It Seems 'Spring Is Here'

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A delightful surprise greeted me last week as I walked through the Safeway door. Alongside the floral department was a tall vase filled with pussy willows — real ones! I was immediately transported back to my childhood in Wisconsin. Early spring in that northern climate never arrived before March, and on the first day the sun was shining and the temperature above freezing, my mother would bundle us up and together we would walk the dirt road to Grandma’s farm. Actually, as the snow and frost melted, it became more mud than dirt. There was no town or county road upkeep in those days, maintenance was done by hitching Grandpa’s team of horses to a weight and dragging the road. Galoshes were a necessary part of our outfits, as were warm jackets and snow pants.

Halfway to our destination, a small creek flowed alongside the road, and on its bank was a pussy willow tree. How exciting it was to see the pale gray catkins bursting from its branches. Water gurgled as it flowed through the woods, around still frozen chunks of ice.

Mother, anticipating the pussy willows, brought along a sharp kitchen knife, and deftly skirting the flowing creek (we never called them streams) cut several branches, which she handed to me. Of course I had to take off my mittens and stroke the fuzzy buds.

When she had cut enough for a bouquet for Grandma and one for ourselves, we resumed our walk. “Spring is here,” she always said.

Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store

If you enjoy BINGO, be in the Senior Center Dining Room, 514 W. Main St., at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays. For $1 you can enjoy an hour of play and perhaps win a prize.

Larry Brasen will entertain with live music at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Center Dining Room. All are welcome to attend. If you plan to stay for lunch, please make advance reservations by calling (928) 474-4876 or stopping in the Center Lobby.

Other

If you have occasion to drive on Payson Parkway or the streets nearby, be careful. Flocks of geese have decided it is a good place to browse for snacks and take in the sunshine. The middle of the street seems to be their favorite place and they aren’t in the least fazed by passing cars.

Does anyone know if there is anyplace in Rim Country where used greeting cards can be recycled? Many years ago, there was an organization or church group that accepted them, using them to make crafts. If you know where they can be donated, please let me know by e-mailing swnest@npgcable.com or calling (928) 472-9302.

Do you suffer a hearing loss? If you do, you are not alone. One out of three senior citizens experience hearing loss during their life. If you suffer from this disability, ACDHH (Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) may be able to help you. The agency was established to improve the quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing Arizonans. Its services give users access to a wide variety of no-cost assistive equipment, offer free equipment training, conferences and workshops, maintains a resource library and retain a public service advocate. For information, contact ACDHH at (602) 542-3323.

Think about it

You can’t get much done by starting tomorrow.

And, here’s one for cat lovers — Cat’s motto: No matter what you’ve done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it.

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