Monday, April 14, 2008

Sweet Spring Things

It seems like spring is finally here - 

recently the temperatures have been creeping into the sixties and many people are brave enough to shed their coats for short sleeves. I'm not quite that daring, especially since the breeze is pretty chilly, but the sudden appearance of sunshine and green grass has certainly lifted my spirits. When I came home for the weekend, I was greeted by this beautiful blooming tree in our driveway - my mother calls it a tulip tree, and I'm not sure that's the technical name, but I'm certainly a fan of it either way. Of course, the tree wasn't the only thing blooming - we've had a few pitiful looking daffodils poke through the soil, and another sort of lovely bush (I'll show it off in my next post, when I get the name of it from my mother) with fluffy blossoms. I'm hoping the tulips will be up when I come home in the next week for summer vacation.

It really seems like my life is changing with the seasons - aside from being cheered by the sunshine, I'm also cheered by the fact that this is my last year at Drake. While I love my university, my classes just aren't as exciting or in the major I've been wanting, and I applied for transfer this fall semester. Starting Fall 2008 I'll be attending Iowa State University, where I'll be in the apparel design program, hopefully on my way to starting my own clothing line, or at least small business.

Of course, all this new life and bright color has suddenly spurred a lot of long-due finished objects. I've finally finished Bennette's gorgeous Koolhaas, made with Andy's Merino, a truly luxurious yarn I bought at Purl Soho. The colorway is titled 'avacado', but I think it really would be better named something to do with spring shoots - the greens are just as bright as they look in the pictures, and I'm sure Bennette will love this always-classic hat.

And I've got a big long list of other things, finished and on-the-way, so expect some lovely updates soon. While I'm currently on a yarn mandate, I'm hoping this summer might lead to some active spinning (I'm just learning on my drop spindle and have more ideas than actual skills right now) and sewing projects. I'll be making things for my apartment too - perhaps a future Hemlock Ring Blanket is in our futures?

The Last Snow

There was still snow here at the beginning of March - over this winter we got nearly four feet, and it takes such a long time to melt. All Iowa was fairly miserable, including me. Having grown up in the Southern US, I had never really experienced a serious winter, and the three I've spent here in Iowa have been depressingly cold, windy, and bitter.

My high-school friend Bennette came to the 'frozen tundra' for his spring break. He's living in North Carolina right now, attending school there, and hadn't really seen much snow all winter. Almost as soon as his feet touched the ground of Drake campus, his eyes lit up and he rolled every inch of white he could find into a ball that was quickly directed at any nearby target (usually me.) While many of the other students shared my dislike for the snow, Bennette's delight was contagious, and helped me remember how I had once felt about winter. I remember many snow days in high school (I lived in Richmond, VA) that my close friends (Bennette included) and I migrated to the nearest parks, clad in our parent's snow boots and double-layered peacoats, shuffling through barely-dusted ground in winter glee, cheeks rosy and hands freezing through thin gloves. There was always lots of laughter, something you certainly don't hear much of in the snow here.

What had happened to that girl, I wondered? She had relocated, redesigned, changed completely over the last three years. I had lost some vital part of myself, perhaps beaten down by grief or worry or too much cold weather. I vowed that before the last snow melted, I would attempt to recover some of her. Now that spring is finally peeking out from every corner, I feel like I've actually stuck to this late resolution.

This time around, it's not the first snow that seems to be a clean slate, coating the world in purity. For me, it was the last snow of the winter - and the first blooms of spring.