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  • Spring is the perfect time for a home makeover

  • Spring! Sprang! Sprung!
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  • Spring! Sprang! Sprung!
    The season of renewed life is just around the corner
    Can you feel it? Can you smell it? Can you believe it?
    As I type, weather prognosticators are predicting a gloomy weekend filled with rain. But I refuse to allow my spirits to be dampened.
    Days are lengthening. Earth is shifting its orbit. And baby critters are already popping up in pastures across the Rogue Valley.
    A few weeks ago, in a joyful (albeit considerably nervous) fit of anticipation surrounding the pending visit of The Professor, I hied myself to the local garden shop and purchased many pots overflowing with colorful harbingers of spring.
    It was the fellow's first foray to my neck of the woods. And, while I am an avowed winter lover, I am also well aware this is not exactly our most beauteous season. At least not in most people's minds.
    Like all my friends, he'd seen photos of the cottage on Facebook. Soon my garden will again be resplendent with armies of burgeoning roses and sprawling swaths of irises. But now there was nary a leaf in sight, much less a bloom.
    This issue was easily remedied with a flick of my debit card and an hour or so with the garden trowel. Pansies, primroses, daffodils and hyacinths soon peeked their happy faces from fence line to river's edge. From front-porch planters to back-deck tubs, the colorful additions added a splash of spring to an otherwise soggy vista.
    I also brought a few plants inside the cottage. Pink cyclamen were popped into ceramic pots on the coffee table, where Mom's perennial Christmas cactus and my dragon-face begonia had already done their things. Plus my African violets have clearly seen better days.
    "Oh dear," I said, pulling half-dead fuzzy leaves off the bedraggled plants.
    You know how it is when company is coming. Suddenly you look around and see everything with fresh — and sometimes horrified — eyes.
    Peering from room to room, I began fretting less about my lack of creeping Charles and more about my creeping detritus. Where did all these piles of crappola come from?
    Clearly a professionally assisted spring cleaning was necessary. Luckily I had a gift coupon from dear friend that entitled me to four hours of effort from a gal she swore would put Mr. Clean to shame. And I knew just where to set this mop-and-broom dynamo loose.
    Over the past year, my art studio had become a spider-web infested catchall, filled with cottage overflow. It was now nearly impenetrable due to stacks of extraneous furniture, sacks of unread magazines and trash bags full of ill-fitting clothing on their way to donation destinations.
    It occurred to me my visitor might want to see the place where all the artistic magic happens. Better yet, he might actually help me set up my kiln, which has languished in its box since I purchased it over a decade ago.
    (What can I say? Sometimes a gal just needs a little assist from a handy fellow with similar artistic impulses.)
    "Can you beat this sucker back into some semblance of studio?" I asked Mrs. Clean. "I don't care what you do. Just do what you can."
    When I returned home that night, Mighty Mouse had saved the day. Not only had she ousted the unwanted eight-legged tenants, she'd cleaned and reorganized the entire space.
    "You are a rock star!" I exclaimed, overjoyed at the transformation.
    Speaking of transformations, one of my most girly girlfriends was engaged in some not-so-gentle nudging toward a personal overhaul. The beloved bossy oldest child was only thinking of my best interests, she said.
    Dove approved my fumbling attempts to get glammed up at a local day spa — manicure, pedicure and sea salt massage were all a good start.
    "I love that polish color on your toes," she cooed.
    But what activities had I planned for each day? What was I going to cook? What was I going to wear? Did I have stunningly attractive outfits organized — for all hours of the day and night?
    "You're not going to wear those damned flannel monkey pajamas, are you?" she queried.
    Lordluvaduck. Let's get back to the flowers, shall we?
    The Professor and I were headed to the car Sunday when he stopped suddenly. It was time for him to go home. But it was clear he was taking it all in. The sights. The smells. The memories.
    "You have flowers everywhere," he said, with a smile. "I like it."
    Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or sspecht@mailtribune.com.
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