May-Web-GuerreroI write these little screeds roughly a month ahead. While you undoubtedly are having to stave off the heat by fanning yourself with this copy of “Home,” I am still actively rotating through sweaters.

By now, for you, spring has completely sprung. The flowering trees have cast their petals, the irony of their snow-like presentation not lost on me as I write this (a month ago).
Full disclosure, the Magnolia tree that blocks most of my south facing sun is about to pop its pink blooms. I can see the first feathers of leaves on the distant trees. I believe that by the time you read this, the lawns will be in full-mown green and we will all be complaining of the heat.

I hate Forsythias. Hear me out. I should really say that I hate Forsythias fifty-one weeks per year. There is that week (not yet hit on this side of the time wall) where the yellow blooms sign summer’s contract with winter, where the buttery branches signal the end of the deep freeze.

But a week later the blooms are gone and all you have left is a pretty ugly plant. Granted, some fussy homemoaners train them into hedges, but they are basically unruly bushes. The cowlick on the garden coif, if you will, and I beg you not to.

My father, who knew a bit about these things, hated them as well. I remember battles that lasted years. He would dig them out and burn the debris and the next year the roots would send out new branches (often just big enough to throw out one bloom). With the help of a lawn mower, the higher life form won out.

Also, now that I think of it, the branches of the Forsythia were the first place we’d head after being issued pocket knives. The soft branches pruned away with ease and once skinned of the bark, made excellent whips with which to torture younger siblings, house pets and the regular roving band of neighborhood urchins, who were otherwise allowed to wander the neighborhood streets unchaperoned. Of course, this was only fun until someone cut their finger with the confiscated pocket knife to be declared “too young to handle the responsibility.”

I opened a couple of windows today and the light breeze was not unpleasant. The neighbors have returned to their stoops, bicycles and plastic lawn chairs. There is a Hyacinth somewhere in the wind and just today the dandelions appeared on the lawns that two weeks ago were brown and dead.

Hate is a very strong word.

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