Mark Twain describes spring so well when he stated, "It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"
After a dreary, cold winter, the warm temperatures and sunlight of the past few days have definitely influenced my mood.
I definitely have spring fever, and what a lovely fever to catch.
It's nice to roll down the car windows or open the front door and let the screen door filter in the fresh clean air of the coming spring.
The grass is greener.
The birds are chirping.
My neighbors are outside cleaning their yards.
My father is also outside doing the same in the garage and the yard.
Children are playing, including my 16-year-old son and his friends.
My son surprised me at work earlier this week when he rode a bicycle to The Brazil Times office just to talk to me. Seems grandpa "fixed one up" so he'd have a means of transportation before going to get his driver's permit sometime later this year.
The bike has already taken my son to a couple of local parks, off to get a snack at a gas station and to visit a few friends.
Although I'm 45, I can remember coming aware of spring around the age of 12. I am not exactly sure why that particular spring was my favorite. There had been so many springs before that were amazing.
My family always rewarded my sister and me for good grades on our report cards.
Life was simpler then, so my particular wants weren't that fancy or that many.
At age 5, I got a large umbrella with butterflies on it. I remember sitting outside for hours at my grandma's house during several rain showers under that thing.
At age 7, I got my first big-girl bike and spent the spring and summer racing up and down the sidewalk in front of my house.
At 9, I got my first pair of roller skates. Spent many hours and several years on eight wheels skating around the neighborhood with my friends. By the time I was a teenager, I was really happy when they paved the roads in Carbon.
But the spring I remember most was when I was 12. The best two things my parents gave me that spring -- before the tumultuous teenage years and dating became an issue in 1977 and beyond -- was the freedom to venture out around our small town and a "grown-up" wristwatch.
I was able to go to the local post office, grocery store and visit my friends on the other side of town on my own.
I could roller skate at the park and on the good roads away from my house and was able to ride my bike anywhere in a two-mile radius around Carbon. By the time I was 15, I could ride my bike into Brazil.
What was the cost for this privilege?
I had to tell my parents and grandparents where I was going and when I would be back. I had a 15-minute grace period past the time I set for myself, but if I failed to come home on time I lost that grace period.
The next failure meant I lost the privilege of setting my own curfew. (That is something most teenagers now days freak out at the mere mention of being held responsible for their actions, but I loved the trust my family had in me.)
But for me, 1977 was a carefree summer because of that trust.
It's 2010, and the winds of summer are drifting in on the spring breeze. The arrival has changed the mood of many people, a lot more people are smiling.
I see joy on my son's face at the thought of just going outside after being cooped up all winter.
After spending the winter trapped inside, I get to walk hand-in-hand with my husband in the evenings to work off a few pounds.
Apparently, it's going to be a carefree spring for everyone.
Not really knowing what recipe to share with others, a good friend shared one of her mother's for Carefree Fruit Cake.
The shopping list includes:
1 pre-made Angel food cake
1 6-ounce box orange flavored gelatin (or try strawberry)
2 11-ounce cans of mandarin orange slices (or strawberries)
1 16-ounce carton (softened) non-dairy whipped cream topping
Drain the fruit, reserving the juice in a cup.
Dissolve the gelatin with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. When dissolved, add to the fruit juice, and then add enough water to make a total of two cups.
Tear the Angel Food Cake into bite size pieces, alternating layers of cake (as the foundation) and fruit in a large glass bowl sprayed lightly with PAM.
Pour the prepared gelatin in the bowl and set in a refrigerator until set, about 2-4 hours.
Now you can make the recipe in a metal bowl and invert it onto a plate before serving, but why waste time and create more dishes to do.
Make the recipe in a pretty glass dish, garnish it with set the whipped topping and a few pieces of leftover fruit.
(My apologies for not having a photo, but if anyone else makes this recipe and would ike to share one for this blog, contact me at email@example.com)