I know, but how can you not mention it?

There’s nothing drearier than talk of the weather, but seriously, how can you not mention this? It is still March, right?

It’s been a strange winter — disappointing in some ways, but wonderful in others.

My husband and I went toSioux Falls,S.D.last weekend to attend the Sportsman’s Show at the Arena and Convention Center. We wanted to look at boats. Not that we can afford to buy one, but it is nice to dream. We had complimentary tickets and it gave us a chance to hang out with our youngest kid, who attends Southeast Technical Institute and actually had time to hang out with his boring old folks that day.

While we were wandering around the arena, I spotted a stand with little kid fishing poles and had to stop by for a look. My husband Eric has already bought an ice fishing pole for our granddaughter Layla, but we haven’t gotten her a regular pole yet.

Our daughter Maggie said we can’t take Layla out ice fishing until she’s too big to fall down a hole, so she never got to use the one we got her this winter. All the regular kid poles they had at the arena were too boyish — Spiderman, Cars, that kid that hangs out with Dora the Explorer. I’ll have to keep looking.

I only went ice fishing three times this winter, which is very sad, but life and a lack of actual ice got in my way. And now that it is beautiful out, I have the urge to start some seedlings, open windows, roll in the grass and have a bonfire. Not all at once, of course.

These warm days make me want to pull the 1968 Fury III out from behind the garage and cruise the streets. I want to peruse the plant offerings at greenhouses and start mapping out my garden in my head.

I did talk to Eric about expanding the garden again this year. It’s kind of weird, when you consider there are no kids left at home, but I need to grow more and more each year. More tomatoes, more peppers, and this year I’m going to put in tomatillo plants. I was going to do that last year, but couldn’t find seedlings. By the time I got seeds, it was too late to start the babies.

I have to plant more tomatoes, though, because I promised my son-in-law a row of his own. He goes through as much salsa as Eric does. I told Luke he has to buy me a couple dozen jars this year.

And yes, Jar Wars with my children rages on. They snatch things out of the pantry faster than a starving Wookie, but when it comes to getting jars back to their mother, they move slower than icicles on the frozen planet of Hoth.

(That was for you, Nick. I expect applause for the references, which I did not even have to look up.)

Here’s to hoping for a quick and painless spring, without all the teasing Mother Nature usually taunts us with. And here’s to a great growing year, so I can keep the men in my life full of salsa, spaghetti sauce and pepper sauce.

All I really need now, besides getting Eric to till up the garden, is a food processor, so I don’t have to spend countless hours cutting up tomatoes.

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