Our Signs of Spring Rides

Who would have thought that there would actually be a “blogging” morning when I would be at a loss for words?! It’s sort of cold, sort of gray, sort of threatening of precipitation…but I did see that our snowdrops have pushed through. (That’s a note especially for Ellen, whose snowdrops are more advanced than mine.) It’s good to see some signs of spring. When my children were really young and we’d just moved back to this area from living in Italy for four years, Matt was 3 and Meg was 7. It was a strange time for all of us – a new home, a new/old country, a divorce, and a mommy who was now working as a teacher every day. We’d moved back in July, and I couldn’t find a teaching job at first. Spent the first winter working as a secretary for a tiny computer software company in one of the old WWII barracks at the Reading Airport. Matthew was in nursery school, and Meg was in second grade. Money was…tight! The winter was long and strange. From living in the middle of a bustling Italian city where everything wonderful was within walking distance, we now lived in the ‘burbs where everything meant a drive.
We muddled through. Lived a few months with my parents until we found a little house to rent – two adult women in one house – much as they may love each other, it’s usually not a great scene. And so, in late November we moved into our house. The winter seemed to go on and on. One bleak Saturday late in late February or early March, we all seemed to be suffering from cabin fever, and I decided to take a ride out in the country. “Why are we going for a ride? Where are we going?” asked the kids. Think quick! “To look for signs of spring,” I told them – having no idea what we’d find.
And so we took a ride out into the country on back roads through the woods. Streams still had snow on some of the banks, but we drove slowly and looked and looked. “Shout out when you see a sign of spring!” I said. Meg saw a duck swimming in a stream; Matt saw a squirrel running around. Then we saw little green shoots that had popped up through the dead leaves and spots of snow! We looked more carefully and saw more and more and more little green shoots! Snowdrops – a few were even blooming. The kids were so excited as we drove along, and they called out things they saw. “Signs of spring!” they’d shout! Then they’d say what it was they saw. We came home after an hour or so feeling hopeful and happy and secure.
That was the first of many “signs of spring” rides that we took through the years until both Meg and Matt were grown and had moved away. Barry and I still take those rides. (We introduced him to that custom when he joined our family. We knew he was meant for us because he didn’t think our “signs of spring” rides were strange!)
And so our snowdrops have made an appearance! I hope “the kids” still remember our rides and maybe take one of their own around San Francisco and Los Angeles.


  1. meg says:

    Thanks for the early morning tears – happy ones! A great post; a great mom; a great memory. . . xoxoxo. Meg. ( love the semi colon:)

  2. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    An inspiring post, especially on such a grey day. Today, amid the raindrops, I’m going to look into the throats of some of those snowdrops and see the promise of floral thrills to come.

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