Scattered between those cool, damp days, when darkened skies loom overhead like a fresh bruise, there are afternoons of hope, of excitement, of necessary purchases.
Like a sleepwalker, I find myself roaming through the outdoor aisles of my nearby garden center (it rhymes with "blows," which also defines the level of knowledgeable service), with no clue how I got there. My eyes bulge from staring at the blooming perennials, unpronounceable annuals, sharp and shiny garden tools and towering pallets of mulch, ready for spilling.
If heaven is our greatest wishes realized, mine would be filled with mounds and mounds of fresh mulch, which I could spread for all eternity … oh, and my family would be there, too.
Sadly, I'm not alone in the mythical land of plentiful beauty. The frenzy has struck a few hundred aspiring green thumbs as well.
If you thought snow flurries in Alabama made people act like fools, just spend a few minutes in your local garden center on the first pretty afternoon of spring.
It's a bare-knuckle melee better suited for a WWE pay-per-view with monsters nicknamed Jim "The Anvil," Jake "the Snake" and "The Junkyard Dog." Only instead of tables, forks, cowbells, metal folding chairs and other foreign objects, these hardboiled Yard Warriors wield four-wheeled steel carts and 40-pound bags of cow manure.
Still, I love spring … assuming I survive the necessary plant purchases with both my sanity and decent credit score intact.
Knowing when to plant defines the difference between a season of joy and a season of frustration.
Every year, I fail miserably, which is why I've devised a few signs to know when spring has officially sprung. Keep in mind that some of these are personal. Every gardener has his or her own.
• I know it's spring after having my first argument with The Diva over what constitutes "booty shorts" and why she's never allowed to own a pair.
• I know it's spring when I feel motivated to scoop up dog poop and throw it away rather than tossing it into my neighbor's yard.
• I know it's spring when I start being sweeter to My Lovely Wife, as she is the one in control of the credit card.
• I know it's spring when the days are getting longer, yet I still can't get anything done.
• I know it's spring when I feel tempted to shout at kids to "stay off my lawn!"
• I know it's spring when my ears are sunburned, my neck is red and My Lovely Wife starts paying closer attention to the moles on my bald head.
• I know it's spring when "spending time with the family" translates into "get your butt back in this house."
Contact Brett Buckner at email@example.com