into his father’s company car rear window, “Just kill me now!”

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, FIRE AND ICE by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

And whilst we’re on the subject of weather, high winds and LOTS of rain brought a surprise to my neck of the woods. (Literally.) You can read all about it in Thoughts About Woods and Writing over at The Muffin.

Fortunately, the house is still standing and I’m still writing. In fact, I have my space heater going full blast, I’m munching on Hot Tamales and I’m getting ready for Nonfiction Fest that starts in just a few days. I think you’ll love it, no matter what you write (and I give you a couple good reasons why over at The Muffin in Best Kept Secrets.)

So I hope you’re nice and toasty wherever you are, and healthy and happily writing. And just to cheer you up, I’ve written a little poem of my own, which I call, Solving the Cold Dilemma (by Cathy C. Hall):

If you’re cold and have no heat,

Find some Hot Tamales and eat.

But honestly, a fire is even better,

And maybe a warm and cozy sweater.

♥ Cathy and Libs