Part of the Mare Herd at the 4DH Ranch in Oklahoma. For More Works by Debra Coppinger Hill Click Image.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I have lived long enough to understand that a warm day in March doesn’t necessarily mean that spring is here. Sometimes it pretends to be the perfect weather for gardening to lure you outside and get you started cleaning up your garden with visions of fresh veggies dancing in your head. You will work the warm day away and go to bed thinking of all the things you will accomplish tomorrow. Tomorrow arrives with temperatures 45 degrees lower, a misty cold rain and a view through the window of your garden tools leaning against the fence mocking you for leaving them out because you were sure you would be using them early the next day.

I used to fall for the temptations of the first warm days. I would work myself silly getting my first of spring chores started only to be stalled by the following cold. I would have to start over several times throughout the end of winter months of February and March. Several years ago I recalled something my Grandfather told me when I helped plant his garden; ‘Never plant anything before April Fool’s Day.’ I now take his words to heart and follow them to the letter.

Yesterday it was 79 degrees and I spent the day outside. But instead of working in the yard I spent it sitting at the picnic table while my grandsons ran circles around me. We ate a snack, drew on the porch steps with chalk and watched the horses run and carry on in the south pasture. We filled the water tanks, laughed at the cat chasing a leaf blowing by and discussed why we don’t put grass in our mouths that comes from the part of the yard where the dogs go to do their business.

Today it’s 36 degrees and yes, there is misty cold rain falling. We are trapped inside, but instead of staring out the window at yard tools demanding we come out and put them away before they rust, we are drinking hot chocolate and talking about what fun we had yesterday. You see, the secret to a good garden is to not get into a hurry. My Grandfather told me that too.  I am sure he also knew this was the secret to growing a good relationship with our kids and grand-kids. Mother Nature likes to play games with us by teasing us into believing spring is here. The key to enjoying spring when it really gets here is to enjoy the final days of winter. Now, if you will excuse me, my grandsons and I have some corn to pop and a rousing game of Hungry, Hungry Hippo to play; it’s the perfect weather for it.

RIDING DRAG with DEBRA COPPINGER HILL is featured each week at ALWAYS COWBOY where Debra is a Resident Western Poet. Join her and her Cowboy Friends for Cowboy Poetry, News & Events. http://alwayscowboy.net/debra_coppinger_hill_poetry.html

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