In my neighborhood, spring has taken to the rooftops.  The students from the college down the hill are up on the roofs of their rentals, soaking in the rays, while at the corner house, guys in big boots are stomping around tearing off shingles and flinging them to the ground.  Both groups have  their music playing, competing with the birds who have lost their heads in the heat, the green, the abundance of bugs and worms so early.  

It is, officially, the mildest winter Cleveland has ever had.  It’s warmer here than in Arizona, where the Indians are in spring training (those guys never catch a break!)   It’s so warm that I’ve started weeding.  In my front garden, the one I stare at from the window while I wait for the right words, I uncovered a soporific toad.  In keeping with the records-theme, he was the biggest I’ve ever seen.  Extravagantly hideous, the color of wet stone and rotten leaves, encrusted with warts, his feet  tapering into sharp, fang-like points.   His eyes were slits and he didn’t bother to open them as I admired, then addressed him.   Regal despot, he ignored me completely. 

Not so the little red salamander living among the lilies.  He was a flinch-y, flick-y sort.    Both of them made me wish  a girl or two still lived here, so I could shout, “Come see!”

I used to feel you were supposed to earn  spring, but  bah.   Spring in the air, spring on the ground, spring spring all around.  And at night, Jupiter and Venus are twin lamps shining–yes–brighter than I ever remember seeing them.


Speaking of the wonders of Cleveland, here’s a wonderful, witty essay about the city, family and loyalty by my friend Mary Norris.


Tomorrow we are off to New York, to visit my brothers, sisters and nieces, and then our two east-coast daughters.  We’ll see a play, the Cindy Sherman exhibit at MoMA (her every photo a story waiting to be told) and maybe visit the Frick, where my husband’s favorite painting in the world, “St. Francis in Ecstasy”, is back on exhibit after being  restored.  I’m hoping all the work I should be doing will kindly keep its voice down, and not nag too loudly.