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Friday, February 19, 2010

Creeping spring

I've been a resident of Tualco Valley for thirty-five years. Friends have been married out here
in the Valley. In 1990 friends were flooded out in the Valley. Years ago I broke my ankle on a pre-dawn jog in the Valley. And the Valley has been the scene of a tragic, accidental hunting death. The Tualco Valley is where I regularly walk (and bike), and for a retired English teacher, a place to reflect, a source of inspiration and random reverie. A valley of farms and farming, Tualco has its daily stories to tell if you look closely and keep your wits about you. The purpose of The Valley Ripple is to show that there are stories in the commonplace and to share these stories, my discoveries and musings with you. Welcome to The Valley Ripple and my first post.

February 18

It is sunny midday in the Valley. Gladys and I have waited for the morning's dense fog to burn away. The fog this time of year is the tug-the-wool-cap over the ears, wool gloves kind of fog.

Spring is stealthily afoot in the Valley. Riding the outward leg, heading south, I notice some recently plowed cornfields. "Spring Turning," they call it, which calls to mind Grant Wood's ("American Gothic") painting of that title, the winter-packed soil, turned up to the sun, furrows fresh and loose. "In the spring, you get new hope," our ex-dairy farmer neighbor once said, a comment that easily could be the creed of the Valley farmers.

Earlier I passed a clump of pussywillow, fresh catkins furring the twigs and branches. Two years ago I started a cuttting from the bush and it is growing well on the property.
As I ride by the slough south of Frohnings' farm, I hear the serenade of a flock of red-wing blackbirds, a sign of spring for sure. And the Cambodians are out this morning,working in their flower fields. I can see the rows of daffodils greening up, some buds visible. Once in bloom they will be gathered and sold, spring cheer for city folk and those without gardens.

On the homeward leg I pass Decks' old house, abandoned for years, but this morning I notice some squatters have moved in--or rather "on": half a dozen cats, a variety of shapes and colors, grooming and sunning themselves on the porch overhang. Cats, too, know when spring is just around the corner.

It's a good day to do some spring turning of my own in the backyard garden plot.

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  1. Though I love my neighborhood, I miss my bike rides in the Valley. My first 'home.' My trips to the river. There's something about that Valley that makes it like no other place to me. Keep me posted on its happenings...I miss them very much. :)

  2. Glad to see you've started a blog! You're a good read, Terry. Makes me miss just a few things from the valley, not the least of which are good neighbors like you and those Rollers.