Spring Is In The Air – (and it put me on my butt!)

by Debra Chappell

View from the road in Johnsville, CA  (Mt. Elwell):

photo copy 2

Mood Reading:  ZZ’s (Too much caffeine yesterday – at 3 a.m. I was wide awake and worrying over everything from sequestration and the national debt to the dog’s vet appointment and the right fabric to choose for the spare bedroom window treatments!)

Spring decided to tease again this past weekend by showing up early – then skipped out on the job as quickly as it arrived — there is snow in the forecast this week but the hubby and I took advantage of the earlier warm temps and high tailed it up to the cabin for some much needed photo copy 4(ahem) R and R, which turned out to be anything but.  Got up Saturday morning to sunny clear skies, a mild 60ish degrees and a boisterous boxer begging for a walk that was happily obliged.  We set out on what is affectionately called the big loop – taking the back roads into one side of town, CIMG0942 10-01-52down by the old green bridge and back home through the other side of town, all together about a 2 to 3.5 mile trek depending on which one of us you ask.  (I being the storyteller in the family, usually opt for the more “interesting” version and live by the adage “never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” ) Accordingly, it was a grueling 7 mile slog but we managed to make it back in one piece, despite the black bear attack and the mountain lion outrun along the way.

The sunny day and prospect of spring had me feeling so spry and still energetic when we returned that I decided it was a great day to get some yard work in and a jump on the season.  This is whatimages-2 happens to me when Spring pops in for a weekend.  I’m like the proverbial couch potato who decides on January 2  that I’m going to go to the gym and lose all the weight in one workout that was put on between Thanksgiving’s turkey and gravy and those second helpings of bread pudding over the Xmas holiday. I feel I need to get an entire winter’s worth of cleanup done in one day so I hauled out the hand trowel, clippers and rakes and set about like a mad person trimming the shrubs, clearing the dead wood, turning the dirt and raking the pine needles.  And…raking the pine needles.  And…raking the pine needles.  Did I mention raking the pine needles?  images-3Soon we had several (or at least 67, depending on which one of us you ask) piles of pine needles and simply couldn’t face the prospect of multiple loads with the wheelbarrow to dump them.  We did what any reasonable person would do faced with the same exhausting dilemma – we opted for a trip to the brew pub instead.  With the weather being what it was, and the days growing longer now, we hopped on the fat tire bikes to peddle the CIMG0578quick 3 – 4 miles there depending…. (It’s at least a 6 mile ride, uphill both ways, barefoot and in the snow if you ask me.) We returned back to the cabin before dark, pretty darned tired, a little tipsy and more than a bit hungry for the chicken pot pie I’d made earlier in the day.  By the time I fell into bed that night, I was glad that spring had sprung for only a day and hoped it would make a hasty retreat back to where ever the heck it’d been hiding, before it killed me altogether.

Needless to say when I got up on Sunday morning I could barely move, 4 pre-bedtime Advil not withstanding. My quads were on fire the moment I lifted myself from the bedside and my gluts beyonce-asswere feeling like Beyonce’s look, only not half as nimble. Every last one of the muscles in the lower half of my body, some that I never knew existed, were screaming with every slight movement – okay, maybe not screaming, but whimpering loudly at least, and felt ready to explode. I found I suddenly had three throbbing cheeks if you included the one on my face that was biopsied only days before.  My first inclination was to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head and hope old man winter would stagger back in with an apology, a hot toddy, a hotter water bottle, and a good excuse to stay in bed for the day, but alas, that was not to be.  The annual Longboard Races were being held inphoto copy 3 close-by Johnsville at the old closed down ski resort. It’s a day of boarding, boasting, blather and fun and usually worth the  1 to 3 mile hike in, depending on who you ask. I sure as heck wasn’t going to let a little lactic acid get in the way!

To be continued….