Friday, February 11, 2005

Can't wait til spring!

Virginia Bluebells last spring

The other day I was having lunch with my mother in law in Cullman. (I was lucky enough to marry into a bunch of very nice in-laws.) We tried to go to the All Steak but after finding that every parking spot in the deck was taken, we figured it would probably be too crowded inside. All Steak has some great orange rolls that my mouth had been salivating for since I’d left home, so I really hated to miss them.

We went to the Cracker Barrel instead. Some people sneer at the Cracker Barrel. I guess because it’s a big chain and because it’s so commercial - you have to walk through their crowded gift shop before you can set foot in the restaurant.

In the winter I always feel like the kid Randy from the Christmas Story movie in there, all fluffy coat and “I can’t put my arms down.” I’m afraid that I’ll knock over something glass and expensive.

But they have a wonderful grilled chicken that’s worth running the gift shop gauntlet for, and on Fridays the extra veggie is brown rice, which is also wonderful.

My mother in law ran into several people she knew there. I think that happens a lot in Cullman. (I see it happen a lot in Oneonta too but so far I don't know enough people here for it to happen to me.)

One of my aunts-by-marriage stopped by our table to say hello too. She said what had been on my mind for several weeks already... "I can't wait til spring!"

Long-spurred violet

We are both wildflower nuts. I spent a really inordinate amount of time last spring combing the woods at our new place, looking to see what flowers we had. But I'm sure I missed some. I've got the fever to get out and find new things, and see the old favorites too. But it's still too early.

I heard the little frogs singing this week, and the red-winged blackbirds too, for the first time this year. I’d love to learn which frogs are singing which songs, but first we have to figure out how to actually see any of them. Sometimes I’d swear that they are all invisible frogs.

Invisible frog tadpoles

But last night it got down to about 23 degrees F, so the frogs aren’t singing this morning. (That’s -5 degrees C, for those of you in the regular, non-“I’m never gonna accept the metric system” world.)

So it's still too early. But I can't wait til spring!


Alabamian said...

Now I need one of those orange rolls...

orphyus said...

Red wing blackbirds...I just adore that flash of red when I'm driving and see on a fencerow. I've always thought they were special for some reason...thanks for making us look forward to spring!

sugarcreekfarm said...

Thanks a lot for infecting me with spring fever! Such beautiful flower pictures. I've been doing pretty good fighting the winter blahs this year, thanks to chicken therapy. I'm afraid spring is a ways off yet here in northern Iowa.

shannon said...

"I spent a really inordinate amount of time last spring combing the woods at our new place, " I do that too - except I'm usually looking for wildlife :) Once I'm no longer in pregnant stumbling mode, I'll be crawling all over our back woods! You could always bring some of the mystery tadpoles inside and raise them in a fish tank - doesn't take long and they'll eat anything - to get an ID on 'em

Rurality said...

Orange rolls are worth a trip to Cullman, Alabamian!

Orphyus, I liked RWBBs before, but now I really love hearing them too. One of the joys of the new place.

Thanks Kelli, chicken therapy works wonders doesn't it? I never could have imagined how much I'd love chickens.

Shannon, thanks for the suggestion, I can't believe I didn't think of that!

MissBossyPants said...

Tuesday is meatloaf day at Cracker Barrel. With all three of my pregnancies, I was at Cracker Barrel every Tuesday I could go!

megabethcom said...

I am a city person and think the Cracker Barrel is alright. I enjoy the country store because my grandparents used to buy things from the store for us. The flavored candy cane sticks, salt water taffy, the peg game, Yes N No games, etc.