Last week, Spring officially sprung! And I am so glad. Winter has never been one of my favorite seasons. Even as a kid, I always looked forward to the warmer days and the renewal of life. To be honest, this winter hasn't been too bad, but to a gal who lived for twenty years in South Florida, bad is relative.
Now, however, I can smile--and do it without wearing long sleeves and socks. I'm looking out my back window and seeing the trees budding out in bright green leaflets. Bushes are starting to bloom and on the side of the house near the garage is a vine with lovely lavender and dark purple flowers. I have no idea what it is, but for months I just assumed it was dead.
Gardening and horticulture are not my things. I can identify roses, petunias, and geraniums. I know a lilac bush and azaleas when I see them. Being born and raised in Indiana, this Hoosier recognizes maple, oak, and sycamore trees. South Florida was easy. My street had oodles of palm, mango, and avocado trees. And for once in my life, I didn't worry about planting something and having it croak off. The mantra down there was, "Plant it and it will grow."
Yes, Spring is here and I'm happy--kind of. Unfortunately, along with the lovely weather comes the allergy season. I think the salt air of Ft. Lauderdale kept the pollen at bay. I had no problem. Growing up, I had little trouble with pollen intrusion. Personally, I believe Indiana was just too cold. The pollen retreated south and settled in Memphis.
I don't know why I'm so surprised to wake up in the morning with my nose totally stuffed up. Soon after rising, my eyes begin to water and my nose starts running. I can't live without a box of tissues by my side. Headaches are the norm--at least for a while. I've lived in this area twice and the experiences have not changed. Yesterday, I sneezed twenty-five times--in a row--within a minute. Even my husband was impressed. Said it was the best sneeze-a-thon he'd ever heard. I won't repeat what I told him.
But in spite of it all, I'm glad to see things coming back to life. The birds are chirping and multiplying as the days go on. The chipmunks living under my deck and burrowing beneath the steps to my pool are out and about. I know they're destructive little beggars, but I love 'em. I can't wait to buy some flower pots and flowers for the patio and around the pool area. If they die, I'll plant more.
One last thing before I go this month. Tomorrow my latest book, The Murder of Grace Bryant, will be released in both paperback and e-format by The Wild Rose Press. I used my husband's family farm in Paullina, Iowa, as the setting. Below is the blurb and cover.
Callie Bryant, a young woman with partial amnesia, returns to her childhood home with hopes of restoring the memories that are slowly coming back. She may have been a witness to her mother's murder twenty-five years before. Instead of being welcomed, Callie finds some people just want her to leave town. Anonymous letters show up, followed by threatening phone calls. Intruders invade the house. The ante is upped when someone shoots out her front window.
The only person she trusts is reporter, Josh Hendricks. He is new in town and not a suspect at the time of her mother's death. Intrigued, he agrees to help discover why certain city officials are refusing to answer her questions. Never tell a reporter, "No." Josh asks questions of his own throwing himself into the mystery. As time passes, their relationship deepens.
Falling in love was not part of the plan. The more they investigate, the more nervous the killer becomes. Callie and Josh are not safe. Callie is remembering, and the clock is ticking down on the killer's freedom.
Hope you all have a great day, and I'll see you next month.