Saying good-bye to spring…

thissortaoldlife love letter to spring

Some people love summer.

You’d think I’d be one of them–after all, I work a school year calendar.

Summer for me is sleeping in, long afternoons, extra time with family and friends.

thissortaoldlife summer evening

A lovely summer evening with the kids at the river last year.

But truly, I think spring may be my favorite season.

thissortaoldlife lilac detail

Even here in western Oregon, where much of spring can be gray and wet.

thissortaoldlife gray spring

Because even though it is gray and wet, it is also green–and yellow and pink and orange and purple and white.

thissortaoldlife wet green leaves spring

thissortaoldlife orchids

thissortaoldlife lily

And there are days of welcome warmth–all the more precious for being something we can’t count on.

thissortaoldlife cane in spring light

We emerge from the cocoons of our homes and enter into the larger world again.

We eat outside…

thissortaoldlife belmont food cart

Love returning to the Belmont food carts in spring.

We go for long walks…

thissortaoldlife little green house in Portland

Love to walk Portland neighborhoods and imagine the lives inside the houses we see.

thissortaoldlife saw gate

And we see the most creative things others are doing with their homes.

We tend to the public spaces of our home

thissortaoldlife deck

The ice cream trucks come out again…

thissortaoldlife ice cream truck

thissortaoldlife grace eating snowcone

And the farmers’ markets reopen…

thissortaoldlife farmers' market onions

And we spend sunny afternoons having sweet treats in sunny spaces…

rita will coffee shop

finger-licking cane

I always think of spring as a long, wonderful walk toward light.

thissortaoldlife spring road

We are moving, each day, to more and more light–all the way until the day of solstice, when it officially becomes summer.

Which is today. I don’t want to be a glass half-empty kind of person, but I’m always a little sad to see this day come. While there are things I love about the dark months of winter, too, something in me doesn’t appreciate that we are now walking toward it.

thissortaoldlife winter landscape

So I thought that this morning, I would do some looking back at spring, to savor the gifts of that season and share some things we haven’t shared before.

Season of growth

For both Cane and me, this has been a bit of a rocky season. For both of us, work has been challenging. Some aspects of our relationship–and figuring out how to be a family together–have been challenging. Parenting continues to be challenging. It sure hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. And yet, when I look back, it feels like a hopeful time.

A time of new possibilities and growth.

thissortaoldlife primrose buds

If you’ve followed our recent painting/stair saga, you know that my kids are making the transition from middle school to high school. In the fall, Ella will be starting middle school.

It has been bittersweet (but mostly sweet) to stop and really look at who our babies are now, today–and see the promise of all they are poised to become.

thissortaoldlife will

thissortaoldlife grace hat

thissortaoldlife ella phone

Kids aren’t the only things blooming around here. Gardening through our first spring in this house has felt a little like Christmas–with the blooming of each flower we didn’t know we had feeling like another present.

thissortaoldlife daffodils

thissortaoldlife rhodies

thissortaoldlife purple flowers

It has been wonderful to have constant blooms in the house that have not come from the grocery store.

thissortaoldlife primroses in vase

thissortaoldlife tulips

I write “gardening” like we actually know how to garden (and do!), but we really don’t. However, we took the leap and acted as if gardening is something we know something about. A project we never got around to blogging about is removing an over-grown strip of boxy hedges from the front our house and planting a garden.

driveway before and after

thissortaoldlife cane planting dogwood

I've always wanted a dogwood tree.

Somehow, all the new growth and longer days have us feeling ambitious to tackle all kinds of projects.

thissortaoldlife reclaimed lumber sign

We love The ReBuilding Center.

The kids are a little frustrated with our process–it’s all feeling a little chaotic to Grace, who likes order and predictability–but we are excited to have so many things in the works right now.

Our family, of course, is our biggest and most important DIY project. While it can be hard to see and appreciate progress there when we’re in the thick of the day-to-day with them…

girls trouble

"If you touch me one more time with that stick..." (not one of the finest spring moments)

…looking back over the past season I can see moments of light and progress.

thissortaoldlife girls easter

We don’t have anything special planned to mark the solstice.

But I like to think I’ll linger on the deck tonight, noticing the moment when our lantern lights turn on, appreciating our comfortable home, the people who fill it, and the coming months when we can enjoy the things we’ve been anticipating all spring.

 

thissortaoldlife deck chair

thissortaoldlife deck lanterns

Seems only fitting to close a love letter to lovely spring with words from Romeo and Juliet:

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Until we meet again…

thissortaoldlife rita spring bouquet

How about you?

What did you most enjoy about the spring?

And what are you looking forward to this summer?

thissortaoldlife ice cream sign