There is a nice breeze blowing through my windows right now and it’s letting me know that springtime has arrived. It’s nice to see the spring and light jacket weather. I do enjoy wearing a sport coat. And even though I like long coat weather too I get tired of the cold by the middle of February. That’s when the “Is this cold ever going to end” feeling hits. Well the cold has ended for this year.

One sure sign is that I mowed the lawn for the first time this season. That’s always a significant event because it means I’ll be mowing the lawn about once a week until sometime in November. There really should be some sort of festival celebrating this modern seasonal milestone. Day of the mower. Let’s have a party.

Mowing the lawn also means that I have to take the snow plow off of the front of the John Deere riding mower and put the cutting deck on. It’s not a hard thing to do but it does take some effort. It’s usually a race each spring between how fast the grass grows and how fast I can get the mower ready. Usually the grass wins because I’m in no hurry to cut it for the first time. There is often some raking to be done after the first mow because the grass is tall. It wasn’t too bad this year though.

I split the John Deere job up this year. I always mean to do that but I never seem to. First I sharpened the cutting blades on the mower deck and then I took the plow and wheel weights of off the tractor. That’s what I have to do before the mower deck goes on. because you can’t plow and mow at the same time. Imagine that. But Instead of putting the mower deck on right away I put it aside and did other things. Later on in the week I put the mower deck on and cut the grass.

Most years I take the plow off and put the mower deck on all in one go. It’s always tiring since there is a lot of moving of heavy things and getting down on the ground to hook things up. I always wanted to break the job in two but never did. Somehow the momentum of doing the first part lead me into the second part. Until this year when I finally said, “What’s the hurry?”. I took the winter stuff off on Monday and waited through some rainy days until Friday to put the cutting blades on. It was much more relaxing and much less fatiguing.

It seemed a little odd to seeing the lawn freshly cut following the winter. After I finished cutting the lawn I went back in the house and did a little work for a while and had some lunch. I went about my day as normal. When I went to the mailbox in the afternoon I was startled a bit by the freshly cut lawn. Sure I was the one who cut it but I still wasn’t used to seeing it so neatly trimmed. It was a weird sort of moment when the world isn’t quite how I remembered it. Strange.

I also had my big spring tidy-up this week. At least in my studio. That’s when instead of cleaning the center of the room, like usual, I pull out all of the furniture and clean behind and underneath everything. Man did I vacuum up a lot of dust. It takes all day too as I dust and scrub all around. Everything attracts dust. Especially electronic equipment. I was buried in dust. I wonder if I could get a robot to do that cleaning for me?

Another part of spring cleaning is organizing things and getting rid of a lot of crap that’s been accumulating all winter. Y’know, that stuff that you put in a spot, “Just for now” until you can find a proper place for it. This is the time I decide if it has a proper place or if it should be chucked. If it needs a spot that means that I may have to chuck something else that is just taking up space. I’ll look at something and ask myself if I’ve even thought about that object in the last year. Sometimes I haven’t thought of some random object in the last five years. That’s when it’s safe to get rid of it and something new can take its spot.

I even replaced my rags. I keep a few old T-shirts torn up into rags hanging underneath my drawing table. I use them for many rag functions such as cleaning my drawing table, wiping my brushes on, and cleaning paint off of things that I get paint on but shouldn’t have. Some people use paper towels for such things but I got tired of buying paper towels only to throw them away. It seemed pointless and I was going through too many rolls of paper towels. So, years ago, I decided to minimize my paper towel usage and go with rags. I always have plenty of old clothes to tear up so that’s never a problem. I only replace the rags once or twice a year anyway. It’s not like I’m making huge messes everyday. The new rags are green and blue and look quite colorful hanging under my drawing table. Snazzy.

Another sign of spring for me is putting away the thermal shirts. I keep the house fairly cool in the winter. It’s usually between 63-66 Fahrenheit in here because I find it helps me think. If it gets too warm I have a harder time getting things done. But I don’t like to be cold so I wear a lot of layers of clothes.

Up until two years ago I wore sweaters. Nothing fancy just a solid color sweater but they kept me warm. For some reason, about two years ago, I got tired of sweaters and I switched to thermal shirts for winter warmth. I would wear three or four layers everyday. A regular T-shirt, a long sleeved T-shirt, a thermal shirt, and maybe second thermal shirt. The second thermal shirt was for when I was feeling chilly at any particular time. It could come off and on as time passed. Somehow wearing extra shirts for warmth doesn’t interfere with my thinking.

It’s now been about a week since I’ve had a thermal shirt on. That’s how I can tell spring is here. It’s a good thing to because the cuffs on my thermal shirts are fraying. I was beginning to look like a bum. I need some new thermals next year. Now I’m back to my springtime T-shirt under a collared shirt look. Depending on the temperature I can take the collared shirt on or off or keep it buttoned or unbuttoned. I’m all about layers and options. At least until the summer heat comes and I’m all about shorts and a T-shirt.

I still have a layer of thermal when I’m biking. At least on some days. Since it’s hit the 80s already this spring I’ve had days with no thermal but most days I’ve still got it on. The windbreaker, hood, and gloves are all gone for the season though. It’s T-shirt, thermal, and jersey right now. Some days just the T-shirt and jersey. I don’t even have a proper cycling jersey. I wear a football jersey because it is a crazy color green. I like to be visible when I ride. Such is the springtime.